All Quiet On The Western Front
January is usually a slow month for Manhattan Beach real estate. This January we saw 16 closed sales worth a total of $31.9 million. Compared to historical sales volume, we actually exceeded the monthly average by 3 percent. Median price per square foot was up 5.7 percent over the last month, and 2.3 percent compared to January, 2011. Highlights for the month include a Strand sale for $9.25 million, and two properties selling for under $700 thousand. Manhattan Beach has something for everyone! Well, that is, everyone with at least a couple hundred thousand in savings, and well over $100,000 in household income…
An interesting note is that 1/4 of all Manhattan Beach sales last month were all cash purchases.
Here’s a snapshot of monthly sales volume, and how we’ve been doing over the last 12 months compared to historical averages:
All statistics need to be analyzed in context, so here’s a graph of how sales volume has trended over the last twelve months:
The way to interpret this chart is to see that 8 of the last 12 months have seen higher sales volume in Manhattan Beach than the historical averages for each of the months. February of 2011 was the worst month, with sales falling a whopping 43 percent below that month’s average; but, in total, sales volume has been 6 percent higher than historical averages over the last 12 months. This is definitely a bullish sign for the Manhattan Beach real estate market.
Of the 16 closed sales in Janurary, 13 were single family residences (SFR’s), 2 were townhouses, and 1 was a condominium. Combined median home price was $1.45 million, and homes closed after an average of 91 days on market.
Median home prices for the SFR’s was $1.45 million, or $600 per square foot. Homes closed with an average of 91 days on market.
For the townhouse / condo segment, median prices were $1.1 million, or $654 per square foot, and homes closed, on average, after 79 days on market.
Looking at sales by Manhattan Beach section we see that most of the action happened in the Sand Section last month. Over 60 percent of sales volume closed in the Sand, with the Tree section coming in a distant 2nd place with 20% of volume.
Here’s the actual breakout by section:
The next two charts show median home prices, and median price per square foot by section:
It’s tough to draw meaningful statistics for each of the Manhattan Beach neighborhoods, or MLS real estate sections, with so few sales. Some of the sections, for instance, have only a single sale, so “median” prices can easily be thrown out of whack.
Let’s dig a little deeper into what happened in each of the neighborhoods…
Manhattan Beach Sand Section
The Sand Section carried the weight of January sales volume due to one big sale at 2920 The Strand. This gorgeous ocean front, 7 bedroom, 6 1/4 bath, Strand home closed for $9.25 million.
Four other homes closed in the Sand Section last month, one being a townhouse, and another a condominium. Overall median home price was $2.675 million, or $836 per square foot, with homes remaining on market for an average of 100 days.
Only one home sold in the Hill Section last month, but what a home it was! 853 9th St closed at $2,666,250, or $630 per square foot. This “immaculately polished” 5 bedroom, 4 1/2 bath home has 4,233 square feet of living area sitting on a 6,300 square foot lot. The home sold after 139 days on market.
The most exciting Tree Section sale for my company (because it involved two of our agents-one listing and the other bringing the buyer) was also the highest priced. 2509 Laurel Ave closed for $1,575,000, or $431 a square foot. Given that the home is nestled right by the Green Belt, the low price per square foot is a bit surprising. This was definitely a great deal for the new buyers!
Four other homes closed in the Tree Section last month with a median price of $1.2 million, or $517 per square foot. Homes remained on market for an average of 96 days before closing.
Two homes closed in Mira Costa last month, one being a single family residence “in need of major repair” at 1643 3rd St ($899,000, or $533 per square foot), and the other a nicer Cape Cod style townhouse at 1208 Tennyson #8 that sold for only $655,000, making it the least expensive home sold in Manhattan Beach last month.
Manhattan Beach Heights / Liberty Village
One home closed in this section, technically in the Liberty Village area: 1716 Marine Ave closed for $672,500, or $581 per square foot. The home is the traditional one-level styles built in the 1950′s throughout this section of Manhattan Beach.
One home sold in the Planned Unit Development (PUD) of Manhattan Village: 19 Chatham closed for $1.4 million, or $471 per square foot. Chatham sits on a large lot of 7,314 square feet, with 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths in 2,972 square feet of living space. Manhattan Village is an immaculate gated community.
Summarizing Our First Month Of 2012
Only fools and charlatans try to predict the future with certainty, but what I can say is that things are looking good for Manhattan Beach real estate. Over the last year we’ve seen sales volume beat the averages 8 months of the last 12, with median price per square foot up 2.3 percent year-over-year compared to January 2011.
Expect to see increasing inventory to hit market as we enter Spring, but that’s also when we’ll see an increasing number of hungry buyers. Only time will tell which way the scales tip!