First Quarter Sales Results for Manhattan Beach

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Barbara Corcoran

 I heard Barbara Corcoran speaking about real estate trends this week.  In case you are not familiar with the name, Barbara is the the founder of The Corcoran Group, a mega-real estate brokerage in New York City, author of Shark Tales, and star of ABC’s Shark Tank.  The interviewer asked her if she would say that this is the best time to buy real estate, and Barbara responded with an emphatic, “No, that was four to five months ago!”  She went on to say that this is still a great time to buy, but sellers are less vulnerable now that they were a few months ago.  Why?  Because there has been a dramatic increase in sales and decrease in inventory.  Reports of multiple offers are coming in from markets all across the country.

This has been particulary true in the Beach Cities.  First quarter closed sales in Manhattan Beach are the same as in 2011, but with 34.8% less inventory than last year.  The critical difference comes when you look at the pending sales.  These are home that are “in escrow,” but have not yet closed.  Those sales are up 34.4% through the end of the quarter.  And, as I have said before, they would be even higher if buyers could find more homes for sale.
So why are inventory levels so low?  The obvious answer is that potential home sellers are waiting for pricing to improve.  If the seller has lost his initial down payment, he may not have the resources to buy again now no matter how good the prices and the iterest rates look.  In some cases he has leased out his home in order to move, but he now has to work around tenants and leases for a sale.  That might not be easy.  For some areas of California and the nation, it may take years for prices to recover, but multiple offers are sure to bid up those prices.  First quarter sales in Manhattan Beach averaged $655 per square foot, up from the 2011 average of $644 per square foot.  That is still a long way from the  2007 average of $792 per square foot, but well above the $619 average in 2009.  Buyers are still willing to pay well above the average for a unique and high quality home.
If you are trying to figure out what this means for you as a seller, or a buyer with a specific type of property in mind, contact me.  We can drill down in to neighborhoods and even styles of homes for more trends.  For sellers this market is the best in years if you are able, and want to sell.  For buyers, this is still an excellent time with prices and interest rates well below peak levels.