Inventory levels for single family homes, townhomes and condos in Manhattan Beach January 2007-2013
It wasn't all that long ago when those "in the know" said that The Real Estate Market in Southern California was toast. Multiple offers and offers above the list price were no more. People who bought property were crazy and wasting their money. Prices were going to decline and there was nothing special about property in Manhattan Beach or any of the Beach Cities for that matter.... and they were a little right and a little wrong from 2007-2011.
But a funny thing occurred during the Spring of 2012.. as it usually does in the Southern California coastal real estate market.. the bottom of the market was here and gone before a lot of folks realized what had happened. Historically the Beach Cities real estate market has changed numerous times over the years. Sometimes prices only move a bit up or down and sometimes they move a lot. Sometimes the market is stagnant for long periods and other years it moves like a Yo Yo. The only thing you can really count on is that the South Bay-Beach Cities real estate market is always changing.
While prices still seem to be fairly stable I think you can count on that changing soon. New properties hitting the market have multiple offers in days not weeks. Networking among agents is pushimg off market sales to a point that many MLS organizations are thinking about serious sanctions against members who don't put listed properties on the MLS.
8-20 offers on a home is the norm not the exception at the entry level. Higher priced homes are also seeing bidding wars as buyers scramble to buy before the market revs up even more. All cash buyers are at every price level. Buyers have been stock pilling cash for a long time and want to buy now before prices really start moving upward.
Two things seem to be pushing the market... low inventory and pent up demand by buyers who have been waiting a long time to make a move. If you look at the chart above you can see how much lower the current inventory is compared to previous years. The threat of shadow inventory seems to be a thing of the past as more lenders are doing loan modifications and short sales. Supply and demand have always been the driving forces of markets.
The big question for many qualified buyers is how to get their offer accepted amid all the other offers on the table... but that's a topic for another post... Buying in a Seller Market.