Manhattan Beach, CA Real Estate News

By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Pool Area Manhattan Village For those of you not familiar with Manhattan Village it is the only gated community in the South Bay/Beach Cities. The Village is a mix of single family homes, Court homes(townhomes) and Patio homes ( townhomes) and is located behind the Manhattan Village Mall. The Village is home to a number of celebrities who travel a great deal because they can lock the house, take off and know it will be secure from fans who want to see where Joe and Jenny Famous live. The Village is also home to a wide variety of residents from young singles to older residents who wanted to downsize but stay in Manhattan Beach.  For the purpose of our tale I'm only going to talk about the two bedroom plans. We'll save the story about the village as a whole for another post.. The townhom...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Manhattan Beach June 2007 There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to the California real estate market.. On one hand the media is talking about the worst disaster for housing in 20 years and then you see a little article saying that prices are up again in Los Angeles County. When looking at Manhattan Beach and the beach cities critics usually say it's because only higher priced homes are selling so the numbers are off on the high side. But part of the problem with that explanation is that there are very few cheaper homes on the market. There are only 3 single family homes under $1,000,000 for sale in Manhattan Beach and 7 townhomes under $1,000,000 . With 134 homes and townhomes for sale that's a pretty small percentage of low end homes. Maybe we need to revamp what cheaper means...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
   Manhattan Beach: A view of  The StrandSeems as if Spring has sprung and with summer here the market is cooling.  Definitely some changes in the last few weeks.. inventory continues to increase but in the upper price range. Townhomes in the Sand Section are still selling well. But overall pendings and sales appear to be down as summer approaches. When I collect the numbers for all of June I'll compare them with June of 2006 to see how we compare with last year. This is the time that the market cooled last year. The biggest difference I'm seeing this year over last year is that there are still a lot of buyers out there. People are coming to open houses which is different from last year at this time. The charts below are broken down by area and by price: There are 113 Single Family Home...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Sand Dune Park... Manhattan Beach  After I posted Beach Cities Sold May 2000-2007 I had people ask about home prices in the 1990's. That always makes me laugh.. as if numbers from 10+ years ago have much to do with today. It reminds me of people who constantly talk about how much they weighed 10 years ago. That means nothing... it's what you weigh today that matters. The same is true of home prices.I remember the market in 1995-1999. Most of the foreclosures were over and people who had lost their jobs were finding work again. Interest rates were good around 7.5-8.5% and life was moving along back to normal in the Beach Cities. There has always been a certain group of people who are afraid to buy because the price might go down.  When I entered real estate in 1979 these people were wai...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
  Rents in the South Bay/Beach cities are among the highest in Los Angeles County and in California. But then rents in most coastal cities in California are very high.  A lot of people want to live at the beach and either can't or don't want to buy a property.  In the South Bay there is no rent control consequently there is always muttering going on about landlords and rents.There has always been a difference of perception between landlords and tenants.. ..tenants always think rents are too high and landlords always think rents are too low.. the truth is somewhere in the middle. Tenants believe landlords rake in tons of money and always want to gouge them by raising rents. Tenants rarely consider what it actually costs to own a property. Rents are probably going to continue going up for...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Hermosa Beach Sand Section Homes. There have been a lot of stories in the media about the California real estate market this week. Headlines scream.. number of sales down 34%.. (courtesy of the LA Times on June 14, 2007) However the question is.. did the volume of sales really fall that much and if they did.. is this a national or a local phenomena.. With that in mind, I decided to track the number of sales in Manhattan Beach and North Redondo every May from 2000-2007. May is historically the month that is usually in transition from the hot Spring months to the slower Summer months. I used Manhattan and North Redondo as these two cities represent the highest and lowest priced markets in the Beach Cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach , Redondo beach and El Segundo.So.. here are the f...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Lots of stories in the news about falling home sales and growing foreclosures. Some stories point to the downfall of the housing market while others seem to view things with a more local perspective. Dan Green in his blog The Mortgage Reports has an interesting take on the cities that RealtyTractnoted as the largest areas of foreclosures in Ca. Peter Viles in his real estate blog at the LA Times looks at the California foreclosure market as well as the drop in sales and the rise in prices in Los Angeles County. Meanwhile Dr. Susan Wachter, a Professor of Real Estate, at the Wharton School of Business has another take in her report.. What Homebuyers Pay.. What Everyone Should Know. She sees buyers getting smarter and taking out fixed rate mortgages instead of adjustable and another tren...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
   The market is showing signs of slowing down a bit... which is normal for this time of year. As the school year ends people start planning vacations and house hunting becomes less intense then during the Spring. Inventory has increased slightly over the last month, sales and pendings have slowed but as a market trend prices are holding fairly steady.. rising a little everywhere except east of Sepulveda in Mira Costa( area 47) . The number of homes for sale in the $4,000,000 plus category has increased from 2 to 7 .. two are on walkstreets and 5 are in the Hill section.Single family homes and townhomes in the Sand section (area42) are still moving faster then in other areas. Inventory in the trees has increased but sales are down a bit.. which may be because the market over $2,100,000 ...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
  April sales were a bit less then March for most of the Southern California South Bay Beach Cities  with the exception of Manhattan Beach which had 6 fewer single family closed sales and 7 more townhome sales.  Pending sales in all cities are close to the same number as closed sales.  Days on Market is shorter then last year at this time.  The market continues to be stable with no highs or lows and inventory remains lower then the same period last year.  Buyers are cautiously beginning to write offers.  I think part of the reason is that rents are continuing to climb in the South Bay.  Another reason may be that the market has been relatively stable in the last 5 months. To find out  what has been happening and get more detailed information .. Go to Manhattan Beach and all South Bay Be...
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By Robert Kissig
(Real Estate West)
 I’ve been sending out some of the nice selections locally to a picky market. Hard to figure. People seem to be very selective with no particular reason. Even 4-unit listings are beginning to make an appearance after it seems like a lifetime of sitting in the weeds. Buyers are simply finding it hard to make a buying decision these days. Even the rising prices, and euro’s 36% addition to the dollar have been less detering for US buyers in France, than the attitude created by our mystical press locally. Poor loan availability is understandable...it should have been this way all along. Mortgages rates are very attractive and prices are only slowly making upward drifting in most cases; in some, they’re drifting down a tad. In all, nothing dramatic has actually come cruising into the real es...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
  Contrary to all the predictions Manhattan Beach,CA  real estate continues to move at an even pace.  A few days ago a gentleman questioned why I thought the market in Manhattan Beach appeared to be returning to a normal market.  I told him that it was because the local market seemed to be acting in a rational manner.. that is home prices were going up a little in some areas, down a bit in others while showing little movement in still other sectors. Most Buyers and Sellers have realized that prices aren't going to see huge increases or decreases but rather will continue to stay at a level pace.  There are currently 84 single Family Homes and 28 Townhomes/condos for sale. There are  48 single family homes and 19 townhomes/condos that are under contract (pending sale).   Since April 1, 20...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
  A  very nice thing happened to me a few days ago... I received an e-mail from Peter Viles who has started a real estate blog for the Los Angeles Times called LA Land  He  found me through AR and featured a link to my  post  Southern California:The Market That Won't Die on his blog.   Of course there was an immediate comment from Bakersfield Bubble  who I believe was calling for reinforcements.  I'm currently having an interesting  conversation with a gentleman named Howard in the comments part of that post here on AR.  I don't know if Howard is a friend of the Bakersfield Bubble author or if he  found  me by accident.  He also thinks I'm crazy and that the California housing market will soon fall into the abyss predicted by all Bubble bloggers and their followers.  I know I won't win ...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
  After reading  Lenn Harley's blog: What Do You Do When You're Blue and True.... and Find Youself in a Corner?  It occurred to me that maybe we should start giving Buyers a  Home Instruction Manual at the close of every sale .  I'm not talking about how to run the dishwasher or turn on the stove.... well that might be in a separate section.  I'm talking about what  buyers need to know if they are going to own a home.  Most buyers were renters before taking the leap to homeownership.  They paid their rent and never gave much thought to the place they called home. Many, fearing a rent hike, rarely let the landlord know when something wasn't working.  Others just didn't have a clue how things were supposed to work.  I had a tenant who never used the oven because he didn't know how to turn...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
  OK I'll admit it... I've been reading the Bubble Bloggers.  I periodically check out what they have to say to find out what people  supposedly outside the industry are thinking. I note that because for civilians many of them have a lot of information that can only come from a local MLS. I'm noting some major changes in the last 6-8 months on most of these blogs.  For one thing the authors have either gotten day jobs or don't have as much to say because the number and frequency of posts has declined on most sites.  The volume of readership has also decreased compared  last year when the media frenzy was at it's height predicting 30%-50% price declines. While we are still no good rotten greedy REALTORS® much of the really nasty rhetoric seems to have quieted down a bit. I did notice tha...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
  The lake and concert area at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach  Market Snapshot for Manhattan Beach CA  April 1-23, 2007.  Information is for Active, Pending and Sold properties.   This is the breakout by price range:Manhattan Beach: Market Snapshot March 17, 2007Manhattan Beach: Market Snapshot March 5, 2007Beach Cities Sold March 2007Beach Cities SOLD FebruaryBeach Cities SOLD JanuaryManhattan Beach MemoriesManhattan Beach: Take a Walk by the Sea All content copyright © 2007   Kaye Thomas  
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
 Take a TOUR of South Redondo.What's Happening in the Market?The South Bay/ Beach Cities home market is as unpredictable as ever. Headlines in newspapers and sound bytes in the media push the fallout in the sub prime loan market. Forecasts of thousands of foreclosures are being blasted eveywhere. Meanwhile in our little corner of the world people are buying without paying much attention to what's happening with sub prime loans.Will we feel some fall out from the sub prime debacle... probably. Will our market be devasted with huge numbers of foreclosures.. probably not.To find out why we seem to doing better then other areas in the State go to:  Manhattan Beach and all South Bay Beach Cities Real Estate Info to get the rest of the story. All content copyright © 2007   Kaye Thomas   
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
  What's wrong with this picture.. no sub prime loans, prices are not nose diving, inventory is declining and buyers are once more in multiple offer situations.  Guess it must be Spring in the Beach Cities. Here is the breakdown for available listings and number of sold properties in the Beach Cities:Manhattan Beach: Single Family Homes: 90Townhomes/condos: 29                   Sold:  60Hermosa Beach:Single Family Homes: 54Townhomes/condos: 48                   Sold: 27North Redondo:Single Family Homes: 56Townhomes/condos: 64                   Sold:  75South Redondo: Single Family Homes: 27townhomes/condos: 91                    Sold:  34El Segundo: Single Family Homes: 17Townhomes/condos: 9                    Sold: 20Inventory levels in most of the beach cities are half what they were ...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
      Back in the days of the dinosaurs.. when I started selling real estate .. people looked at buying a house a bit differently. First there were not 57 different varieties of loans.  You went for a fixed or an adjustable.  The adjustable was pretty simple.. it moved up or down, was tied to a fairly stable index and no negative amortization. Oh.. and you had to qualify for the loan.  Most people chose the fixed rate loan because they wanted to know what their payment would be over the long term.  If you hadn't saved much money or been a bit too free with those pesky credit cards then you took some personal responsibility.  I can't tell you how many people came in who wanted to buy but had to wait 6-24 months while they saved a little more toward a down payment or paid down the credit ...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
   I was listening to my favorite afternoon radio talk show yesterday.. John & Ken on KFI.  They were talking about an article in the LATimes about why residents in other states disliked Californians who moved into their states and changed things.  One of the biggies was how California transplants have influenced NO SMOKING laws in many states.  The other reason they are not happy about Californians moving into their areas is because they think we are responsible for higher real estate prices.  In some respects this is true... but there are simply not that many people from CA moving to every city in the United States to blame us for all rising real estate values. It may be convenient to blame us for everything that you don't like in your state but be reasonable we really aren't everywhe...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
It's impossible to talk about the history of Manhattan Beach without including the history of the Neptunian Woman's Club of Manhattan Beach.  Rumor has it that if  The Ladies of Manhattan Beach, as they were called by the local population, hadn't strongly whispered in their husbands ears  it would have taken much longer for the city to incorporate.  As it was Manhattan Beach was far behind their sister cities of Redondo and Hermosa in establishing a city.  The Neptunian Woman's Club of Manhattan Beach was formed in 1909 by 10 local women.  At that time the population was about 600 and there was not much in the way of social life.  The women got together to promote a library , a social group to improve life in Manhattan Beach and to get the city incorporated.  It wasn't until September 1...
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