Comparing Beach Cities 2010 Prices

I’ve discussed the improving sales pace in the South Bay in 2010 in a few recent columns. Now that the year has closed out, we can start looking at how prices performed.

We’ll look at the three beach cities this week, then return to other parts of the South Bay in upcoming columns.

Keep in mind, I’m looking only at single-family residences (SFRs) in these analyses. You’ll see that all the beach cities saw some improvement in sales totals over last year, though only one saw an increase in median price. For each town, I’ll give an example of what you would have gotten by paying the area’s median price.

Hermosa Beach - Down on Higher Volume

This year, Hermosa Beach saw more SFR sales (99) than either 2008 or 2009, and was just shy of the 102 seen in 2007. Like a lot of areas in the South Bay, this was a modest pickup in sales. That was the good news.

The median price, however, at $995,000, was down 7 percent from 2009, and now stands 19 percent below the recent peak hit in 2008.

Some people will be skeptical of any fluctuation in median price numbers with a sample size this small. You can argue that there’s little real difference between 2009 and 2010 in either the number of sales or prices.

Median House: 1030 8th Place is a fairly good-size custom contemporary (four bedrooms, three baths, 2,625 square feet) with a need for some cosmetic fixes. Nice ocean views, though, from a location east of PCH. Sold for $995,000.

Redondo Beach - Stable on Higher Sales

Like Hermosa, Redondo Beach saw a nice uptick in sales in 2010. With 268 closed transactions, the number of SFR sales exceeded both the 2008 and 2009 totals, though this was still well short of 2006-07. Overall this was a nice 11 percent annual increase in the number of sales.

The median price also declined a bit, from $705,000 in 2009 to $692,500 in 2010. That’s a modest drop of 2 percent. Unlike with the Hermosa data, these medians are somewhat more reliable with the higher sales volume that the area generates.

With this little drop, the Redondo Beach median price is down 14 percent from the recent peak in 2006.

Median House: 1718 Wollacott St. (three bedrooms, two baths, 1,700 square feet) is a remodeled “tall and skinny” in North Redondo by Mira Costa High School. It sold for $690,000.

Manhattan Beach - Up with Lots More Sales

Of the three beach cities, Manhattan Beach saw the greatest increase in sales volume, both in terms of raw numbers (41 sales) and in the percentage change above 2009’s totals (15 percent).

This is the market I cover most closely, and I can say this has definitely been a good year for Manhattan. The city was recently called “the most stable housing market in the Los Angeles metro area” by Forbes magazine, on the strength of three quarters of increasing prices and a very low
foreclosure rate. (Foreclosures and REOs exist in town, to be sure, but just not nearly at the rate seen around L.A. or around California.)

At $1,525,000, Manhattan’s got the highest median price at the beach, and it’s the only one of the three markets we’re looking at here to see an increase over 2009. It’s a modest 4 percent bump over last year’s total, but that’s still something. Overall, Manhattan, just like Redondo, is down 14
percent from a recent peak in 2006.

Median Houses: 2513 Elm Ave. and 1404 Lynngrove Drive
each sold for $1,525,000. Both are on the newer side (1996 and 2000 builds,
respectively) and offer four or five bedrooms and more than 3,000 square

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