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It's 2004 in Manhattan Beach

October 15, 2009 | 10:32 am

Median price figures can be skewed by the types of homes that are sold. For example, the median price in a city could go up if a greater share of homes sold were larger, more expensive ones -- even if those same pricey homes sold for much less than they would have at the peak of the market.

For that reason, comparing sale prices of homes to their previous sale price is a more accurate way to capture what's happening in the market. The Manhattan Beach Confidential blog has done just such an analysis. There are enough homes in that city that sold between 2003 and 2006, and were sold again in 2009, that the blog was able to put together a database.

Ten Manhattan Beach houses sold in 2005 were sold again this year. Two broke even, eight others sold for less, often hundreds of thousands of dollars less. The median sale price in MB thorough September this year was $1.46 million, compared with $1.5 million in 2004, the blog says.

Homes sold in 2004 that were sold again this year, however, generally sold for a mark-up. You can read the full report on real estate, with spreadsheets, here.

-- Peter Y. Hong