By Mike Sannes, Big Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, November 23, 2016

First off, all of us at The Mike Sannes Real Estate Team would like to wish you and yours a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is an amazing and truly American holiday that brings together family and friends to give thanks and celebrate the many blessings for which we are all grateful. Family, friends, great food and football, who could not be grateful for that! We hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend!!

Much has changed since our last Big Bear real estate market update: Yesterday brought our first few inches of snow and it finally feels like winter is indeed on its way and soon will be here to stay. And according to a few “market watchers,” the “Winter is Coming” mantra from the famous HBO series we all adore, may also apply to the economic outlook for 2017. Given that business cycles always run their course and then change, and based on historical data, a chilly economy may be coming next. I am not sure I agree with that completely, however. If the short-term equity markets are any indication, the new administration (love them or hate them) is being perceived as very business friendly, but time, of course, will tell the tale. Either way, it is certain to be an interesting year.

The biggest news in the Big Bear real estate market from the macro perspective is the bounce in interest rates. Along with the rise in the stock market, the yield on the the 10-year treasury bond has taken off over the last few weeks as well, which has in turn raised interest rates on mortgages a solid ½ point. However, keep in mind that even with this most recent bump, interest rates are still at historically low levels. That said, this turn from the bottom could very well indicate a new trend and, as the Fed has indicated they are intending to raise rates again in December (which would seem to be already priced in now), we could very well be looking at interest rates on 30-year mortgages edging up from the ‘at or below 4%’ area, to between 5%-6% in the coming year. Interest rates of course, have a big effect on real estate values: when monthly payments go up, buyers often cannot afford to continue paying more for homes. This could put a ceiling on, or even cause a decrease in, prices in the coming years if rates were to stay above 6% for any length of time.

Currently, there are 453 residential homes on the market and 175 in escrow. Using a typical 45-day close, these figures represent 3.8 months of inventory (equates to a slight sellers’ market). It is seasonally typical for the inventory to decrease here in Big Bear as we head into winter.

Big Bear Real Estate Sales prices Nov 2016Year-to-date (through October), the Big Bear real estate market has performed well as the average price of all those sold this year compared to the same period last year has increased 6.3%. This increase has been more evident in some areas and price ranges than others, as the chart to the right indicates.

Big Bear Real Estate sales by area Nov 2016In addition to prices, the total number of sales is a number we track closely as it is the best indicator of which direction prices are heading going forward. When sales slow for an extended time, prices tend to eventually soften, and vice versa. Sales in 2016 have been relatively flat compared to last year, posting a 1.5% decline year-to-date (978 in 2015 vs 963 in 2016). But the trend for September and October was momentum: those 2 months had a 3% and 2% increase compared to 2015 respectively. It will be interesting to see how December shakes out and how this year ends up.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the Big Bear real estate market and will keep you posted. Please do let us know if you have any questions on the market, any properties for sale you see up here, or if you are interested in knowing the current value of your Big Bear property, (Just fyi, Zillow is typically still way off in Big Bear regarding home values.) We always look forward to hearing from you. Until next time: All the best and happy hunting!

By Mike Sannes, Big Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, October 9, 2016

Thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market. Let’s get right to it.

The 3rd quarter of 2016 is now in the books, so let’s take a look at the current "state of the market" as we prepare to slide into winter. There are currently 527 active residential listings on our Big Bear MLS and, as there are 197 homes currently in escrow, that equates to 4 months of inventory based on a typical 45 day closing.

My How Times Have Changed

The days of the ‘distressed market’ in Big Bear have passed: only 1.3% of our active inventory is either Foreclosure or Short Sale. Furthermore, only 2.6% of all closings so far in 2016 have been ‘distressed’ sales, i.e. foreclosures or short sales.

So far this year, through the end of September, Big Bear has seen a total of 840 closings. Of those, 27% have been cash deals. It is interesting to note that at the peak of the "investor market" here in Big Bear (2009-2011), cash sales made up over 35% of our market.

What is Selling and Where

Big Bear Real Estate - Sale by Price Range - Sept 2016Big Bear Real Estate - Sales by Area - Sept 2016The graphs to the right shed more light on both what is selling and where it is selling. It is interesting to note that, although sales in the $750k – $999k range are off 38.9% (18 in 2015 compared to 11 in 2016), sales in the 1 million+ market have increased 30.8% (13 in 2015 vs 17 in 2016).

The 3rd quarter of 2016 saw a 7.5% decline in the total number of sales (343 in 2015 vs. 319 in 2016). In contrast however, the average price of all homes sold in Big Bear has increased 8% ($287,571 in 2015 vs. $311,053 in 2016). It will be interesting to see if the 4th quarter of this year can hold onto these gains. We will continue to monitor the market and keep you posted.  Do let us know in the meantime if you have any questions on anything you see for sale or on your home's current value. We always look forward to hearing from you - contact us anytime!

By Mike Sannes, Big Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, September 23, 2016

The long warm days of summer have recently transitioned into chilly (more like freezing) mornings here in Big Bear. But the Big Bear real estate market is not showing any signs of cooling off as we head into Fall. Thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market. Let’s get caught up on what transpired in our unique resort market this summer, and look at what that indicates about what we can expect going forward.

Number of Homes Sold Down a Slight 3.1% ...

Through August of this year (as compared to the same time frame last year), the total number of residential properties that changed hands decreased slightly: Down 3.1% (720 closed Jan-Aug ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, June 18, 2016

Hello from beautiful Big Bear Lake and thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market. Summer is here and, as the first half of 2016 has literally flown by, let’s get caught up on the happenings in Big Bear’s unique resort market.

Big Bear’s real estate market is primarily driven by vacation home and 2nd home buyers, but as with all markets, supply and demand certainly still influence price.

On the Supply Side

...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, March 10, 2016

Thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market. Let’s take a look at the start of 2016.

Residential Sales by AreaResidential sales in Big Bear jumped 3.2% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, and 6.5% year-over-year. A boost in sales in Big Bear City (up 43.8% compared to January 2015) contributed the bulk of this increase. In January, 66 homes closed escrow up from 62 in January of 2015. However, January 2016 sales are down 43% from December 2015, when 115 homes closed escrow. That said, it is typical for sales to slow in the winter months here in Big Bear. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, February 26, 2016

As 2016 is now well underway, let’s catch up on what transpired in the Big Bear real estate market last year and what that tells us about what to expect for 2016.

Big Bear Real Estate - Monthly Residential Sales
Monthly Residential Sales in Big Bear Valley

The real estate market in Big Bear fared well in 2015. We saw a surge in demand as, aside from January and October, every month of 2015 saw more residential closed sales than the same month a year prior.

...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, September 11, 2015

Once again it seems the long days of summer have passed us quickly by. I hope the season has been full of fun for you!  As it is well past time we got caught up on the happenings in the Big Bear real estate market, let’s get right to it.

The story in the Big Bear real estate market so far this year has been the increase in number of sales:

  • Through August, the number of residential homes sold here in Big Bear increased a solid 18.7% as compared to the same time period last year (736 closed Jan-August 2015 vs. 620 for that period in 2014)
  • In fact, as you will see in the bar graph below, over the last 10 years there has only been one other year, 2013, that exceeded this year's number of closed sales through August.

...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, May 11, 2015

Hello and thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market. Here in Big Bear, they say never plant your flowers before Mothers’ Day. This year proves that saying correct once again, as we woke up to 3-4 inches of new snow yesterday (Friday 5/8.) Happy (perhaps belated when you ready this) Mother’s Day to all the Moms!

Big Bear Real Estate Market Showing Solid Momentum

We have lots to catch up on, so let’s get right to it. The month of March put a cherry on top of what turned out to be a solid first quarter for the Big Bear real estate market. You may recall that January had most of the market watchers in Big Bear, myself included, scratching our heads as that month showed only 62 closed residential sales vs. 81 in January of 2014. After holding our collective breath, the activity in the market improved slightly in February with 70 sold vs. 67 in February 2014. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, March 18, 2015

Hello and thanks for checking in with us regarding the the Big Bear real estate market. The beginning of a new year is always an interesting time for Big Bear real estate. How we start the year often lends insight into where we might finish and what to expect in between.

A Tale of Two Months

This year started as a tale of two months in stark contrast. The Big Bear real estate market finished strong in 2014. The average price of homes in Big Bear was up 9.8% last year compared to 2013 (The number of closed sales, however, was off by 13.7%.) ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, January 26, 2015

Thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market. We hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding the market, if you would like a more specific valuation pertaining to your particular property, or if you have questions on any properties that you see for sale here in Big Bear, do let us know. We are happy to help and always look forward to hearing from you.

2014 was an interesting year for Big Bear real estate…

  • We saw fewer sales: there were 1,060 residential closings in 2014 vs. 1,228 in 2013, which equates to a 13.7% decrease in transactions.
  • However, the homes that did sell, sold for more money as the average price paid in 2014 increased by 9.8% vs. 2013.

...continue reading