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.

Then came March…

The market gained momentum in March and we saw an impressive 88 residential sales vs. 61 in March of 2014, a solid 44% improvement in sales over the same month last year. Important to note: this surge in demand proved not to be an anomaly, as in April there were 94 closings vs. 76 in April of 2014.

Monthly Residential Closings

Monthly Sales

Residential Sales by Area

Sales by Area

The Big Bear real estate market saw a 5.3% increase in total transactions in Q1 of 2015 vs. Q1 of 2014. However, if you include April’s impressive results, which we can as it is already May, then the market saw an impressive 10.2% increase in closed residential sales year-to-date (Jan-April) vs. the same period in 2014.

The areas that outperformed the market most were:

  • Moonridge (+22% in sales: 66 sold Jan-April this year vs. 54 same period last year);
  • Big Bear Lake (+17%, 62 vs. 53); and
  • Fox Farm (+36%, although the difference here was 15 sold this year vs. 11 in 2014…not as large of an area.)

Residential Sales by Price Range

Sales by Price Range

In addition to the different areas, an important trend to acknowledge has developed in the price ranges of those sold as well. In recent years, the growth in the Big Bear real estate market has been primarily in the $0 - $250,000 price range. This year however (again, January – April) sales in that price actually decreased 7%; whereas, in the price range of $250,000 - $500,000, there were 46.7% more transactions (110 in 2015 vs. 75 in 2014). Furthermore,  in the price range between $500,000 - $750,000, we saw a whopping 137.5% increase in sales (albeit that equates to 19 this year vs. 8 last).

What effect has all this activity had on prices?

The market is definitely appreciating in the early part of 2015. The average sales price of all homes sold in all of Big Bear Valley (Jan-April 2015 vs. same period 2014) has increased 8.6% ($287,685 in 2015 vs. $264,913 in 2014).  But this statistic, although a real number, reflects more of ‘what’ has been selling as opposed to simple appreciation. Meaning, has the average house in Big Bear really increased 2+% every month for 4 months straight? No, it hasn’t. The reality is that the increase in the number of sales in the higher price ranges mentioned above, has a lot (I would suggest at least half of the 8.6% total) to do with the overall increase in the average price we have seen year-to-date. The fact that significantly more ‘more expensive’ homes have sold so far this year than last, is largely responsible for this lift in average price. (Although prices are indeed on the rise.)

Supply is Strengthening

In addition to the strong demand evident a bit earlier in the selling season than we normally see, the supply side always plays a significant role in the market as well. At this moment in time we have 505 active residential listings on our Big Bear MLS. (Inventory is on the rise, typical for this time of year, as we had 407 listings in the middle of March, and 468 in the middle of April). The trend of more homes coming to market in the months to come is sure to continue and I would expect we will be will be in the 650+ range by mid-July.

As a buyer, this means more to choose from; as a seller, this means more competition. However the market so far this year has done a good job of absorbing this increase in inventory as there are 150 homes currently in escrow creating a robust 30% absorption rate.  Based on a 45 day closing period, this equates to 5 months of inventory. (Whereas in March it was 3.8 months, in April 4.6 months…If you recall, 6 months is widely considered a ‘balanced’ market. 4 months or less defines a strong ‘sellers market’ and 8+ months, a strong ‘buyers market.’) Sellers still have a slight edge but we are quickly moving towards a more balanced market.

I apologize for the length of this update, I try to keep these under a page, but there was quite a bit to catch up on.  If you are still reading, gratzi, and I hope you find this information useful. Let me end by pointing out that based on current market dynamics, it is a great time to list and sell here in Big Bear as demand is strong and although inventory is on the rise, there isn’t too much competition at the moment. This leads to a nice opportunity if you are considering a sale. If you would like more info on how it is we have consistently been able to deliver great results for sellers in today’s market, please do let me know.   Or if you would like a specific and accurate assessment of the market value of your property here in Big Bear again, just let me know.

If you are interested in owing real estate in Big Bear and would like a hand-picked selection of the very best properties currently available that meet your specific criteria, again just let us know. We are happy to help and always look forward to hearing from you. Until next time, all the best and happy hunting!

Mike Sannes,
The Mike Sannes Real Estate Group

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

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

By Mike Sannes, December 21, 2014

Looks like we will have a white Christmas here in Big Bear this year! Recent storms brought winter weather with a solid 4-6 inches of new snow and much more is expected. With 2014 rapidly winding down, and the New Year just around the corner, we wanted to wish you all Happy Holidays and provide a quick update on the Big Bear real estate market.

Supply and demand defines all markets, and the Big Bear real estate market is no different. On the supply side, it has been an interesting year in that we have seen larger than normal variations in homes available for sale. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, November 21, 2014

Let’s get caught up on what has been happening in the Big Bear real estate market, shall we? Apologies up front, as it has been too long since our last report. Time flies when you’re having fun (and when you’re busy working as well, it seems) and the summer simply vanished this year.

Cali4nia PassThe BIG news since last we wrote is the purchase of our two local ski resorts (Snow Summit and Bear Mountain) by Mammoth Mountain… big news indeed. So far, with respect to real estate sales, we have seen an increase in curiosity, especially in the luxury market, but no big bump in sales or prices as of yet. But I do think that will occur when the planned investment in development begins. The big initial impact will be in the number of folks coming to Big Bear to ski this winter. The season pass for Mammoth Mountain last year was $689.00 and that is the same price this year, BUT that same price now includes the two Big Bear resorts as well. I think this will bring more folks up to Big Bear that may not have come otherwise, to enjoy the proximity of our local mountains. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, June 12, 2014

Let’s take a look at the state of affairs in the Big Bear real estate market as we head into summer... May is typically a good ‘spring season’ indicator month and can also shed light on what to expect of the upcoming summer selling season.

Average Sales PriceThis May was very encouraging from a price perspective, as the average price of all residential property sold in May 2014 compared to the same month last year, increased 19%. Year-to-date through May, compared to last year, the average price is now up 9% in total. (At the end of April the average price was up 6.6%, so substantial price gains were seen this May)  Most of these price gains have come from high-end sales in Big Bear Lake area. However, Sugarloaf has also seen above market appreciation so far this year as well. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, May 25, 2014

May 2014 Market Update Hello from Big Bear and thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market. With Memorial Day fast approaching, which kicks off our local selling season, let’s get caught up on what has transpired this Spring and what that might indicate as we look forward to Summer.

Looking at Transactions…

Residential Transactions
Residential Sales: YTD 2014

From a transaction standpoint, Spring is typically the "slow time" for the Big Bear real estate market and this year has been no exception. In fact, year-to-date through April vs. the same period in 2013, we are off a substantial 18.6% in total number of residential sales. Every month so far this year has seen fewer sales than ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, April 16, 2014

Q1 2014 Update: Now that the first quarter of 2014 is behind us, let’s take a look at what has transpired in the Big Bear real estate market and what that indicates about what we can expect from the market as we head into the summer selling season.

2014 got off to a surprisingly strong start. January and February, which are typically slow months for real estate sales in Big Bear, saw impressive demand. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, March 19, 2014

February 2014 Market Update: Hello and thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market. Winter in Big Bear this year was underwhelming, to say the least. And although the ski resorts and vacation rentals were disappointed with the lack of snow, the good weather actually helped keep the Big Bear real estate market moving right along through the cold months and should continue to help as we head into the Spring.

Normally, spring in Big Bear brings lots of listings to the market and I expect this to hold true for this season as well. In fact, we have already begun to see a substantial rise in the number homes for sale in Big Bear. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, February 14, 2014

January 2014 Market Update: 2014 is well underway, so let's take a look at how the Big Bear real estate market has started off the New Year and what that indicates regarding what to expect going forward.

The lack of snow, although not great for the ski slopes, has actually helped the Big Bear real estate market. Interested buyers can easily make the drive up to look at properties and tend to feel more confident about offering on real estate when they can actually see the roof and the yards. (Although what pops up in some yards when the snow melts can be an interesting surprise!) ...continue reading