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.

Historical Residential Closings, January through August

Residential Closings

To what can we attribute such a substantial increase in demand? It looks to be a combination of several favorable circumstances:

  • Long term interest rates remain at historically low levels.
  • The increase in consumer confidence and confidence in the general direction of the economy overall is helping fuel demand.
  • With Big Bear primarily being a vacation home market, wage growth and job stability in the Southern California’s metropolitan areas certainly helps our market.
  • In addition, Mammoth’s Mountain purchase of our two local ski resorts last year, and the growth opportunities for Big Bear’s economy this investment should provide, has piqued interest in real estate here in Big Bear.

Let’s take a look at how this 18.7% increase in sales has been distributed throughout the different areas and prices ranges. As you will see below, the biggest beneficiaries here are:

  • The price range between $250k - $500k (35% increase: 185 closed in 2014 vs. 250 in 2015) and also in the price range between $500k – $750k  (100% increase: 21 in 2014  vs. 42 in 2015)Sales by Price Range
  • The areas of Sugarloaf (35.8% increase: 95 closed in 2014 vs. 129 in 2015) and Moonridge (44.3% rise: 97 closed in 2014 vs. 140 closed in 2015) have also seen substantial increases in residential transactions.Sales by area

I am sure you are wondering – What effect has this dramatic increase in sales had on prices? Through August as compared to last year, prices in Big Bear have been generally flat. In fact, the average price on residential real estate in Big Bear Jan-August this year is up only 0.4%  It could be argued that prices remaining stable has had quite a bit to do with the rise in sales we have seen.

The good news here is that the Big Bear real estate market has held on to the respectable 9.8% increase in average price we saw in 2014. It is interesting, and not quite as I would have anticipated, how this played out.  At the end of the 1st quarter (as compared to Q1 of 2014) the average price in Big Bear was up a whopping 11.6%. But by the end of the 2nd quarter, that increase was only 1.2%. A similar pattern of appreciation occurred last year, where the first part of the year attributed the lion's share of the increase we saw for all of 2014. This year however the market has given back those Q1 gains and we are now back to where we started this year from an average price perspective.

We have a few weeks left in September to see where the 3rd quarter ends up, but it looks to me as though the real estate market in Big Bear will be trading sideways for the remainder of 2015. Stay tuned for the results on this and for some perspective in the meantime: Below is a bar graph representing average price appreciation in the residential real estate market here in Big Bear from ‘the bottom’ which occurred in the  3rd quarter of 2011.

Average Sales Price and Change in Price

Average Sales Price

A couple other market metrics to keep an eye on:

  • The average days on market this year has increased 18.2% (from 93 to 110).
  • The average sale to list price ratio is holding right at 97%.
  • The inventory, based on a 45 day closing period, is holding steady at five months supply (which equates to a relatively balanced market, as opposed to a strong buyers’ or strong sellers’ market).
  • Cash closings represent 25% of our sales (down from almost 35% in 2010) and foreclosures represent only 4% of the closings this year (down from 14% in 2009)

Please keep in mind that we know Big Bear’s unique resort market very well and have access to ALL that is for sale here in Big Bear. Just give us a call or send an email in order to find out more about anything you see for sale here.  Also, if you would like, we can keep you posted on the very best deals as soon as they hit the market, in order to keep you one step ahead of other buyers.

If you are considering selling, our listings are selling faster and for more money on average than the overall market and we would very much look forward to helping you obtain a fantastic result as well.

Thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market and until next time: Happy hunting!  And, keep your fingers crossed regarding this El Niño event we have been hearing so much about, as we are due and very much in need of a very wet fall and winter here in Big Bear.

Mike Sannes,
The Mike Sannes Real Estate Group

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

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