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

There are currently 563 active residential listings on the Big Bear MLS. This is a substantial increase in inventory from the 391 listings on the market in mid-March. This seasonal increase in supply, heading into the summer-selling-season, is to be expected. Inventory is roughly on-par with June of 2015, when we had 541 active listings.

Active Residential Listings: June 2016

Residential Listings

Based on the number of homes currently in escrow (179) and using the typical 45-day closing period, the current inventory level equates to 4.7 months of supply. Six months of supply is considered a “balanced” market; whereas, over 6 months of supply leans towards a “buyers’ market” and under 6 months of supply qualifies as a “sellers’ market.” I would describe the current market in Big Bear as stable and neutral -- not strongly favoring either buyers or sellers. However, based on the increasing demand we are beginning to see now that the days are growing longer and warmer, there are often more buyers for every well-priced home (as opposed to having more well-priced homes than we have buyers). Multiple-offer scenarios are beginning to occur more regularly in certain areas of Big Bear and in certain price ranges as well.

Looking at Demand

When looking at January through May of this year as compared to the same period in 2015, demand overall has been on-pace with last year. We have seen a 1.0% increase in residential closings (416 Jan-May of 2016 vs. 412 Jan-May 2015). March was the only outlier so far this year, showing a 27% increase in homes sold (113 in March 2016 vs. 89 in March 2015). While the overall market is relatively flat, there are some interesting dynamics worth highlighting.

Residential Sales by Area

Moonridge has seen significantly less sales (down 16%), while sales in Big Bear City (as opposed to Big Bear Lake) saw an impressive increase of 11.8%.  Big Bear Lake, Fox Farm, Sugarloaf and the East Valley are all relatively stable, as compared to last year.

Residential Sales by Price RangeThe price range under $250,000 saw an 8.7% decrease in sales, which was surprising to me, although quality inventory is becoming more scarce. Sales in this price range however still make up 51% of all sales (vs. 56% last year.)  The price range between $250,000 and $500,000 has shown strong growth, with an overall increase of 20.3% compared to 2015.  Sales in this price range constitute 40% of all sales vs. 34% last year.

As Big Bear continues the slow and steady climb back from the bottom of the real estate market (3rd quarter 2011), price appreciation, albeit gradual, has become the norm. The average price of all homes sold in the Big Bear Valley from January-May of 2016 vs the same period of 2015, has increased by 3.7% overall:

Sales Price by Area

  • Moonridge was up 24%, but, as there are not all that many closings specifically in Moonridge, having one or two high-end homes close distorts this number a great deal.
  • Big Bear City was up 10% and made up the lion’s share of the overall rise in average home price.

I expect this trend to continue and for prices to remain stable and continue to gradually rise.

The wildcards in this scenario are, of course, the outcome of the upcoming election and what impact this will have on interest rate policy and the economy overall. Interest rates, however, remain at historically low levels and should hold throughout this year at least, with this being an election year.  But what happens in 2017 and what effect this has on the economy is not yet ours to see. So, finding a nice deal on a great property and locking in an amazing rate this year looks to be a prudent move.

A few other market metrics to be aware of:

  • The average days-on-market has declined 14% from 106 in May of 2015 to 91 in May 2016.
  • The average sale-to-list-price ratio remains steady at 97%. It remains best to price competitively out of the gate and hold relatively firm, rather than to list too high and then reduce, as well-priced listings are selling very close to their asking price.

We hope you have found this information useful. We look forward to keeping you up-to-date on the real estate market in Big Bear.  Should you have any questions regarding the market, or your home’s specific market value, please visit our website at I am certain you will find our understanding of Big Bear’s unique resort market, our insight into the different areas of Big Bear and our knowledge of the local inventory very beneficial. We look forward to hearing from you -- contact us anytime!

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

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