2017 Year In Review by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, January 31, 2018

Hello and Happy New Year! Thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market.  2017 was an incredible year for real estate in Big Bear.  Let’s get caught up on what transpired and also speculate on what this means for the market going forward.

Average sales priceResidential home sales by areaResidential home sales by Price range

The average price of all residential homes sold in Big Bear in 2017, as compared to 2016, increased by a significant 8.3%. But even more impressive, the total number of residential homes sold in 2017, as compared to the year prior, increased by a sizable 23.7% (1,462 in 2017 vs. 1,182 in 2016).

As the charts illustrate, there were a few areas and price-ranges that outperformed the market:

  • Moonridge saw a whopping 42.9% increase in transactions, and
  • Sales of homes above the $500,000 mark improved by a remarkable 53%. Although keep in mind that, the total number of sales above $500,000 combined make up a small part, only 12%, of the overall market.

To what can we attribute this surge in demand? Interest rates remaining at historically rock-bottom levels throughout the year certainly didn’t hurt. And for the market moving forward, a significant increase in mortgage rates would surely be the wild-card as when (and I say when, not if) they do eventually rise, this will undoubtedly dampen the potential for continued price appreciation. But in addition to low-rates, the positive buzz of Aspen Ski Co. buying our two local ski resorts, Big Bear’s booming vacation rental market (while other areas like Tahoe and Coachella Valley are looking to ban or drastically limit rentals) and the stylish improvements to The Village area undoubtedly helped as well.

Historical PriceHowever, I believe it is the intrinsic value that real estate in Big Bear offers that is the driving force behind the strong demand. At the height of the market, the beginning of 2007, the average price of all the homes sold in Big Bear Valley was just over $400,000. At the very bottom (Q3 of 2011) the average price dropped to just over $200,000. In 2017 the average price increased to $327,130. So, as we begin 2018, Big Bear has recovered roughly 60% of the drop from the 2007 high. As the charts above show, some areas have appreciated more than others. So, if you are interested in the specific top-dollar value of your property, please do let me know.

To put Big Bear's recovery into perspective, the overall median price in the six-county "Southern California" region recently surpassed the all-time highs seen in 2007 ($507,500 in December 2017 vs. $505,000 which was the previous high seen in 2007). It is typical for there to be a lag in the Big Bear real estate market as compared to coastal communities and the "owner-occupied" markets down the hill. But along with Big Bear being slower to recover comes opportunity. Based on where the market in Big Bear sits right now, it is no wonder that demand for investing in real estate in beautiful Big Bear is on the rise. And I expect to see this trend continue in 2018.

It is encouraging to see that Big Bear’s current real estate market, with strong demand and solid price appreciation, still has a good way to go before approaching the peak seen at the end of the last "bubble" market. But as we travel down this road this time around, the big difference is that over-borrowing is not the force driving the market forward. As such, the trek back is slow and steady, but this in turn makes the gains realized much more sustainable.

Lastly, there has been plenty of concern recently, and rightly so, regarding the new Federal Tax Plan and how it will affect second home markets. My personal take on this with respect to Big Bear’s real estate market is that, while the changes are not positive, I don’t foresee a huge detrimental impact from them either. When the first draft was published, it looked scary indeed for a second home market like Big Bear, as the mortgage deduction on second homes was reportedly being completely discontinued. In addition to enjoyment-of-use and potential appreciation, the tax benefits of owning a second home in Big Bear weigh heavily for some in their decision to make a real estate investment here. And although the new limits on state income and property tax deductions might increase the overall cost of owning real estate for some, the final version of the new tax plan, thankfully with many of the scariest changes removed, looks to have a lesser impact. Perhaps the market might not go up quite as much as it would have had these changes not taken place, but I personally don’t see this new tax plan as likely to take the legs out from under our market here in Big Bear either.

Whew, plenty to catch up on in the new year. Thank you for taking the time to read my update. I hope you find the information useful and we will continue to keep you posted on the market in 2018. Please do let us know if you have questions on any homes you see for sale here in Big Bear, as we have access to all and look forward to helping you find and buy a great property. Or, if you have any questions on the market or the current value of your Big Bear property, again, please do let me know. We are happy to help and look forward to hearing from you. Until next time – All the best.

Q3 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, October 10, 2017

"Wow" is one of the first words that comes to mind when looking at what transpired in the 3rd quarter in Big Bear's real estate market. Historically, the 3rd quarter is always the busiest of any given year, but this year... wow.

From January through July 2017, when compared to the same period in 2016, the Big Bear real estate market realized a 15.7% increase in total number of residential sales and a 2.3% gain in average sale price. This certainly qualifies as a solid result for the first seven months of the year. However, when adding August and September into the mix, we see that homes sales surged 21.9% from January through September vs 2016 and the change in the average price more than doubled to an overall 5.1% increase. In fact, the 161 closed sales in September 2017 are the most we have seen in any month in over 12 years.

Absorption Rate measures the "speed of the market" and the Big Bear Real Estate market is flying into Fall.

Demand in the Big Bear real estate market has gained an impressive amount of momentum as we head into the Holiday Season. Multiple offer situations on desirable new listings are much more prevalent now than at any time this year. Buyers were snapping up new inventory at a stunning pace in September and into October. We currently have 408 active residential listings on our Big Bear MLS, down from the peak of 534 in July. There are currently 236 homes in escrow and, based on a typical 45-day closing period, this equates to a scarce 2.6 months of supply. Absorption Rate (# of homes in-escrow / # of active listings) is a simple metric that illustrates demand and the absorption rate is currently an incredible 54% -- meaning over half the active inventory is being "absorbed," ie. purchased, every month.

If we are to think of Absorption Rate as the "speed" of the market, then the Big Bear real estate market is flying into Fall.   (See the chart below to reference supply and Absorption Absorption Rate, as of 9/30/2017Rate throughout the year. Note the dramatic increase in properties in-escrow in September and October.)

The moral of the story: if you were considering selling your Big Bear property this year, but were feeling that you may have missed the "prime-time" season to list, you didn’t.

With current inventory under 3 months of supply and demand surging, it is a good time to take advantage of this strong "seller’s market" while it lasts. Do let me know if you would like the current market value of your Big Bear home (much more accurate than Zestimates or any other automated valuation systems.)

Sales up Across all Areas and all Price Ranges

Sales by AreaA few more interesting market numbers: The total number of sales (Jan-Sep 2017 vs 2016) as mentioned above, is up 21.9%, but the number of sales in Moonridge is up 57.2% (217 in 2017 vs 138 in 2016).

Sales by price rangeThe number of sales in the price range between $750,000 - $999,000 (which has been slow in recent years) is up 91% (21 in 2017 vs 11 in 2016).  Furthermore, although the average price in Big bear is up 5.1% Jan-Sep, the average price in Sugarloaf is up 13.5% so far this year.

 

Let us know if you have any questions on the market, on anything you see for sale here, or on your homes current value. We look forward to hearing from you. Until next time: All the best and happy hunting!

Q2 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, July 13, 2017

Thanks for checking in with us regarding the real estate market in sunny Big Bear Lake CA. The 2nd Quarter of 2017 is now "in-the-books," so let’s catch up on the happenings in the Big Bear real estate market, shall we?

The Sales Story is One of Healthy Demand

Big Bear Real Estate - Sales by Area - June 2017The story so far in 2017 has been one of healthy demand for Big Bear vacation homes. The total number of residential sales from January through June 2017 vs. the same period in 2016 increased a substantial 14.2% (596 in 2017 vs. 522 in 2016). Moonridge and Fox Farm were the areas that saw the lion's share of this growth in sales with a 37.9% rise in Moonridge (120 in 2017 vs. 87 in 2016) and an incredible 55.6% increase in the Fox Farm area of Big Bear (42 in 2017 vs. 27 in 2016). Check out our website for more information and to see properties available in these and other popular areas.

Big Bear Real Estate - Sales by Price Range - June 2017Also interesting to note is that the distribution of sales in different prices ranges has changed dramatically. In the past, it has been the price range of $0 - $250,000 and more recently also that of $250,000 – $500,000 that have benefited most from the boost in number of sales. So far this year however, the price range of $500,000 - $750,000 is up 30% (39 sold Jan-June in 2017 vs 30 in 2016) and the price range between $750,000 - $999,000 has seen a whopping 166.7% surge (16 sold 2017 vs 6 in 2016).  To search for properties by price or area, visit the Simply Search page on our website.

With so many more properties changing hands this year than last, to what can we attribute this considerable increase in demand? While interest rates are currently still at historically low levels, they have been on the rise of late and experts predict to see a 5.5% - 6% rate on 30-year fixed mortgages by the end of 2019.  So, many are looking to buy now and lock in a great rate on an awesome vacation home in Big Bear. That, coupled with increased optimism about Big Bear’s potential for growth (with our two local ski resorts being recently purchased by Aspen Ski Co.), seems to have brought a lot of would-be buyers off the fence and into escrow in the first half of 2017, which is really good news for all concerned.

Prices Have Also Been on the Rise

Big Bear Real Estate - Average Sales Price - June 2017The average price of all residential homes sold January – June 2017 vs. the same period of 2016 has increased 4.9% (from $296,775 in 2016 to $311,298 in 2017). This price appreciation in Big Bear, although slow and steady as compared to many areas, has certainly been bringing more sellers to the market. But so far anyway, demand has been able to keep pace and absorb most of this new supply. Even though we currently have 553 Active listings (vs. 379 in the middle of April), based on the number of homes currently in escrow and on a typical 45-day closing period, this equates to a 4.8 month supply (up from 3.8 months in April). Keep in mind that 6 months of supply is considered a "balanced market"; whereas, 8 months of supply is considered a strong "buyers-market" and 4 months and below a strong "sellers- market."

As the year continues, it will be very interesting to see if a rising number of Big Bear buyers scoop up enough homes to keep up with the expanding inventory. Or if not, perhaps the later part of 2017 will evolve into more of a "buyers market." Stay tuned, as we will keep you posted and do let us know if you have any questions on the market, on anything you see for sale here, or on your homes current value. We are happy to help and 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, June 16, 2017

Hello and thanks for checking in with us. It is hard to believe, but almost half of 2017 has already passed us by, so let’s get caught up on the Big Bear real estate market.

Demand Remains Strong…

In the first five months of 2017 (Jan - May) There were 474 closed residential sales here in Big Bear vs. 417 closings over the same period in 2016. That equates to an impressive 13.7% increase in closed sales so far this year. The month of May itself (116 in 2017 vs 85 in 2016) saw an extraordinary 36% increase in residential sales. Certainly, a remarkable start to the year. In fact, we have not seen this number of closings in the first five months of any year since 2008. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, Big Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, April 17, 2017

Hello and thanks for checking in with us on Big Bear’s unique, resort real estate market. The first quarter of 2017 is in the books, so let’s take a look at what has transpired in Q1 of 2017.

The Big Bear real estate market started strong in 2017 as the 86 residential closings we saw this January were the most sold in the month of January in over 10 years. But now that the ski season has passed, the market has slowed a bit. Tax time is notoriously slow in Big Bear, but that too shall pass. ...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, Big Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, March 2, 2017

Hello and thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market. It is hard to believe, but the first quarter of 2017 is already more than half way complete. So let’s get caught up on what has been happening with Big Bear’s unique real estate market shall we?

January Marked a Strong Start to 2017

January in Big Bear has historically been a month where we see sales begin to slow, as there are typically fewer homes on the market in the winter months as well as fewer home buyers in the market.  January 2017, however, seems to have bucked this trenBig Bear Real Estate: January Residential Closingsd as there were 86 residential closings as compared to 66 in January 2016, an incredible 30.3% increase! In fact, the 86 closings we saw this January are the most sales we have seen in the month of January in over 10 years.

...continue reading

By Mike Sannes, Big Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, December 14, 2016

Thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market. This year has seemingly flown by once again. With the holiday season right around the corner, let’s get caught up on the happenings in Big Bear’s unique resort market.

Residential Sales Relatively Flat, Shift to Higher Price Continues

2016 has been a solid year for real estate in Big Bear. The number of residential sales overall (Jan-Nov 2016 vs. the same period last year) was relatively unchanged,Big Bear Real Estate - Sales by areaBig Bear Real Estate: Sales by Price Range posting a slight decrease of 1% with 1,074 closings in 2016 vs. 1,085 in 2015.

It is interesting to note the distribution of sales in the different areas of Big Bear as well as in different price ranges. The trend we have seen, where the bulk of the demand is moving up from the $0 - $250k price range and into the $250k - $500k price range, is still very much in effect. In fact, 3 years ago, 65% off all residential sales occurred under $250k (and 28% were between $250k -$500k,) whereas now 49% are under $250k and 42% are in the $250k-$500k range. ...continue reading

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!! ...continue reading

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 ...continue reading

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