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.

  • We started the year in a very low inventory environment, with less than 3.5 months of supply in late winter.
  • We then saw a dramatic increase in homes for sale and reached 8.5 months of supply by summer’s end.
  • At present, we have settled into a more ‘balanced’ market as there are currently 512 active residential listings on the market that, with roughly 95 closings per month, equates to 5.5 months of supply.

The Big Bear real estate market always experiences seasonal fluctuation in inventory. However, this year, the variation in the number of homes for sale month by month, was more dramatic than normal.

The demand for homes in Big Bear, based on the number of closed residential sales, decreased dramatically when compared to 2013. Residential SalesThrough November, we have seen roughly 16% fewer sales than over the same period last year. Prices however, have not only held but increased. The average sales price, January through November of this year compared to last, is up an impressive 10% overall.

Residential Sales PriceSo to summarize 2014 in the Big Bear real estate market:

  • Fewer homes have sold in Big Bear this year (16% fewer than last year);
  • But those that did sell, sold for more money (10% average price increase as compared to last year).

The future, as they say, is not ours to see. That said, I expect that Big Bear will continue to gravitate towards a more "normal" and balanced market. This would mean that there would be approximately a 6-month supply of homes to choose from, as opposed to a strong buyers’ market (when inventory swells to the 8 month mark or more), or a strong sellers’ market (when inventory drops to 4 months or below). I also expect to see an increase in the number of sales overall next year, as there are some very nice deals still available and interest rates remain historically low. I also think we will continue to see appreciation, but I expect that to continue at a slower but steady pace.

Food for thought regarding investing in real estate here in Big Bear: although on an average price basis Big Bear is up 23% from its very bottom at the end of 2011, there is still quite a way to go on the appreciation side before Big Bear would be deemed ‘overpriced’ relative to other areas in Southern California. Big Bear has not seen the dramatic run-up in prices that much of Southern California has seen recently.

In fact, if in the next 3-5 years, we were to get just half-way back to where we were at the end of 2006, that would produce a respectable 27% increase in values from where we are now over that period of time. This seems plausible to me as long as the economy overall (as measured most importantly by job growth and wage increases) continues to thrive. I have no doubt the population in the metropolitan areas of Southern California will continue to want to invest in ‘life-style’ type real estate that not only produces a nice return, but also provides a great alpine get-a-way that they and their families can use and enjoy as well.

Thanks for checking in with us regarding the real estate market in Big Bear. And until next time – Have a very merry Holiday Season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Do let us know if you or anyone you know has questions about buying or selling real estate in Big Bear. Cheers!

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

By Mike Sannes, February 5, 2014

January 2014 Market Update: Looking at 2013 Year-In-Review.

Hello and thanks for checking in with us regarding the state-of-affairs in the Big Bear real estate market. We diligently track and analyze Big Bear’s unique real estate market and our aim is to make this your one-stop-shop for all the latest Big Bear real estate information. Should the urge to buy or need to sell arise, we most certainly look forward, and are very able, to help you obtain a great result.

2013 was a solid year for the Big Bear real estate market. In the paragraphs to follow, I will update you on how the market fared with respect to price and number of sales, as well as cover some important market statistics that are worth keeping an eye on. ...continue reading

December 2013 Market Update: As 2013 winds down, we hope you are set to enjoy a wonderful holiday season. Let’s get caught up on what has been happening in the Big Bear Real Estate market, shall we? We will be doing a comprehensive market ‘year-in-review’ in January for you as well… so stay tuned for that.

Prices in the Big Bear real estate market continue to rise: November 2013 saw a 14% increase in average residential sales price from November of 2012 and a 7.3% increase from October. This brought the year-to-date increase in average sales price in Big Bear to 5.8%, from where it stood through the end of October at 4.9%. ...continue reading

November 2013 Market Update: Thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market. With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving fast approaching, let’s take a look at what occurred in October and what that says about how 2013 might end up.

October Traded Sideways

If, like me, you were looking for October to shed some light on the overall direction of the market for the fourth quarter, you will need to stay tuned, as October did not provide too much insight. ...continue reading