Big Bear Real Estate: 2011 Year in Review

Last year was another white knuckle ride for those looking to buy or sell real estate in Big Bear. 2011 was indeed an interesting year for Big Bear real estate. I heard our market described as a manic depressive’s paradise and, although that might be a slight exaggeration, it was indeed hard to pin down the momentum and direction of the market as it seemed to oscillate from, "yes, the sky is actually falling" to "let’s buy some land and start building spec homes again." I did observe much more activity from speculative ‘flip’ type investors this year. Many of whom actually squeaked out respectable gains. It was encouraging to see homes in Big Bear, albeit with work involved on these properties, actually sell for more than was paid on a somewhat regular basis.



At the beginning of this year we had 565 active residential listings on the market here in Big Bear and 118 in escrow (not counting the short sales awaiting lender approval,) which leads to a very strong 21% absorption rate and a relatively tight supply of 4.8 months of inventory. Of our active inventory, bank-owned foreclosures make up only 7%, short sales account for 10%, and 80% of the active listings are regular seller-owned resales. When looking at what is selling, a.k.a what is currently in escrow, foreclosures make up 31%, short sales 17% and resales account for 51%.

The average price for residential real estate in all of Big Bear Valley dropped 11% in 2011 when compared to 2010. And the total number of transactions was off 4.1%. The most significant price drops were seen in Big Bear City and East Valley locations where the largest increases in transactions also occurred. The chart below illustrates historical average price per sq/ft across the Big Bear Valley:


Once again in 2011, most of the money changed hands in the lower ‘entry level’ price range. A whopping 74% (an 11% increase from 2010) of all sales in the Big Bear Valley occurred under $250k last year. The price range between $250k and $500k accounted for and additional 20%. That doesn’t leave much activity for the price ranges above $500k. Still a very interesting, somewhat slippery market in the upper reaches in Big Bear. Below is an interesting chart of average sales price in the different areas of Big Bear in 2011:


For a more legible copy of these charts or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me – I always look forward to hearing from you and am serious about helping you buy or sell real estate in Big Bear.