Spring has officially sprung and tax time is thankfully behind us for another year. The weather here in Big Bear has been outstanding and, having tested it myself yesterday, I am happy to report that, although still chilly, the lake is indeed ready to enjoy. Thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market. Let’s get right to it and see how the first quarter of 2013 shaped up and what that indicates as we head into the summer selling season.
Current Market Dynamics
The trend that began in late summer and fall of last year — of lower than normal supply and increasing demand — persists. Although, as it is now the season to list, we are starting to see more homes come to market in recent weeks. There are currently 388 active residential listings (vs. 356 this time last month). With 146 properties currently in escrow, that equates to a four month supply (based on a typical 45-day closing period). Historically 6 months of supply is referred to as a "balanced" market. More than 6 months supply equates to a buyer’s market and less than six months equates to a seller’s market. What happens as supply decreases and demand increases? That puts upward pressure on prices and that is exactly what we have seen to start the year in the Big Bear real estate market.
Number of Big Bear Homes Sold on the Rise
The first quarter of 2013 saw a 16.1% increase in the total number of residential properties sold as compared to Q1 of 2012. What is interesting, and in contrast to the market trends prevalent this time last year, is that instead of sales under $250K making up the lion share of that overall increase, it has been the price range of $250K-$500K (with a whopping 80.6% increase) that contributed most to the substantial rise in sales so far this year. (Also of note: Sales in the price range of $500K - $750K increased 66.7%) That indicates that as the market continues to improve, the demand is spreading into higher price ranges and more expensive homes are selling.
In addition to growth in different price ranges, sales in different areas of Big Bear were interesting to note as well:
- Fox Farm posted a 50% increase in residential units sold as compared to Q1-2012;
- Big Bear Lake showed a 17.8% increase, also posting solid first quarter results.
- And let’s not forget about Fawnskin, with an incredible 400% increase to start the year! There were 10 homes sold this year vs. 2 last year. So, while still a small percentage of the overall market, Fawnskin nonetheless posted impressive growth.
For those who like to know, here are a couple of other interesting market stats to note:
- The overall sale-to-list price ratio in Big Bear’s real estate market has tightened up from 94% this time last year to 97% now. As a buyer, that is an important number to understand today’s market.
- The average days-on-market decreased from 137 days in the first quarter last year to 111 in the comparable period this year.
Prices are Also on the Rise
It has not been just an increase in transactions that we have seen so far this year, prices are on the rise as well: The average sales price in all of Big Bear Valley (which includes Big Bear Lake, Fox Farm, Moonridge, Big Bear City, Sugarloaf, Fawnskin, etc..) in the first quarter of 2013 vs 2012, increased 4.3%, With Moonridge being the big winner with a 31.2% increase from last year. And on a month vs. month basis, the average price in March of 2013 vs March of 2012 increased an amazing 24%. (Wow)
Looking at market statistics from the first quarter of 2013 it is becoming more and more apparent that there is a substantial shift underway in the Big Bear real estate market. Yesterday’s market is history and a move into tomorrow’s market is happening quickly. Today, while interest rates remain at all-time lows and with prices in Big Bear, although on the rise, still very affordable, now is indeed a great time to buy in Big Bear. We look forward to hearing from you with questions on any you see for sale here and hope to meet with you soon to take a first-hand look at the very best of what is available.