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 trend 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.
To what could we attribute this dramatic increase in activity? I would suggest that the sudden spike in interest rates right after the presidential election may have swayed many, who were considering a purchase, to jump right off the fence and into escrow. Interest rates have since settled back down a bit. Last week the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan was 4.16%, which is still up from 3.54% a week before the election, but down from the 4.32% we saw at the end of 2016. Will this increase in demand continue into February and March? Stay tuned; we will keep you posted.
Although the number of sales saw a dramatic increase, the average price of all homes sold in Big Bear in January 2017 vs. January 2016 dropped by 2% ($308,832 in 2017 vs $315,031 in 2016). Keep in mind, however, that not too much can be seen by looking at only the first month of any given year, when trying to anticipate the direction prices will take in the year as a whole.
There are currently only 341 active residential listings on our Big Bear MLS. Based on how many homes are currently in escrow, and using the typical 45-day closing period, that equates to just over a 3-month supply. This indicates a strong seller’s market. If you are considering selling your Big Bear home this year, then bringing it to market sooner, when there is not very much competition (yet still good demand), rather than later, makes a lot of sense. Contact me if you would like a free, no obligation, valuation on your Big Bear property. Given the changes in the market over the last few years (see below) I think that getting an accurate estimate on what your Big Bear home is currently worth would be a good idea.
2016 Finished Off as a Solid Year for the Big Bear Real Estate Market
In contrast to the steep rise in sales in January 2017 mentioned above, the total number of residential sales for the entire year of 2016 (vs. 2015,) decreased by 1.7% (1,181 in 2016 vs 1,202 in 2015). Although in the price range between $250,000 - $500,000 we saw a 17.2% increase in sales and in the price range between $500,000 – $750,000 there was a 14.3% increase.
The average price on all homes sold in Big Bear in 2016 vs. 2015 increased by 5.7% ($302,345 in 2016 vs. $286,138 for 2015). Moonridge saw an impressive 15.1% increase and Sugarloaf recorded a solid 11.5% gain.
Since hitting the the bottom of the market (end of 2011) This is the fifth consecutive year we have seen appreciation in the real estate market here in Big Bear, (+6.4% in 2012, +5.5% in 2013, +9.8% in 2014, +3.7% in 2015, +5.7% in 2016 = 31.3%) In some areas, the appreciation over these time frames has been significantly higher.
Again, let us know if you have any questions on the market, on your property's specific market value, or on any homes that you see for sale here in Big Bear. We are happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.
In closing, as I am sure you are aware, this winter has brought a good amount of snow and rain to Southern California and Big Bear as well, and we hope to see that continue as it would be absolutely fantastic to see the ‘jewel of our valley’ (Big Bear Lake) full again by summer. There has been significant progress made as the lake was 16’11” from full on 12/12/16 and is now 13” from full (with close to 3 feet of snow still on the ground on the north facing slopes). Cross your fingers for more snow soon.
As difficult as it is to accurately predict the weather here are a few facts to keep in mind about the Big Bear real estate market: If you are interested in buying in Big Bear, but haven’t found ‘the one’ just yet, be patient and don’t fret as there will be lots and lots of new homes coming to market over the next 90 days. I expect the current inventory to double by late July, so if the right one isn’t there now, it will be very soon. If you would like, we can set you up to receive email alerts direct from our Big Bear MLS, based on your very specific criteria, immediately when those properties hit the market. Just let us know as this is a great way to keep an eye on what is for sale here in Big Bear and to stay a step ahead of other buyers in the market. And if this is the year to sell your Big Bear property, we specialize in helping sellers obtain great results and I would look forward to speaking with you about our marketing plans and what a top-dollar sale would mean for you. THANKS!