Q1-2020 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, April 16, 2020

Hello from Big Bear! And thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market. I hope you are all staying safe and sane through these trying times. As you can imagine, the pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders have had a tremendous impact on buyer activity and as such, the market overall here in Big Bear has slowed to a crawl. April is indeed the cruelest month, as T.S. Eliot stated in his famous poem. But before we look at the effect COVID-19 is having on our real estate market, let’s catch up on what transpired in the first quarter of 2020.

Q1 2020 Sales by AreaAs our Q1 results indicate, the real estate market in Big Bear was primed for an incredible year prior to the pandemic. Although March was when things began to drastically change from a public health standpoint, the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic didn’t fundamentally impact the real estate market until April. Meaning, most of the deals that were already in escrow, did close as expected in March (e.g. myself and my team closed 12 sales in March and had only 2 cancel for job-loss reasons). As such, when looking at Q1 2020 vs. 2019 you will notice a surprising and substantial 9.2% overall increase in total number of sales (261 in 2020 vs. 239 in 2019). Sugarloaf showed an inspiring 39% bump and, as mentioned, sales in the month of March increased by a solid 20% (98 in 2020 vs. 82 in 2019).

Q1 2020 Average Sales PriceWith all this activity and demand in the market, prices were on the rise as well. The average price of all the homes sold in Q1 2020 vs. 2019 improved by 6.2% ($388,371 in 2020 vs. 365,673 in 2019.) The Moonridge and Fox Farm areas showed the largest increase in average price due to a few higher-end homes closing in these areas.

And then came Corona: In the middle of February, based on a typical 45-day closing period, we had roughly 4 months of inventory on the market and an absorption rate of approximately 40% (340 Active listings vs. 131 in-escrow). As it stands right now, in the middle of April, we have roughly 8 months of inventory and an absorption rate of 20% (390 Active listings vs. 74 in-escrow). This dramatic change does have a bit to do with the 14.5% increase in supply (which is typical in the Spring in Big Bear), but even more to do with the decrease (-77%) in the number of homes currently in escrow. There were 45 closings between 4/1/2019 and 4/15/2019, whereas over the same period in 2020 we have seen 23. So, it is certainly safe to say that it is a new world and a new market we are living in now.

What does all this mean going forward? In my opinion, this too shall pass; the stay-at-home orders will eventually get lifted; and we will all gradually get back to work and get back to being good consumers again (best guess: early-to-mid June?). With interest rates remaining historically low and the stock market gradually working its way back, I do expect to see a resurgence of demand and plenty of great opportunities to choose from. I also expect to see a substantial increase in supply. It might be optimistic to think we will pick up right where we left off. And we may see, initially at least, a gap between what buyers are willing to pay and what sellers are willing to accept as the market struggles to find its footing after this unprecedented stall, but find its footing it eventually will. So buckle your seat belts, as it may be a bit of a bumpy ride on the way back to the stable and efficient market we had pre-Corona. We certainly do live in interesting times and we will keep you posted as we progress.

For those of you that have an interest and perhaps some extra time on your hands, our website does allow you to search by price-reductions and also by days-listed in addition to all the normal criteria. Do let us know if you have questions on any properties you see for sale here in Big Bear. And although we are set-up for, and encourage, virtual showings, residential real estate has been classified as an essential activity so if the mandated guidelines are followed, in-person showings can also be arranged. Until next time – Stay Safe! And Happy Hunting.

Full-Year 2019 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, February 7, 2020

Hello from Big Bear! Thanks for checking in with us regarding Big Bear’s unique real estate market. As the new year is already well underway, let’s get caught up on what has been happening in the Big Bear real estate market.

The Mike Sannes Real Estate TeamBut before we dive right in, I would like to give a huge THANKS to all our amazing clients. 2019 was another fantastic year for The Mike Sannes Real Estate Team with 96 closed sales and over 32 million in total production. None of it would be possible without the trust and confidence of our incredible clientele and for that we -- myself, Maureen Auer, Rose Holmstrom and Cynthia Mossman -- are truly grateful.

ALSO: We moved offices! We are now at RE/MAX in The Village at 626 Pine Knot Ave. We are very excited to be a part of the RE/MAX Big Bear family and are looking forward working in the heart of the busy Big Bear Village. We hope you’ll stop in and say hello next time you are out and about in Big Bear.  Now, let’s get back to our real estate update.

2019 was solid year for the Big Bear real estate market. We saw a total of 1,259 residential closings, which equates to a significant 9.7% increase from the 1,148 in 2018. As the chart to the right shows, the area of Fox Farm realized a notable 24.2% rise in sales (82 in 2019 vs. 66 in 2018) and Fawnskin was simply on fire, with a 55.2% surge. (Although the 45 closed in 2019 in Fawnskin vs. 29 in 2018 is still a relatively small part of the overall market, it is impressive nonetheless.) Sales in Sugarloaf, which had been on fire in recent years, cooled a bit posting only a 2.7% increase (which is -7% relative to the market).

2019 Quarterly change in sales price and number of transactions2019 ended with a bang, as the month of December saw an astounding 55% jump in closed sales! (119 in 2019 vs. 77 in 2018 and vs 105 in Nov. 2019) The chart to the left shows the Quarter-by-Quarter change in both average sales price and number of sales for 2019.

As you can see, prices in Big Bear showed improvement as well. The average price of all the homes sold in the Big Bear Valley in 2019 increased by 4.4%. ($352,654 in 2019 vs. $337,718 in 2018). While not jaw-dropping appreciation, it is certainly solid, stable and sustainable growth. Slow and steady has really been the story in Big Bear throughout the recovery, as qualifying for a loan to purchase a vacation home, for very good reasons, certainly isn’t as easy as it was in 2006.

At the peak, in early 2007, the average price in Big Bear was $400,100. By the end of 2011 it was $224,266, which equates to roughly a 79% decline. From the bottom, towards the end of 2011, to where we are now ($352,654) we have seen an encouraging 57% increase. However, unlike many areas in Southern California, Big Bear still has another 21% to go to reach the peak seen in 2007 which offers significant upside potential. In addition, as the economy continues to boom, interest rates remain historically low (30 yr. fixed-rates at 3.75%). These factors combined with increasingly strong demand to own an alpine real estate investment that's close enough to home to use and enjoy often (and also rent, in order to offset expenses should you choose)  leads me to believe that it is  only a matter of time before the Big Bear market will approach those peaks once again. And this time, it won’t be primarily due to irresponsible lending practices.

Let’s finish up by taking a quick look at the supply side. As February gets underway, we have a total of 340 active residential listings in our Big Bear MLS (vs. 363 this time last year). Based on a typical 45-day escrow period and the number of properties currently in escrow (131) that equates to a 3.9 months’ supply. (Meaning it would take 3.9 months to sell all the current inventory, if no new listings came to market.) Six months of supply is considered a balanced market. Whereas seven to eight months leans towards a strong "Buyers’ Market" and 4 months or less describes a strong "Sellers’ Market." So, we are starting 2020 with an inventory driven "Seller’s Market." This is important to understand as, although there are not quite as many buyers looking at cabins on weekends in February as there will be in July, the current lack of quality competition makes now a good time to act if you have been considering selling your Big Bear property this year. Contact me if you would like an accurate, current market value on your Big Bear property (as in Big Bear’s unique resort market, most of the zestimates I see are notoriously incorrect).  And do also let us know if you have any questions on any properties you see for sale here Big Bear as well. We are happy to help and always look forward to hearing from you. Until next time, all the best and happy hunting.

Q3 2019 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, October 10, 2019

Hello From Big Bear!  Thanks for checking in with us. Let’s get caught up on the happenings in the Big Bear real estate market…

The third quarter, which is typically a very busy three months for sales and closings, did not disappoint in 2019. The average price of all homes sold in the third quarter of 2019 vs. the same period in 2018 increased by a solid 9% ($317,485 in 2018 vs. $345,632 in 2019)

In addition to prices being on the rise in Q3, the total number of sales was also up by an impressive 7% (322 in 2018 vs. 343 in 2019) which bodes well for a strong finish to a busy year for Big Bear real estate.

Interestingly enough, when looking at the market year-to-date (January through September 2019 vs. 2018), the average price of all homes sold in the Big Bear Valley and also the total number of homes sold, increased by 4.6% and 5.2% respectively. A solid, steady and hopefully sustainable pace for the market overall.Q3 2019 Sales By Area

Big Bear Lake proper contributed to the lion’s share of these price gains, increasing by a substantial 15.8%. Whereas it was the Fox Farm, Big Bear City and Fawnskin areas that helped bolster the total number of sales, as those areas saw a 16.7%, 14.9% and 38.1% increase in closings, respectively.

Q3 2019 Sales by Price RangeThe biggest surprise, when looking at the distribution of sales by price range, has been between $750,000 and $999,000. In the first 9 months of 2019, closings in this price range were up an amazing 86.7%! (15 in 2018 vs. 28 in 2019) Wow, quite a few happy sellers in that group!  And it is encouraging to see, as this is a price range that has been very slow to sell in recent years.

What does all this say about how the year will finish? We will keep an eye on the market and keep you posted. In the meantime, do let us know if you have questions on your property’s current value in our appreciating market, or on any that you see for sale here in Big Bear. We are happy to help and always look forward to hearing from you. Until next time, all the best and happy hunting.

May 2019 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, July 5, 2019

Hello From Big Bear!

I hope the summer has been treating you well. The weather could not be better here in Big Bear (finally!) Here's a quick summary of what’s been happening in Big Bear real estate so far this year, as of the end of May.

Sales by Area, May 2019There has been an impressive 6.1% increase in transactions (Jan - May 2019 vs same period of 2018). Low interest rates are strengthening demand and should continue to do so for at least the remainder of this year. (April, typically a slow month for sales here in Big Bear, saw a whopping 46% increase in transactions:  74 in 2018 vs 108 in 2019.) ...continue reading

January 2019 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, February 6, 2019

Hello from snowy Big Bear! Thanks for checking in with us regarding Big Bear real estate.  Let’s dive right in and get caught up on what has been happening in Big Bear real estate market.

Looking at January of 2019

Average Sales Price, January 20192019 started on a positive note: The month of January saw an overall increase of 1.2% in average price ($320,888 in 2019 vs. $317,206 in 2018) However, as the chart to the right illustrates, results by area varied: Big Bear City saw an 11.8% increase in residential sales price; whereas, the average price in Moonridge declined 16.8%. We will keep an eye on this going forward, but, with fewer homes selling in the winter, one month certainly does not make a trend. ...continue reading

November 2018 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, November 9, 2018

Hello from Big Bear and thanks for checking in with us regarding Big Bear real estate. There is quite a bit to catch up on since our early summer update, so let’s dive right in.

What a roller coaster ride 2018 has been for the Big Bear real estate market. If you recall, we ended the 1st quarter (Q1 market update) with a solid 10.8% year-over-year average sales price gain. The perfect storm of historically low supply, combined with higher than normal demand for that time of year due to our complete lack of a snow-filled winter, fueled the 1st quarter increase. In fact, by the end of May the increase in the average sales price here in Big Bear peaked at 15% (3% a month for 5 months straight!). ...continue reading

June 2018 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, June 15, 2018

Hello from Big Bear and thanks for checking in with us regarding Big Bear real estate. As we are already over five months into 2018, let’s dive right in and catch up on the happenings in the Big Bear real estate market.

The listing season is well underway and the number of homes for sale here in Big Bear has significantly increased since our last update. You’ll recall from our first-quarter update that the inventory, which typically declines in the winter months, dropped much more than usual this winter. In February of this year there were only 262 active residential listings; this is the lowest we have have seen since I began selling real estate here in Big Bear in 2004. However, by mid-April there were 364 active listings and currently there are 469 active residential listings on the Big Bear MLS. As expected, we have seen a substantial increase in supply as we head into summer. ...continue reading

Q1 2018 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, April 19, 2018

Hello and thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market.  The first quarter of 2018 is in the books, so let’s take a look at what transpired and what to expect going forward.

Q1 was a Supply-Side Story

Big Bear’s unique resort home market, like all markets, is driven by supply and demand. The story in Q1 of 2018 was on the supply side. The lack of quality inventory in our market overall had two main effects.

Lack of Quality Inventory Meant Fewer Homes Sold

Q1 2018 Home SalesFirst, fewer homes sold in the first quarter of this year (Jan-March), then sold in the same period of 2017. In fact, closed residential sales for the first quarter of 2018 were off a substantial 10.8% vs. 2017 (240 in 2018 vs 269 in 2017). The primary reason for the decline in the number of homes sold was a lack of well-priced homes for sale. ...continue reading

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. ...continue reading

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, ...continue reading