Time Flies in Big Bear Real Estate
As we are already approaching the end of the first quarter (it's truly amazing how time flies), let’s check in on the Big Bear real estate market. Lately when folks ask me, "Mike, how is the market up in Big Bear?", I answer "it is unbelievable." Which, although it is true, often leaves them guessing, so I will elaborate.
For sellers, it is a tough market and only those seriously motivated to price well achieve a sale as a result. The competition from banks is increasing -- more to follow on that below -- and an extended time on the market, although commonplace, is extremely detrimental to the seller.
All this adds up to an amazingly favorable position for buyers and, as the numbers illustrate, many buyers are beginning to take advantage of the opportunities in Big Bear real estate.
In looking at residential sales in the first two months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, it is interesting that, although the average sale price if off 23%, the dollar volume closed is up 28%. That is because of a large increase (66%!!) in number of transactions. Almost all of this increase in transactions has been below the $500K mark as financing a second home in San Bernardino County with a loan of more than $417K requires not only a large down payment, 30% usually, but the interest rates are still unfavorable especially as opposed to the fantastic rates, which are still hanging around 5%, currently available on conventional loans.
Big Bear's bank-owned listings (aka foreclosures) are still in high demand. Although only roughly 7% of the active residential inventory is REO, bank-owned properties in Big Bear represent 43% of what is currently in escrow and 50% of all closed sales in the first two months of 2009. I expect this trend to continue and, when all is said and done, I think 2009 will be looked back on as a great year for buyers. Many investors, like myself, who are growing weary and increasingly nauseous watching the stock market will be looking to invest in real estate in Big Bear not only based on the deeply discounted prices and low interest rates, but even more so for the enhanced quality of life owning real estate in Big Bear provides for their families.
As it really is amazing how time flies, now is a great time to buy a vacation home in Big Bear for you and your family to enjoy. We also have a great vacation rental management company, so if you are interested in income-generating properties, or you would like to know about upcoming bank-owned properties and foreclosures before they hit the market, just let me know.