Big Bear Real Estate Blog – 2010 Year in Review

As I am sure you have noticed 2010 has officially ended. Let’s take a look at the year in review in the Big Bear real estate market shall we? And see what the trends tell us about what to expect in 2011.

Before we look at what occurred in 2010 let’s take a quick look at the vital signs of the market right now. There are 665 active residential listings here in Big Bear. There are currently 94 properties in escrow leading to a seven month supply of homes currently on the market. Inventory is down dramatically from the peak of 1,100+ homes on the market in the summer of last year. Bank-owned properties currently make up only 6% of our active listings but they made up 35% of closed sales in 2010.

The over/under on whether there would be more residential homes sold in Big Bear Valley this year than last came right down to the wire and being optimistic was the right call as there were a total of 898 closed in 2010 vs. 892 in 2009. That is progress, although not what you would call a dramatic increase.

Of all residential sales that closed in 2010, 64% were sold under that $250,000 mark we have been watching. The Big Bear real estate market is really a tale of a few very different markets depending on which price range you look at. The trend of increased sales in under $250k this year compared to last held up in all of the fourth quarter months and there was a whopping 46% increase in closed transactions in the month December! In fact, there were only three months all year; July, August and September that saw fewer sales in this price range when compared to 2009. This was not the case in other price ranges. Although at times we started to see demand spread more consistently into higher prices ranges, it did not hold. Between $250k and $500k there were actually seven months that saw fewer sales compared to last year and there was a 10% overall decrease in sales in this price range. The market remains even softer in the upper end above $500k but the demand for well priced homes under $250,000 has held up well and the market in this price range continues to stabilize and even strengthen in some areas of Big Bear. I expect that trend to continue at least into the first half of 2011.

Overall, the average sale price for all residential properties sold in 2010 was $252,000 which decreased 9% from the $277,000 the Big Bear real estate market saw in 2009. The average days on market in 2010 were 119 which decreased 10% from 133 in 2009. And that stubborn list to sale price ratio held firm at 95% for both years. In looking at what sold in 2010 aside from price range, 50% of all residential sales were regular owner resales, 35% were foreclosures, 13% were short sales and less than 2% were new construction.

So overall in 2010 more homes sold in less time and for a bit less money than in 2009. What can we expect from in the Big Bear real estate market going forward? I expect to see similar market in the coming year. The caveat being that if banks decide to focus primarily on cleaning up their balance sheets and quickly unloading their inventory, the question becomes: Will there be enough demand to keep prices from sliding much further? That is the big unknown, but as an interested buyer in today’s market, the perfect storm of low prices, low interest rates and lots to choose from remains in effect. It is indeed a great time to buy the right piece of real estate.

I hope the New Year has started off well for you and that you will keep me in mind when looking to buy or sell real estate in Big Bear…Until next time, all the best and happy hunting.