Big Bear Real Estate: Prices and Sales Update, November 2011

The seasons have most certainly changed here in Big Bear. Snow is on the ground from our first storm of the season and the big news in town is that both local ski resorts are now open for fun. Let’s check in on the Big Bear real estate market shall we?

We are seeing an increase in demand here in Big Bear as October residential sales were up overall 13% compared to October of 2010. Much of that increase in sales came in the under $250,000 mark: there were 68 this October versus 55 in October of 2010. The $250,000 to $500,000 market fared better too, showing a 20% increase. But homes in the price range of $500,000 to $750,000 had 0 closings versus 7 last year. Year to date in 2011 closed residential sales here in Big Bear are off a total of 3.4% with Big Bear Lake proper (off 20%) and Fox Farm (off 19%) showing the biggest declines in sales and Big Bear City (up 14.5%) and Moonridge (up 6.5%) showing nice increases in activity.

The average price in Big Bear this October 2011 ($208,406) declined 13% compared to last October ($240,034). Year-to-date the average price in Big Bear Valley is off 9.6%, with the biggest declines coming from the East Valley and Sugarloaf areas and the smallest declines and increases occurring in Big Bear Lake and Fox Farm. There is an interesting correlation between transactions and prices: often transactions are a leading indicator of shifting prices. Meaning, when sales increase and more demand is evident, prices tend to remain stable or even increase and when the number of sales decline over a period of time, prices also, with a bit of a lag, often tend to follow suit until they reach the point where the market responds with increased sales. Contact me for more information on what these numbers indicate with respect to the outlook on prices here in Big Bear.

Fall is the busiest time of the year for closings in the Big Bear real estate market and so far this year is no different. We currently have 154 homes in escrow and only 703 active listings. This leads to a whopping 22% absorption rate implying that we have only 4.5 months of inventory. This is a dramatic change from the end of July when there were 834 active listing and 116 homes in escrow, or over 7 months of inventory. Another interesting indicator is the sale to list price ratio. In sales under $250,000 (which account for 73% of all sales year-to-date) the sale to list price ratio declined to 93% from where it has been holding strong between 95% and 96%. This may be a bit of a statistical anomaly, but there is evidence that that market has indeed softened up a bit. As we head down the final stretch of 2011, all the motivated sellers that haven’t sold yet, have become a bit more willing to negotiate. That, in addition to the rock bottom interest rates currently available, makes it a great time to look into buying the right piece of real estate in Big Bear. I am looking forward to helping you do just that and look forward to hearing from you. Until next time all the best and happy hunting.