Big Bear Real Estate: Is Winter a Good Time to Buy?

Hello from Big Bear! I hope you are enjoying the season and preparing to have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. We still have a bit of snow on the ground and a bit more on the way, -- it has started snowing again as I write this -- so it looks like it will indeed be a white Christmas here in Big Bear. Let’s check in on the Big Bear real estate market shall we?

As 2011 winds down, the inventory in Big Bear remains tight. There are currently 649 residential listings on our MLS, which has dropped considerably from the nearly 900 we saw this summer. Although there is not quite as much to choose from this time of year, there are certainly some amazing deals still available. In fact, as we head into winter, the sale-to-list-price ratio (hanging in currently at 95%) often softens up a bit and there is also less competition from other buyers in the market, making it a great time to look for a real bargain on Big Bear real estate.

We currently have 120 homes in escrow, leading to 5.4 months of inventory and a very strong absorbtion rate of 19%. Foreclosures currently make up 6% of our active inventory, 24% of what is now in escrow and 35% of what has sold year-to-date. Based on the latest numbers regarding homes entering the foreclosure process, it appears there will be a significant increase in bank-owned properties hitting the market in early 2012. Let me know if you would like info on these as they become available.

Demand for well priced homes here in Big Bear remains strong. November of 2011, compared to November of 2010, saw a whopping 23% increase in number of sales under $250,000. An amazing 73% of all residential sales so far this year in the Big Bear real estate market have been under that $250,000 mark. However, the same cannot be said when looking at higher price ranges. For example, over the last three months sales between $250k and $500k are off just over 30%. Year-to-date vs. 2010, residential sales in Big Bear are off a total of 3.5% and the average price has decreased just under 10%. But, just like the dramatic differences evident in different price ranges, these overall averages also vary greatly from area to area in Big Bear. For example, in Fox Farm, a very nice neighborhood in Big Bear, sales were off 25% from last year but the average price was up 6.2%. Real estate is a very local business, especially in a unique resort market like Big Bear, and relying on someone like myself, with an in-depth knowledge of the market, is essential to buying right in 2012. I look forward to hearing from you regarding how best to do just that. Until then, all the best and Happy Hunting!