By Mike Sannes, March 19, 2014
February 2014 Market Update: Hello and thanks for checking in with us on the Big Bear real estate market. Winter in Big Bear this year was underwhelming, to say the least. And although the ski resorts and vacation rentals were disappointed with the lack of snow, the good weather actually helped keep the Big Bear real estate market moving right along through the cold months and should continue to help as we head into the Spring.
Normally, spring in Big Bear brings lots of listings to the market and I expect this to hold true for this season as well. In fact, we have already begun to see a substantial rise in the number homes for sale in Big Bear. At the beginning of February we had 348 active residential listings on our Big Bear MLS; now we have 428. That’s a 20% increase in inventory over the last month and a half. Through most of last year, we held steady at about a 4-month supply (based on a typical 45-day closing period). The recent increase in inventory means that we currently have a 5.3-month supply on hand.
Spring is an excellent time to market your home in Big Bear. In addition to the season, the increase in prices for Big Bear properties should continue to bring more sellers to the market. The big question going forward will be: can the demand in the Big Bear real estate market keep pace with this increase in supply? Stay tuned…but so far, aside from the typical short-term pause tax-time seems to always bring, market dynamics look promising.
2014 is off to a strong start from a price appreciation perspective. The first 2 months of residential sales this year, as compared to last, saw a dramatic 9.2% increase in average price. The number of transactions, however, in that same time period, decreased 7%. Interesting to note is that the growth in the market has shifted from primarily being in the “under $250k” price range to the $250k - $500k price range. The current real estate market in Big Bear is ideal for the trade-up buyer. Recently, we have successfully helped a few long-time Big Bear homeowners sell and subsequently buy larger homes to accommodate their growing families. We have also have helped a few to sell and then buy a new home in a more premium location.
What all this tells me is that, as we head towards spring and into summer, we will be shifting:
- From a low-inventory, “sellers market” towards what would be considered a more “normal” market in which approximately 6 months of inventory is the standard; and
- From a predominantly investor-dominated market toward a more “retail market," where buyers are looking to enhance their families' quality of life by buying something they can all use and enjoy.
Do let us know if you have questions on the market or ANY property you see for sale here in Big Bear. We have access to ALL that is for sale here and look forward to helping you find a buy a great property...Until next time, all the best and Happy Hunting.