By Mike Sannes, November 21, 2014
Let’s get caught up on what has been happening in the Big Bear real estate market, shall we? Apologies up front, as it has been too long since our last report. Time flies when you’re having fun (and when you’re busy working as well, it seems) and the summer simply vanished this year.
The BIG news since last we wrote is the purchase of our two local ski resorts (Snow Summit and Bear Mountain) by Mammoth Mountain… big news indeed. So far, with respect to real estate sales, we have seen an increase in curiosity, especially in the luxury market, but no big bump in sales or prices as of yet. But I do think that will occur when the planned investment in development begins. The big initial impact will be in the number of folks coming to Big Bear to ski this winter. The season pass for Mammoth Mountain last year was $689.00 and that is the same price this year, BUT that same price now includes the two Big Bear resorts as well. I think this will bring more folks up to Big Bear that may not have come otherwise, to enjoy the proximity of our local mountains.
The latter part of the 3rd quarter and early into the 4th quarter is typically the busiest months for closings and this year is no exception. October 2014 saw 123 residential sales close escrow as compared to 125 closings in October of last year and 113 in September, the month prior. This has been the first month since January of this year that we have seen roughly the same number of sales as compared to the same month in 2013. Signs that demand is on the rise are encouraging as the story of the market so far this year has been, in a nutshell, one of fewer sales. Sales overall year-to-date-through October vs. the same period in 2013 are off a substantial 17.6%.
Prices on the other hand have still been appreciating and have held on to most, but not all, of the gains we have seen this year. At the end of July the average price had increased an impressive 13.1% year-to-date. However when looking at 2014 year-to-date through October, the average price increase now stands at 9.5%. So prices did soften in August and September, but that is still a nice return. And the fact that we are still seeing solid appreciation in the face of significantly less transactions, is also encouraging, and indicates that the market has indeed found solid footing on which to move forward.
On the supply side we currently have 557 residential listings on our Big Bear MLS. Based on what is currently in escrow, this equates to a 6-month supply which is referred to as a ‘balanced’ market as opposed to a buyer’s or seller’s market. Inventory typically decreases in the winter months and I expect that trend to continue. There are, however, still quite a few very nice values on the market and if you are interesting in buying or selling real estate in Big Bear, we would very much look forward helping you achieve a great result.