Big Bear Real Estate Blog: 2014 Recap and Good News for 2015

By Mike Sannes, January 26, 2015

Thanks for checking in with us regarding the Big Bear real estate market. We hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding the market, if you would like a more specific valuation pertaining to your particular property, or if you have questions on any properties that you see for sale here in Big Bear, do let us know. We are happy to help and always look forward to hearing from you.

2014 was an interesting year for Big Bear real estate…

  • We saw fewer sales: there were 1,060 residential closings in 2014 vs. 1,228 in 2013, which equates to a 13.7% decrease in transactions.
  • However, the homes that did sell, sold for more money as the average price paid in 2014 increased by 9.8% vs. 2013.

What does this indicate with regard to what we can expect in 2015?

From a ‘number-of-sales’ perspective, I expect this year will surpass 2014. On a month-to-month basis last year there were many months that we would normally expect to be ‘Big Sale’ months, i.e. May, June and August, where the closings were significantly off from the year prior. But toward the end of the year, i.e. October, November and December, every month saw as many sales and in some case, more sales than the year prior (December saw 101 closed sales in 2014 vs. 91 in 2013). I expect the momentum evidenced at the end of 2014 to continue into 2015.

Monthly Residential Sales

In order for that to happen, we will also need to see (and I am confident we will) an increase in the number of homes for sale in the coming months. Our inventory is currently on the low side, with 432 residential listings. Inventory will no doubt increase in the coming months as many sellers opt to sit-out the winter months. This is not, in my opinion, a great strategy, as right now is when the competition is the least. It is much easier to standout with less competition and there is certainly strong demand in the current market. I also expect that we will continue to see appreciation in the market next year, especially if interest rates remain at rock bottom levels.

Growth in 2014 was in the luxury market…

Residential Sales by Price Range

The sales growth that we did see in the market last year was in luxury sales. The $750,000 – $1,000,000 price range saw an increase in sales of 31.8%, and sales in the $1 million+ market was up 21.1% vs. 2013.

Some Noteable 2014 Market Metrics…

    • Short sales and foreclosures combined currently make up only 2% of our active inventory.
    • Cash deals accounted for roughly 30% of the transactions last year (off from the 35% we saw during the investor-driven markets of 2010-2012).
    • The average days-on-market is holding at just under 100 days. Of note: our listings have averaged a very competitive 65 days.
    • The average sale-to-list-price ratio remains at 96%, as well-priced properties continue to sell relatively close to their list price.

Good News for 2015…

If the number of visitors over the recent Holidays is any indication, Big Bear’s economy is on the upswing. Mammoth Mountain’s purchase of our two local ski resorts, coupled with the low price of gas has brought an incredible number of people up to enjoy the mountains this year. Our vacation rental companies are thrilled and as is customary, many of these folks may in turn view owning a place of their own in Big Bear that they can use and enjoy as an attractive investment.

But, the biggest and most exciting news in the Big Bear real estate market would in my mind be current interest rates, which have literally never been lower. It is an incredibly great time to lock in an incredibly great rate on a great property in Big Bear. Again, do let us know if we can help. Until next time: all the best and happy hunting!