Big Bear Real Estate Blog: 2019 Year-In-Review

Full-Year 2019 Market Update by Mike SannesBig Bear Real Estate - The Mike Sannes Team, February 7, 2020

Hello from Big Bear! Thanks for checking in with us regarding Big Bear’s unique real estate market. As the new year is already well underway, let’s get caught up on what has been happening in the Big Bear real estate market.

The Mike Sannes Real Estate TeamBut before we dive right in, I would like to give a huge THANKS to all our amazing clients. 2019 was another fantastic year for The Mike Sannes Real Estate Team with 96 closed sales and over 32 million in total production. None of it would be possible without the trust and confidence of our incredible clientele and for that we -- myself, Maureen Auer, Rose Holmstrom and Cynthia Mossman -- are truly grateful.

ALSO: We moved offices! We are now at RE/MAX in The Village at 626 Pine Knot Ave. We are very excited to be a part of the RE/MAX Big Bear family and are looking forward working in the heart of the busy Big Bear Village. We hope you’ll stop in and say hello next time you are out and about in Big Bear.  Now, let’s get back to our real estate update.

2019 was solid year for the Big Bear real estate market. We saw a total of 1,259 residential closings, which equates to a significant 9.7% increase from the 1,148 in 2018. As the chart to the right shows, the area of Fox Farm realized a notable 24.2% rise in sales (82 in 2019 vs. 66 in 2018) and Fawnskin was simply on fire, with a 55.2% surge. (Although the 45 closed in 2019 in Fawnskin vs. 29 in 2018 is still a relatively small part of the overall market, it is impressive nonetheless.) Sales in Sugarloaf, which had been on fire in recent years, cooled a bit posting only a 2.7% increase (which is -7% relative to the market).

2019 Quarterly change in sales price and number of transactions2019 ended with a bang, as the month of December saw an astounding 55% jump in closed sales! (119 in 2019 vs. 77 in 2018 and vs 105 in Nov. 2019) The chart to the left shows the Quarter-by-Quarter change in both average sales price and number of sales for 2019.

As you can see, prices in Big Bear showed improvement as well. The average price of all the homes sold in the Big Bear Valley in 2019 increased by 4.4%. ($352,654 in 2019 vs. $337,718 in 2018). While not jaw-dropping appreciation, it is certainly solid, stable and sustainable growth. Slow and steady has really been the story in Big Bear throughout the recovery, as qualifying for a loan to purchase a vacation home, for very good reasons, certainly isn’t as easy as it was in 2006.

At the peak, in early 2007, the average price in Big Bear was $400,100. By the end of 2011 it was $224,266, which equates to roughly a 79% decline. From the bottom, towards the end of 2011, to where we are now ($352,654) we have seen an encouraging 57% increase. However, unlike many areas in Southern California, Big Bear still has another 21% to go to reach the peak seen in 2007 which offers significant upside potential. In addition, as the economy continues to boom, interest rates remain historically low (30 yr. fixed-rates at 3.75%). These factors combined with increasingly strong demand to own an alpine real estate investment that's close enough to home to use and enjoy often (and also rent, in order to offset expenses should you choose)  leads me to believe that it is  only a matter of time before the Big Bear market will approach those peaks once again. And this time, it won’t be primarily due to irresponsible lending practices.

Let’s finish up by taking a quick look at the supply side. As February gets underway, we have a total of 340 active residential listings in our Big Bear MLS (vs. 363 this time last year). Based on a typical 45-day escrow period and the number of properties currently in escrow (131) that equates to a 3.9 months’ supply. (Meaning it would take 3.9 months to sell all the current inventory, if no new listings came to market.) Six months of supply is considered a balanced market. Whereas seven to eight months leans towards a strong "Buyers’ Market" and 4 months or less describes a strong "Sellers’ Market." So, we are starting 2020 with an inventory driven "Seller’s Market." This is important to understand as, although there are not quite as many buyers looking at cabins on weekends in February as there will be in July, the current lack of quality competition makes now a good time to act if you have been considering selling your Big Bear property this year. Contact me if you would like an accurate, current market value on your Big Bear property (as in Big Bear’s unique resort market, most of the zestimates I see are notoriously incorrect).  And do also let us know if you have any questions on any properties you see for sale here Big Bear as well. We are happy to help and always look forward to hearing from you. Until next time, all the best and happy hunting.