Hello from snowy Big Bear! Thanks for checking in with us regarding Big Bear real estate. Let’s dive right in and get caught up on what has been happening in Big Bear real estate market.
Looking at January of 2019
2019 started on a positive note: The month of January saw an overall increase of 1.2% in average price ($320,888 in 2019 vs. $317,206 in 2018) However, as the chart to the right illustrates, results by area varied: Big Bear City saw an 11.8% increase in residential sales price; whereas, the average price in Moonridge declined 16.8%. We will keep an eye on this going forward, but, with fewer homes selling in the winter, one month certainly does not make a trend.
Residential sales for January remained relatively flat overall (77 in 2019 vs. 78 in 2018) with Big Bear Lake ‘proper’ showing the biggest decline in number of sales, and the Fox Farm area showing an impressive gain (percentage wise anyway). Also interesting to note is the change in number of sales in the $250,000-$499,000 price range vs. what in years past was the more liquid ‘meat and potatoes’ price range of $0-$250,000. As prices over the last few years have been on the rise and demand moves to meet the market, the role these price ranges play in our market has reversed.
As I type this there are currently 371 active residential listings on our Big Bear MLS. And with 124 properties currently “in-escrow,” that equates, based on a typical 45-day escrow period, to 4.5 months of supply and a 33.4% absorption rate. For some perspective, last February there were only 262 active residential listings (which was an all-time low) which led to a brisk 49.5% absorption rate. Times, they are a changin’ indeed, as the re-cap on last year shows…
Looking Back on 2018
2018 was really a tale of two markets. If you recall, during the period from January through May (as compared to 2017) the average price of all residential real estate sold here in Big Bear was up a considerable 14.5%. (The month of May 2018 vs 2017 was up 20%!)
This sudden, substantial and mostly supply-driven price jump, combined with the mid-year increase in interest rates, caused the number of transactions to stall in June. And from there, residential transactions began to slide, even crawl at times, towards the finish line as the year progressed.
In summary: For the full-year 2018 vs. 2017 the average price gain retreated to +3.3% for the year. So, although much of the gains seen early in the year were given back, prices did indeed increase here in Big Bear last year.
Interest rates, for the time being anyway, have settled back down and motivated sellers who are willing to meet the market, are seeing strong offers as we begin 2019. Hopefully all the wonderful rain and snow we have been getting will continue into spring allowing our lake to re-coup some much needed water. The current lake level as of 2/4/19 is 16’9” from full. Whereas on on 11/26/18 it was 18’5” inches from full…progress. And our most recent storm (which brought lots of new snow!) isn’t included in these totals. Good news there, as our lake filling up is great for the Big Bear Valley and also for our real estate market.
If you are considering a sale in 2019, late winter into early spring is a great time to get a jump on the competition. In fact, looking back at last year, this was the optimal time to list and sell. Do let me know if you have any questions on the market, on your property’s current value, or on any properties you see for sale here in Big Bear. Until next time: All the best and think snow!