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COVID-19 May 2020 Update - Big Bear Real Estate Market

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

How is COVID-19 Affecting the Real Estate Market in Big Bear?

Is it a buyer's market, seller's market or has it crashed completely? It's a little early to tell exactly what type of market it is in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic but in order to get a preliminary idea, we'll take a week by week view to see if there are any early indicators. We'll review graphs that show Closed Sales, New Listings, Back on Market Listings and Pending Sales in the Big Bear real estate market since March 1, 2020.


Why since March 1st? Because that's just weeks before the statewide shelter in place order went into effect but it was also at a point when it was beginning to be understood that the coronavirus pandemic would likely cause broad economic impacts.


* A quick note about the information provided here: The graphs in this market update show small increments of time. Markets can change quickly, and we’re using small increments to try to quickly gauge the market BUT longer time periods (monthly/quarterly/ annual) are more reliable because of larger sample sizes and a broader overview that smooths out small weekly spikes in activity.


Does the market have an oversupply of listings?

New listings in the Big Bear real estate market dropped significantly beginning the week that the shelter in place order began. Fewer listings can be viewed as a positive. An oversupply of homes generally drives pricing down, so fewer listing could help to keep Big Bear home values stable. See details below the graph

  • New listings decreased by 43 - 54% compared to 2019 within a couple of weeks of shelter-in-place beginning (see weeks March 29 - April 4 through April 19 - 25) 

  • New listings are increasing, and are now 61% -68% as compared to 2019 (see weeks April 26 - May 2 and May 3 - 9)

​At the time these graphs were compiled there were 382 active listings for single family residential homes throughout Big Bear valley. 

  • If the number of closed sales in the month of April and the number of  active listings were to remain stable, there would be an 8.5 month supply of homes.  

  • A 6-month supply is considered balanced, neither a buyer’s or seller’s market. Over that is generally a buyer’s market because supply would exceed demand, which generally drives pricing down


How Are Home Sales in Big Bear?

As is to be expected home sales in the Big Bear area have declined. When looking at the graph below, keep in mind that closed home sales lag by about 30 - 45 days due to escrow time periods. So, the sales you see closing March 1 - 7 actually opened escrow in late January to early February. This is why the sales for 2020 remained strong through late March.

Closings for the month of April 2020 represented 40.5% of the number of closed sales in 2019 (meaning 60.5% fewer sales.)



Have Prices Dropped for Homes in Big Bear?

There aren't enough closed sales to determine if home prices have dropped, and if so, by how much. What we are interested in looking at in the meantime, is the difference between sales price and list price (SP/LP in the chart below). Why? Because this helps us to understand if low offers are being regularly accepted.

  • There have been 43 single family residential (SFR) homes that have sold that went into escrow on or after March 1, 2020. 

  • The difference in Sales Price to List price for those sales is below. Keep in mind that since sold prices have been between $123,500 to $3.1m, and that represents a large range, going with the median is likely more reliable.  

    • 2.41% at the median

    • 3.56% on average

  • So far there aren’t huge disparities between list price and sales price. Although it may be that price reductions brought values down prior to homes going into escrow so it's possible that there is still a downward price trend. We'll take a look at that in the graph below. 

  • Based on our observations, price reductions seem to have increased. 

  • For the graph above, it should be noted that the Big Bear Multiple Listing Service (MLS) does not offer a function to easily compare to the same period in 2019. Compiling numbers for the same period in 2019 would involve manually going through hundreds of listing in different categories and that process could result in unreliable information.

  • The numbers provided in this graph are data from the Big Bear MLS but the numbers aren't able to be automatically generated from the MLS. What's that mean? Using data from the MLS we manually counted these, so there's a possibility of human error.

Are Escrows Canceling? 

Short answer, yes? Read below for details. 

  • For the graphs below, it should be noted that the Big Bear Multiple Listing Service (MLS) does not offer a function to easily compare to the same period in 2019. Compiling numbers for the same period in 2019 would involve manually going through hundreds of listings in different categories and that process could result in unreliable information

  • The numbers provided in this graph are data from the Big Bear MLS but the numbers aren't able to be automatically generated from the MLS. What's that mean? Using data from the MLS we manually counted these, so there's a possibility of human error.

Monthly Escrow Cancellations: 

  • March =  25 

  • April =  21 this is 46.6 % of the total number of homes that wound up closing in April. Meaning that a little more than half of the homes in escrow cancelled.  

Is There ANY Good News?

There's a glimmer of good news.....

  • The week that shelter-in-place began new escrows dropped by roughly ½ of what they had been prior. 

Some good news for possible market stabilization! The last two weeks in the graph above show significant jumps in the number of homes that went into escrow.

  • For the week of April 26 - May 2, the escrows doubled from the week prior

  • For the week of May 3 - May 9, the number of new escrows double again. Although, this reflects a fairly high number and could show that there had been some pent-up demand. It's possible that with the easing of restrictions and shelter in place heading into Phase 2, that people who were thinking of purchasing in Big Bear were able to make a trip to the area with more confidence.   

Buying or selling in Big BEAR? Text, Call or Email with Questions

(OR) Go to the Homepage and request a property valuation.

Melissa McCue (909) 855-4898 cell Melissa@HomesBigBear.com Realtor DRE #01372728 Wheeler - Steffen Sotheby's International Realty 596 Pine Knot Ave., PO Box 1586, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315


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