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Big Bear Home Sales – August 2009

Big Bear Home Sales

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Big Bear home sales dropped in August from the 2-year high we saw in July.

Home sales fell 14% when compared to the July numbers (75 v. 87), but were up 25% when compared to August 2008 (75 v. 60).

Even with the drop in sales month over month, sales are still pretty strong all things considered.  They are certainly not close to the sales numbers we saw 4-7 ago (averaging about 175 per month).

It is typical to see sales pick up in the June to October time frames as that is our selling season.

24, or 32%, of the 75 home sales in Big Bear were bank owned. This is a just a touch lower than last month, and still well below the 50% mark we were seeing earlier in the year.  4 of the sales, or 5%, were short sales, which is down just over 50% from last month.

That means 47, or 63%, of the sales in August 2009 were “organic”, or traditional sellers – another strong month for them.

It is important to keep in mind that bank owned properties currently only make up 5% of what is for sale in Big Bear, yet they are making up between 30% to 40% of what is selling every month.  That is what the fish (buyers) are biting on!

Short sales in Big Bear, however, seem like more of a waste of time than anything else. Sure, there are a few closing escrow here and there, but more than 50% that go on the market never end up closing escrow.  There are a variety of reasons why – unrealistic price, no hardship by the seller, lack of follow up and preparation by the agents, and uncooperative banks.  My advice to buyers is to try and find an organic seller or bank owned property first.  Save yourself the headache.

Big Bear Home Prices

The median sales price in August 2009 was the lowest we’ve seen in the past 2 years.

It dropped considerably, down 24% from the July number ($170,400 vs. $225,000).  Even more dramatic, it is down 40% from the August 2008 median ($170,400 vs. $282,500).

This is the second straight month we’ve seen the median price drop.  See the chart below for the historical median prices.

With the limited amount of sales and wide variety of prices, it is still too difficult to make any concrete determinations about the real estate prices in Big Bear. One thing is for sure though – the lower prices are driving the activity level of buyers.  Without the lower prices, the buyers would still be on the fence.

There is a $142,600 difference between the median asking price of $313,000 and the median selling price of $170,400.

The median asking price for bank owned & short sales properties in Big Bear is $199,450.  More importantly, it is $113,550, or 36%, below the median asking price for “organic” sellers. That is a big reason why they are getting a lot more activity.

Homes Currently on the Market

The number of properties on the market for sale in Big Bear stands at a total of 864, down 45 from last month.   This is one of the most important numbers to keep an eye on.


Because if you compare this to last year we had nearly 1150 homes on the market for sale at the same time.  Less homes on the market equals less competition for home sellers (good thing) and less options for home buyers (bad thing).   And this number will go down even more in the winter months as sellers take them off the market for the slower market conditions.

One wildcard is the number of bank owned properties that hit the market over the next 6-12 months.  As mentioned earlier, they only make up a small amount of what is currently for sale in Big Bear.

Big Bear Home Sales – Thru August 2009

Month and Year # Homes For Sale Median Asking $ # Homes Sold Median Sales $
Aug 2009 864 $313,000 75 $170,400
July 2009 909 $309,000 87 $225,000
June 2009 927 $310,000 78 $265,000
May 2009 902 $316,000 56 $235,000
April 2009 894 $300,000 61 $205,000
Mar 2009 893 $299,950 54 $179,500
Feb 2009 889 $309,000 57 $217,000
Jan 2009 902 $319,000 47 $220,000
Dec 2008 956 $320,905 41 $262,000
Nov 2008 1032 $325,000 50 $240,287
Oct 2008 1078 $329,000 73 $255,000
Sept 2008 1109 $328,500 82 $224,500
Aug 2008 60 $282,500
July 2008 62 $205,000
June 2008 62 $247,500
May 2008 67 $290,000
April 2008 50 $299,500
Mar 2008 1082 $339,950 49 $288,000
Feb 2008 1049 $345,000 34 $249,950
Jan 2008 1094 $339,900 30 $283,250
Dec 2007 55 $273,750
Nov 2007 66 $282,500
Oct 2007 53 $310,000
Sept 2007 60 $269,750
Aug 2007 81 $310,000

Year To Date Comparison (1/1- 8/31)

Year # of Homes Sold Median Sales Price Average Sales Price Days on Market List Price to Sales Price
2009 528 $214,475 $278,030 131 95%
2008 416 $265,000 $340,439 129 94%
2007 555 $315,000 $416,393 121 96%
2006 780 $315,000 $393,557 77 97%
2005 1156 $279,900 $352,994 70 98%
2004 1206 $223,500 $264,904 79 98%
2003 994 $180,500 $220,917 53 98%

Year to date, sales in 2009 are up 27% from the 2008 number, and down only 5% from 2007 (gaining).  But, prices are still down 19%  & 18% respectively for the median & average sales prices.

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* Note: The charts above will be updated on a monthly basis. It represents single family home sales in the Big Bear area, including Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, Moonridge, Fox Farm, Sugarloaf, Erwin Lake, & Fawnskin. Data courtesy of the Big Bear MLS. These numbers do not include raw land or condos nor does it include homes in the Big Bear MLS that are located out of the Big Bear area.

Related Articles

Big Bear Home Sales July 2009

Big Bear Home Sales – June 2009 And Second Quarter 2009

Big Bear Home Sales – May 2009


  1. William Russell says

    Thank you for compiling and sharing these statistics. Looking at these number and the 101 notices of sale mentioned in your foreclosure article for July seems to indicate that there are more foreclosures in the pipeline than sales. (101 July Notices of Sale versus only 75 sales in August.) Other commentators are projecting that only 6% of homeowners with notices of sale will actually cure and avoid foreclosure in some fashion (pay deficiency, loan mod, etc.) What percentage of the Big Bear Notices of Sale will be cured? If it is only 6%, then doesn’t that mean that foreclosures will simply overwhelm the market over time, and we are in for more falling prices? Again, thank you for the statistics. —–Current Big Bear Homeowner

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