Well, we knew it would have an impact, and that impact is showing up in the home sales numbers. Residential sales were down 57% in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. Per the Big Bear MLS, there were 48 home sales this past April. In April 2019, there were 112 home sales in Big Bear. Home prices were up a modest 2% year or year, with an average sales price of $327,757 in April 2020 vs. $321,508 in April 2019.
What’s in the numbers? There were approximately 30+ escrows that fell through from mid March to early April. I’d guess that 99% of those were directly related to the impacts of COVID-19. Add those 30 closings to the April numbers, along with the unknown amount of buyers who may have moved forward with a purchase during late March and into April but decided to hold off, and the home sales might have been a lot closer to the April 2019 numbers.
It is what it is, but it’s also too early to tell what’s going to happen. I believe it will take a few sustained months of low sales numbers, combined with rising inventory levels, before we see much of a downward trend in pricing. Currently, there are about 400 homes for sale in Big Bear, which is not out of historical norms for Big Bear. It’s quite common to see that level rise to the mid 700’s come summer time and the busy selling time season. If inventory builds up, and sales don’t follow as they normally do, then we will see a pricing impact at that time.