Lots has changed since our last monthly stats email! They started allowing vacation rentals to operate again on May 15th and most companies are reporting back-to-back rentals for the next several months. We knew that there would be pent-up demand (both of buyers and renters who were tired of being locked up at home for 2 months), but even I was surprised by the numbers! Every weekend has felt like a holiday weekend (this past weekend felt like 4th of July already) and the supply of houses is having a hard time keeping up with the demand. I think there is a combination of reasons for that: first, many buyers don’t want to get stuck without a “place in the mountains” for the next “apocalypse” (even those who have been searching for years, but afraid to pull the trigger); second, interest rates are incredibly low right now, making homes more affordable, even as prices continue to rise; and third, the inventory is the lowest we can ever remember at this time of year (we are currently seeing inventory numbers that we normally only see at the depths of winter), leading to multiple offers (in some cases, as many as 10-14, when a house is priced well)!! Finally, another factor that is harder to quantify, is that more owners seem reluctant to sell now, as they don’t want to lose their own “escape to the mountains” (even when rentals were not allowed, many second homeowners were spending a lot of time at their own cabins, especially those like our niece, who live in condos or apartments in Santa Monica and the other more congested areas of Southern CA). As of this morning, there are only 335 single-family residences active on the market in the Big Bear MLS
(which is almost 10% less than last month, at a time of year when the inventory is usually growing rapidly) and 204 in escrow (almost double what we had last month already)!!! As usual, homes under $400K sell the fastest, since more people seem to be able to afford that price range; but, even with everything going on in the world, there were 3 Lakefronts that sold last month and another 7 currently in escrow!!
Finally, as we discussed last month, drive-to-destinations and private home rentals (versus hotels, where you share a lobby, elevator, pool, etc. with thousands of other people) are expected to be even more popular for the foreseeable future. In fact, Big Bear Lake is currently one of the top destinations for Airbnb, so it’s a fantastic time to own a rental cabin!!
Have a great week!