New owner is planning upgrades for Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

Well, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain are in for some changes according to the article below, written by:  HUGO MARTIN  Los Angeles Times.  We are all very excited about this change and the new owners!    Real estate has taken off in Big Bear and we are very busy!  Inventory is low, and prices are holding steady.  In the past 3 years, Big Bear has changed and now more good things are happening.  If your thinking of buying or selling, NOW is the time!  Do Not Delay!  Please read the article below;  

 by:  HUGO MARTIN -  Los Angeles Times,  Mammoth Resorts, the operator of Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain in the Sierra Nevada, completed an estimated $38-million deal over the weekend for Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, above. (Lee Stockwell / Big Bear Mountain Resort)  Mammoth Resorts, new owner of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, considers upgrades

The new owner of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit has begun considering upgrades to Southern California's top local peaks, including plans to expand mountain biking trails and connect the two neighboring resorts.

Mammoth Resorts, the operator of Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain in the Sierra Nevada, completed the estimated $38-million deal over the weekend to acquire the two resorts in the San Bernardino Mountains, putting Mammoth Resorts in control of more than 4,000 acres of skiable land in California.

Mammoth Resorts Chief Executive Rusty Gregory said his company will hold off on making any major changes to Bear Mountain or Snow Summit until he and his staff have met with resort employees and neighbors. He expects to hold community meetings as soon as April.

"We have a lot to learn," he said in an interview. "There is no way we can, from our distant location, understand the opportunities there."

California's four-year drought has hit ski resorts hard, with ski visits dropping as much as 45% at some mountains last year. Gregory said he hopes to expand summer activities in the Southern California resorts by adding biking and hiking trails and zip line courses to make up for the drop in visitors in the dry years and to draw people in during the summer months.

Snow Summit uses two lifts to carry mountain bikes and riders to the top during warmer months.

Gregory said he would also like to add new ski and snowboard trails that would run between Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, which are separated by about one mile of forestland.

"I think we have a good opportunity to connect the two mountains," Gregory said. The company already is selling an annual pass that gives snow enthusiasts access to all four resorts.

The acquisition is significant for Southern California skiers, who represent 85% of the visitors to Mammoth Mountain, a resort with 3,500 acres of skiable terrain and 28 lifts. Mammoth Resorts also owns the smaller operation at neighboring June Mountain.

Snow Summit and Bear Mountain are two of the most popular day-trip ski destinations in Southern California.

By putting them under the control of Mammoth Resorts, the company is expected to host about 2 million visitors a year, nearly all from Southern California. That would surpass the total annual visitors of Canada's Whistler-Blackcomb, North America's most popular ski resort.

The move reflects a larger consolidation trend in the ski industry and the slow demise of mom-and-pop resorts over the last several years.

Snow Summit bought out its neighbor and biggest competitor, Big Bear Resorts, in 2002. Snow Summit announced in June 2013 that it had hired international banking firm Houlihan Lokey to look for buyers because several shareholders wanted to liquidate their interests.

Mammoth Resorts won the bid to acquire Snow Summit and Bear Mountain.

"Mammoth, by acquiring Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, protects the L.A. market for itself," said Bob Roberts, executive director of the California Ski Industry Assn., a trade group for the industry.

Roberts said neighbors in Big Bear should not worry that Mammoth Resorts will force unwanted changes on the community.

He noted that Gregory has been in previous debates with neighbors over the future of local communities at the base of Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain. "From that experience, he is sensitive to the folks at Big Bear," Roberts said.

As part of the acquisition, Mammoth Resorts has also purchased about 130 acres at the base of the resorts, occupied by parking lots and a golf course.

Gregory said he is not sure what type of development his company will propose for that land.

"We are coming to the community to see how they view their future," he said.

Freddie Mac Predicts Biggest Year for Home Sales Since ’07 for 2015

DS NEWS -    Author: Brian Honea - December 16, 2014

   Freddie Mac predicted that 2015 will see the highest level of home sales in the U.S. since 2007 in its December 2014 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook released on Tuesday.

 In the report, Freddie Mac looked back at five key consensus predictions for 2014, how they fared, and how they will affect housing and the economy next year. In addition to home sales, the four other areas examined were mortgage originations, home values, rental market, and mortgage rates.

A 4 percent jump is expected for home sales up to 5.6 million in 2015, which would be the highest annual level home sales have experience since 2007, according to the report. A weaker than expected economy and a harsh winter brought down home sales for the first half of 2014 in spite of the healthy gains that were predicted at the start of the year. But home sales and the economy made a strong comeback for the second half of 2014, and analysts expect that recovery to continue on into 2015.

Home price gains experienced moderate gains in 2014, as were predicted following the double-digit increases in 2013. In 2014, home value gains grew at a rate of 4.5 percent, and in 2015, they are expected to increase by 3.0 percent, according to the report. Rental vacancies fell to their lowest level since 2000 in the last year, and 30-year fixed mortgage rates are expected to average 4.4 percent in 2015 after hovering just below 4 percent in December.

"The recent drop in oil prices has been an unexpected boon for consumers' pocketbooks and most businesses," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Economic growth has picked up over the final nine months of 2014 and lower energy costs are expected to support growth of about 3 percent for the U.S. in 2015. Therefore we expect the housing market to continue to strengthen with home sales rising to their best sales pace in eight years, national house price indexes up, and rental markets continuing to display low vacancy rates and the highest level of new apartment completions in 25 years."

Big Bear Real Estate Update for December 2014

By Bob Angilella

 As we begin to wind down the year, the Big Bear Real Estate market is winding up!  Real estate sales are brisk, from small cabins listed for $ 100,000 to our largest sale that my team sold, of $ 2.4 Million.  This past year has been one of a “surging” real estate market.  However, because interest rates have remained low, and the stock market has been uncertain, many buyer are searching for something that is solvent and stable…what would that be….  Real estate!

Please review our statistics below, as compared to the previous month of November 2014.

Big Bear Real Estate statistically, as of  December 1, 2014

Active Listings:  521     (Inventory is down from November by 14.5%)

Pending’s:     158

Sold for the past 60 days:    219

Average Sale:     334,000.00

Highest sale:   $ 2,400,000

Lowest sale:    $ 45,000


Big Bear Real Estate statistically, as of November 2, 2014

Active Listings:  596     (Inventory has fallen from 680 Active Listings in August 2014)

Pending’s:     173

Sold for the past 60 days:    228 

Average Sale:     356,000.00

Highest sale:   $ 2,450,000

Lowest sale:    $ 59,900

If you're considering buying or selling in the Big Bear Lake area, now would be the time.   No one can predict what will happen with Big Bear Lake real estate now that mammoth Mountain is moving in.  However, one thing for sure, we are busy!  Contact us now for more information.  Thank you.

Mammoth Mountain Buys Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Ski Resorts – November 2014


 By Bob Angilella


 The weather outside is frightful….   That’s right; it is downright chilly in Big Bear Lake!    

Big real estate news here in our little valley, it seems that Mammoth Mountain has purchased Snow Summit & Bear Mountain Ski resorts and the sale is going through.  What does this mean for Big Bear Lake?  Well, for many folks, it means growth and change.   We will see what the future holds for the Big Bear valley, as Mammoth Mountain moves in.

Regarding Big Bear real estate, for the past 60 days, and now looking into November, we have seen brisk sales.  It's traditional this time of year, real estate sales somewhat slow.  However, sellers are still anxious to sell, and with that in mind, many buyers are still purchasing properties here in Big Bear Lake.  So, we are busy!

Big Bear Real estate statistically, as of November 2, 2014

Active Listings:  596     (Inventory has fallen from 680 Active Listings in August 2014)

Pending’s:     173

Sold for the past 60 days:    228 

Average Sale:     356,000.00

Highest sale:   $ 2,450,000

Lowest sale:    $ 59,900

If you are considering buying or selling in the Big Bear Lake area, now would be the time.   No one can predict what will happen with Big Bear lake real estate now that mammoth Mountain is moving in.  However, one thing for sure, we are busy!  Contact us now for more information.  Thank you.


Bob Angilella

Cities Where the Housing Market Heats Up In the Fall – October 2014


 By Bob Angilella


The article below is from Money Magazine, October 10th, 2014 and speaks of a slowing market in many of areas of the United States.  However, in certain areas (like Big Bear Lake mentioned below), we are actually extremely busy, because of our location and demographics.

As you read below, you will see that our area is brisk with sales.  As a matter of fact, in the last 30 days, we’ve sold 121 homes, and we have 176 pending, with an inventory of 662 Active listings.   If you would like to search our inventory, click here.

The start of the slow season for home search in most of the country began last month. But autumn is prime time for shopping in certain regions, mostly vacation areas in the mountains and forests.  By Money Magazine, Katie Morel, October 10th, 2014

But depending on where you are house hunting, you may not realize that autumn can be an excellent time to buy and sell. Instead of slowing down in the fall, many regions of the country buck the national trend and experience high levels of activity, according to a new report on the seasonality of house hunting. The research reveals the cities where home buying and selling peaks, as well as significantly slows, during this time of year.

Fall Slow Down

Home shopping majorly slows in many warm climates and beach areas during the fall months. For example, in September and October Hawaii and Florida see a 10% dip below their annual averages. When looking at major metro areas, search activity drops the most in the South and Southwest. In the Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Florida, area, for example, it declines 18% in September and October compared to the annual average. Searches plummet 12% in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona. In Charleston, South Carolina, hunting goes down 11%.

Big vacation destinations that see search activity slow include Punta Gorda, Naples/Marco Island and Key West.

The study also found that college towns have some of the lowest rates in the country for home searching during the autumn season – making it all the more important to lock in your housing before classes begin. College Station/Bryan, Texas, Columbia, Mo., and Iowa City, Iowa, are three university towns that see a big reduction in activity during this time of year.

Bucking the Trend

There are several areas of the country where activity actually picks up in the fall, and autumn is the busy season. These regions are typically near ski resorts in mountain and forest areas.

The county of Lincoln, NM, which is close to winter resort Ski Apache, sees a 16% jump in search activity during the fall when compared with the annual average. The area around Ellsworth, ME, known for a fun winter carnival, boasts 13% more searches.

Big Bear/Lake Arrowhead, a ski region located east of Los Angeles, also has a high number of house hunters in the fall, presumably preparing themselves for fun weekend days on the slopes and dinners by bustling fireplaces.

Other parts of the country don’t necessarily see a large increase in the fall, but instead chug along at their same springtime pace. This pattern emerges in some New England metro areas, including Peabody, Mass., and Worcester, Mass. Search activity in San Francisco also doesn’t change much in the fall, possibly because it includes some of the warmest months for the City by the Bay.


The Latest Housing Affordability Index Data – September 2014


  By Bob Angilella


It seems that the affordability index is finally down from all time highs.   Big Bear real estate is one of the area's that is benefiting from this downward trend, as our values are about 35% down from all time highs.   That, with interest rates being low, makes it a great time to invest in a Big Bear vacation  home, Big Bear investment cabin, Big Bear lakefront or 1031 Tax Exchange.    Please read below, as this article is compliments of the California Association of Realtor's.

The Latest Housing Affordability Index Data  by Michael Hyman, Research Assistant on September 16, 2014

At the national level, housing affordability is down for the month of July and from a year ago, due to home prices that continue to rise faster than incomes. Despite those factors, slower-paced price growth and the second lowest mortgage rates of the year are good for a change in affordability.

  • Housing affordability is down for the month of July, as the median price for a single family home in the US may have met its seasonal peak.
  • The median single-family home price is $223,900, up 5.1 % from July 2013 as year-over-year price gains are currently slowing down. Mortgage rates are up 12 basis points (one percentage point equals 100 basis points) from last year. Nationally, affordability is down from 160.7 in July 2013 to 153.8 in July 2014.
  • Affordability is down slightly from one month ago in all regions except the Midwest. The Midwest was the only region to experience a slight gain in affordability due to lower home prices and qualifying incomes. From one year ago, affordability is down in all regions. The West saw the biggest decline in affordability at 4.6 %, with the other regions are not far behind.
  • The rise in mortgage rates was modest this month, so purchases at this time are still favorable when you compare the locked-in monthly payment of a mortgage to the rise in rents. New home construction and an increase in inventory during a time of low rates could lead to more manageable price growth and more sales.
  • The FHA has agreed to eliminate the pre-payment penalties, a positive change for borrowers that pay off their mortgage, starting in 2015.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principle and interest payment to income).  See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.




August 2014 C.A.R. Investor Survey Results for Investment Property


 By Bob Angilella


 The article below is from the California Association of Realtor's Investor Survey for 2014.   Big Bear Lake real estate has a big portion of the survey, even though it was not mentioned. 75% of our sales are investors, buying and then allowing our company to manage them on a vacation rental program through Destination Big Bear Vacation rentals.   To give you an idea as to what one could generate on a vacation rental, here are a few numbers:   A 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, log style, good location would rent for $ 250.00 per night, at an average of 80 to 100 nights per year, that equates to $ 25,000 per year, less a 33% management fee, equates to approximately $ 17,000 per year income.  In addition, the home becomes a business write-off. (Please check with your accountant/CPA for further advise)

Big Bear Lakefronts and larger homes cam make up to $50,000 to $ 75,000 per year!   If you are interested in an investment home, contact me today!   

C.A.R. 2014 investor survey results by Ed Shandrew on August 25, 2014 in Market Information For release: August 20, 2014.

Housing recovery pushes investors into more remote areas to find deals, with more looking to flip properties, C.A.R. survey finds LOS ANGELES (Aug. 20) – Given the depletion of distressed homes on the market, investors are changing their strategy and are moving away from purchasing homes in more popular, urban areas in favor of more rural areas of the state where better deals can be found, according to a CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) investor survey.

In 2014, nearly half (45 percent) of investors said they purchased properties in such counties as Sacramento, San Joaquin, Fresno, Kern, Merced, and Tulare, up from 27 percent in 2013, C.A.R.’s “2014 Investor Survey” found. Fifteen percent of investors purchased properties in Northern California in 2014, down from 27 percent in 2013, and 40 percent purchased properties in Southern California in 2014, down from 50 percent last year. Additionally, with home prices on the rise, more investors are flipping properties instead of renting them. In 2014, 28 percent of investors flipped the property, up from 20 percent last year. Fifty-eight percent of investors rented their properties in 2014, down from 73 percent in 2013. More than eight out of 10 investors (83 percent) own other investment properties, with 7 percent owning more than 10 properties, 17 percent owning 6-10 properties, 47 percent owning 2-5 properties, and 12 percent owning one other property.

Among the reasons investors cited for buying now include profit potential (cited by 58 percent), good price (43 percent), location (26 percent), personal (21 percent), and low interest rates (14 percent). The median sales price of an investment property in 2014 was $320,000, up 9.6 percent from $292,000 in 2013, reflecting increasing home prices and fewer available distressed properties over the past year.

Additional findings from C.A.R.’s “2014 Investor Survey” include:

• Reflecting the recovering housing market, the majority of investment properties purchased (70 percent) were equity sales, while 18 percent were short sales, and 12 percent were foreclosures.

• More than two-thirds (67 percent) of investors paid cash • One-third of investors were foreign investors, with China, Mexico, Taiwan, and India being the top countries of origin.

• While most investors made minor or no repairs to the properties, the percentage of those who did major remodeling nearly doubled from 9 percent in 2013 to 17 percent this year.

• Investors spent more on remodeling costs in 2014, putting a median of $15,000 into the investment property, up 50 percent from $10,000 in 2013.

• Investors own an average of 8.3 properties in 2014, up from 6.5 properties last year.

• More than half of investors (55 percent) intend to keep the property less than six years.

Big Bear Real Estate Update for July 2014


 By Bob Angilella


As summer approaches, we begin to ready ourselves for a very busy real estate market!   The last week in June, has proven to be the key week, telling me that we will have a brisk real estate market.  May & June are normally our indicators as to what may occur for the summer Big Bear real estate selling season.   Comparing last year’s market YTD for the same time, we’ve had an average of  17% increase in overall price appreciation, but please remember, that was from a down market for the past 7 years of at least 50% from the all-time highs.

The 2nd quarter sales were down, about 34% overall from last year (2013-YTD)  With that in mind, inventory has climbed for the first time in 6 years with over 640 Active Listings as of  today, (June 28th)  To put that in perspective, last year at this time, we had approximately 550 Active listings.

So what does this all mean?   As we move into the best real estate sales season of the year, that will be our indicator.  This past week, we have been very, very busy.  Buyers seem to be taking advantage of the abundance of inventory, and lowering interest rates (4.375%)   Is it a buyers’ market or… is it a seller’s market?   Neither, we are in a normal market.  Prices are stable, and inventory is slightly above average for our area.

This summer may prove to be one of the best real estate markets Big Bear has seen in a long time.  A good selection of inventory, low interest rates make for a great market for the buyers, and a stable market for the sellers.   No one can predict what the future may hold, however, one thing for sure, Big Bear is a specialty market, a four season resort get away, a great place to spend your days fishing, hiking, biking and having fun.  Now is a perfect time to list and buy a home in the Big Bear Lake area.  

When you’re ready to that, contact me, we can help.  Thank you and see you soon in Big Bear Lake.

Bob Angilella