Market Summary: June 19 – July 2

Mammoth Lakes Multiple Listing Service reports 12 sales/closings for the period ranging from a low of $84,000 to a high of $620,000. At the period’s end there were 230 condominiums listed for sale in Mammoth Lakes, 67 single-family homes, and 52 lots of which 49 are residential lots. Seven of the 12 closings were REOs. This period’s low numbers reflect the late-spring sales lull which is typical in Mammoth.

The total number of condo listings was relatively flat during the period until the 12 remaining unsold units at the Westin Monache were entered into the MLS. Those units are subject to a sealed bid auction that is scheduled to end on August 18. That makes a total of 30 Westin units currently on the market, we’ll see how prices are affected by the increasing supply. While resale condo inventory remains relatively flat, single-family inventory has risen. Local agents really need to see more inventory come to the market this time of year so the late summer and fall buyers have worthwhile properties to look at, and some competition for the overpriced listings.

In the single-family home market, the last two weeks has seen a rash of price reductions in the inventory range of $900,000 to $1,200,000. A few very recent sales in that price range is proof that buyers do in fact exist but they are savvy and not willing to overpay, or are willing to wait out pricing corrections. One such property came to the market last week: a modern 3180 square foot home priced at $949,000 and it lasted five days on the market before heading to escrow.

Market Updates and News

Last Thursday on broker open house caravan we saw two beautifully located older town homes; Snowcreek #288 overlooking a large, lovely pond on the open space creek drainage, and Mammoth Creek Condos #32 with Mammoth Creek flowing (gushing) by right in front. Both with panoramic views of the Sherwins. These are older properties located amidst exceptional natural environments. Talk about super locations. The Mammoth Creek unit priced at $395,000 has already gone to contract. The Snowcreek unit is priced at $519,000.

Noteworthy Sales

The sale of the 131 Tamarack at $151,100 has me scratching my head. This is/was a historic small cabin (of no historic relevance from what I could tell) in dilapidated condition on a nice Old Mammoth lot. The structure was nothing but a tear down. The lot is nice, maybe a bit low-lying, and the neighbor who is metal artisan has build a significant steel fence down the property line. Probably cost $10-15,000 to knock the structure down and haul it all away. This was a REO originally priced at $104,900. So this became a bidding war. That money could have bought a nice lot in a variety of good locations. At the original price this may have made sense, but to bid it up… hmmm.

The sale of Mammoth Green #210, an upstairs 2 bedroom/ 2 bath for $275,000. This is a great price but is reflective of the fact that the Association is in litigation with the developer (Intrawest) for construction defects. When showing units on this project in the past couple of years it is apparent that the cement fiber siding that was so popular to use in this era just doesn’t hold up where it is in contact with snow and snowmelt.

The sale of Grayeagle I #3 at $250,000. This shows price support in this segment of the market. This is a a mid-2000’s built three story 2 bedroom/2 bath unit with a large 1-car garage, forced air heating, modern finishes, low common area fee, and an added pellet stove for a second heat source. This is a high-density project that was essentially built oriented towards local housing. Not a “resort” location, but comfortable and good utility.

The sale of 151 Ref Fir for $620,000. This 4 bedroom/2.5 bath, 2-car garage log home was only on the market a few days before it sold. Located in the very south west corner of Mammoth in the Mammoth Park subdivision and backing to Forest Service. A number of recent, quick sales in this area is noteworthy because it would indicate a small trend towards buyers wanting to be away from the crowds/resort nodes.

The sale of Chateau de Montagne #15 at $295,000. This is a classic “oldie-but-goodie” 3 bedroom/2 bath 1-car garage town home typical of Chateau Road. These properties have really stood the test of time: well built, spacious with great utility, low density projects, and ideal units for remodeling… sleepers, and solid value.

The sale of two REO units at Meridian Court. I had a similar property as Foreclosure of The Week (still available) a few weeks back. A 1 bedroom/1 bath with garage for $84,000 and a 3 bedroom/2 bath with garage for $157,500. These are definitely “crashpad” properties, but they are modern (2006), have gas heating, and have garages. Originally built by Mammoth Lakes Housing, the market decline left several of these foreclosed upon and are now interesting values. The deed restrictions have been lifted and are available to open market purchases. No amenities on the project.

Other Real Estate News

With the recent sale of Fireside restaurant there now seems be deluded thinking that buyers are lining up for such opportunities, so Slocums comes to the market and Grumpy’s makes their first price reduction in many years. We just haven’t seen buyers for these types of properties in the $2+million range.

Now that we can see dirt again in Mammoth, potential buyers are weighing the “buy or build” scenario and are a bit shocked at the cost of installing the new state mandated fire sprinklers in single family homes (Jan.1, 2011). The cost is estimated at $25,000 to $35,000 for a Mammoth 3,000 square foot home. There is also the cost of maintaining and re-certifying the system. This is a big pain. For those really crunching the numbers, existing homes are looking like a bargain. And single-family vacant lots are devalued due to the increased cost of construction.

Have a great Fourth of July!!

Thanks for reading!

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