Market Summary: July 31 – August 14

Mammoth Lakes Multiple Listing Service reports 15 sales/closings in Mammoth for the period ranging from a low of $85,000 to a high of $750,000. Of these closings only one was bank owned/REO and four were successful short sales.

At the period’s end there were 245 condominiums listed for sale (a slight down trend) in Mammoth Lakes and 29 are Westin Monache units. There are 73 single-family homes on the market (a slight uptrend) in Mammoth Lakes proper and 4 cabins on Forest Service leases available in the Lakes Basin, and 49 lots of which 46 are residential lots. If the seasonal inventory is in fact just about peaking, which is normal for this time of year, these numbers would support that notion.

Market Updates and News

This office experienced a small flurry of REO sales activity during the period while other REO properties saw price reductions. Trustee’s Sales continue to be regularly postponed or canceled. The postponed Sales typically return in the following months as re-filed (re-published) Sales, and sometimes even postponed again. Banks even seem to be delaying the filing of Notice of Defaults at this point. The “controlled burn” continues. Short sales continue to be a crap-shoot, but some banks are clearly more proactive. Currently, approximately on-third of all “in escrow” properties in Mammoth are pending short sales, and some have been there for many months.

A new phase of the distressed property market seems to be appearing, and that is banks accepting “deed-in-lieu’s” or deeds in lieu of foreclosure (DIL). Up to this point, almost all foreclosures in the local market have been the typical non-judicial foreclosures. Early in this cycle there was talk about the bank’s legal teams “not being comfortable” with DILs, but that has apparently changed.

This office has recently been assigned two properties surrendered this way and asked to make a preliminary offer for such on another. This trend could speed new distressed properties to the market. I can only imagine that the new DIL agreements eliminate any challenges to title, etc. And offering the owners “relocation assistance” (aka cash-for-keys) surrenders the property in clean condition for expedited marketing. Maybe the new trend.

Favorite New Listing: Rare properties like this get me excited about Mammoth. Maybe it is the way I “blink” on real estate. This is a property to be appreciated. This last week Snowcreek #544 was listed. The listing photos and description are ho-hum, so no big deal, right? Okay, yawn, 4 bedrooms / 3 baths and 2-car garage for $899,900. Think overpiced… next… So if your were ever looking for something REALLY special in Mammoth you just passed it by. This is an “F” plan which flows very nicely and has the added, large breakfast area behind the kitchen, great floorplan. And if you step out the ground-floor living room slider you’ll find Mammoth Creek making a sweeping bend right in front of you. Mature aspens and willows are all around enhancing the privacy. Words cannot describe… some new family will be stoked to own this.

Noteworthy Sales

The sale of Westin Monache #641 at $320,000.  This unique 1 bedroom + den/1 bath unit on the upper floor has views over the pool and out to the Ski Area. Nice property. Tax records show the seller paid $428,000 just a little over a year-and-a-half ago. A similar “1-and-den” unit at Grand Sierra Lodge recently sold for slightly more. Interesting dynamics going on in the Village condo hotel properties.

The sale of 83 Grindelwald for $750,000. This was a beautiful, custom 4 bedroom/3.5 bath 2-car garage plus large game room home located in a nice neighborhood in the Village proximity. This was a short sale. This home was on the market for a long time at much higher prices. Home was built in 2003. It sold here for $204 per foot, couldn’t even come close to building it for that. Ultimately, what went wrong?? Probably too much house on a smaller lot, poor “flow” and too many stairs. And not enough “character.”

The sale of 132 Silver Tip at $585,000. This sold quick! A spiffed-up gambrel with a big added-on garage in a nice location–4 bedroom/2.75 baths. This shows the value of having a property in excellent condition in this market. Also the value of a garage. The remodel was completed the same year that 83 Grindelwald was completed and this sold for $248 per foot. A strange market to say the least…

The sale of 17 Starwood for $200,000. Hooray!! a vacant lot sale (short sale). Probably the worst lot in the Starwood subdivision. I’ve ridden my bike past this lot a hundred times: if the new owner orients their living room to the south they better like headlights coming in their windows. Maybe they like the prestige of Starwood, but there are better lots for the money.

Other Real Estate News

The Town Council did decide to relax/eliminate the Developer Impact Fees (DIF) for a year to try to spurn some development. These fees are some of the highest in the State. We’ll see if it makes any difference.

The Monache auction is closing Thursday (the 18th), so you’re not too late. We commonly refer to it as the Westin Monache but the developer/seller obviously doesn’t feel comfortable referring to the property as that. We “think” it is the last 13 units that Intrawest owns, but not verified. It appears to be an absolute auction, and sealed bid. There won’t be a big hoopla sales event so it will be interesting to see how jacked-up the buyers get (or don’t get). The advertising says “Up to 70% OFF Original Prices.” If they only had real kitchens… but then again we want the bed tax.

The rioting in London and flash mob scenes in Los Angeles once again shed a interesting light on what some folks consider the added benefit of knowing they have a place in Mammoth to escape to…

Mammoth has had a busy summer. Bluesapalooza weekend was huge and the new transportation and parking scheme was well executed. Mainstream music events (with alcohol samplings) are becoming a big draw. At least we’re getting something figured out!

Thanks for reading!

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