Market Summary: January 1 – January 15

The Mammoth MLS reports 11 sales/closings in Mammoth Lakes for the period ranging from a low of $78,500 to a high of $730,000. NONE of the closing were REO properties and only one was a short sale. But based on some benchmark low selling prices, there certainly were some distressed sellers, but with equity.

Housing Inventory

At the period’s completion there are 162 condominiums listed for sale, a slight uptick. There are 58 single-family homes on the market in Mammoth Lakes proper, another slight uptick. There are 32 residential lots listed for sale. For comparison, my Sept. 11, 2011 sales report had 218 condos on the market and 80 single-family homes.

Pending Transactions

The total number of properties in “pending” (under contract) in Mammoth Lakes increased to 77. Total number of pendings in the Mammoth MLS (which includes outlying areas) increased to 98.

Market Updates and News

The almost bizarre warm weather continues here in Mammoth, although the wind is blowing today. The lack of natural snowfall and great ski conditions is clearly beginning to impact local visitation and commerce. The Martin Luther King Weekend is not traditionally a huge holiday because “post-holiday decompression” is a factor. But it is quite dead in town this weekend. The Canyon Lodge parking lot was not even completely full yesterday and the adjacent condos were noticeably empty. The Village and Juniper Springs were equally quiet.

And this is traditionally a slow period for real estate sales. As I often explain, sales are often a by-product of people in town AND (this time of year) people having quality ski experiences. But there are properties selling. The whole town has gone into “pray for snow” mode.

MMSA employees received a letter from CEO Rusty Gregory shortly after the holidays that went public and it is rather interesting. “The company has completed its most successful Christmas and New Year holiday period in my 34 years on the mountain. Never in our history have we hosted so many guests with so little natural snow and produced a high quality experience on and off the mountain.”   The letter goes on to state MMSA’s commitment to keep making snow and opening and maintaining the runs despite the prolonged dryness. And to maintain all service all levels.

All those that have skied on the Mountain agree that they have done a wonderful job making the conditions acceptable. Mammoth’s diehards obvious crave the open bowls and chutes, but this is a Serenity Prayer issue. Meanwhile, I can only think that these efforts will make Mammoth more valuable.

Noteworthy Sales

The sale of a 1 bedroom + loft / 2 bath unit at Snowbird for $270,000. This would be one of my “benchmark lows.” This project was just re-sided and re-windowed (among other things). The special assessment was $40,000. This unit was remodeled in 2000. This property is steps away from Canyon Lodge and has understructure parking.

The sale of a Creekhouse 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath town home for $730,000. This is Snowcreek phase 7 located overlooking Mammoth Creek in what is one of Mammoth’s nicest locations. It would be nice to see more of these constructed this summer. Maybe this sale could help move that along.

The sale of Chateau Sans Nom #28 for $240,000. This 4 bedroom / 3 bath town home closing represents another benchmark low. This is $139 per square foot for an older but quality-built property in a well maintained project.

The sale of Seasons Four #189, a 1 bedroom / 1 bath, for $128,500. Another low price for this floor plan in a well located “70’s Dempsey built project.”

The sale of 230 Monterey Pines for only $700,000. This large 4 bedroom /4 bath home was completed in 1998 and is located on an oversized corner lot in the Chair 15 area. This is $204 per square foot. The property had some deferred maintenance, but…

Other Real Estate News

Some moderation would be nice. After last winter’s deluge and this winter’s drought (so far), local residents and business owners (and second homeowners too) can weigh the hard cost of the extremes. There are winners and losers in both. Last year’s heavy snow removal costs may be balanced by this winter’s lack thereof.

Snow removal operators who rely predominately on pre-paid contracts were burnt last year, but are on vacation this year. The operators that charge hourly got fat last year and are starving this year. But revenues driven by visitation including the Town’s bed tax have got to be down so far. (But there is time to catch up.) Rental revenues may very well be down. And on and on… If we could just order up 400″ of snow every year things would be so much easier.

A recent house fire in Old Mammoth is suspected to have started in the chimney and/or flue. The family got out alive but it could have been much worse. Mammoth Lakes Fire Dept. is likely to start looking at older properties more carefully. After a series of condo fires a few years ago they now make all owners installing EPA certified fireboxes into traditional fireplaces expose the entire flue system for inspection. This has added significantly to the cost but many owners are now spending even more money and remodeling the entire fireplace. But many older wood burning fireplaces, even with EPA certified appliances, are becoming liabilities. Over so many years of significant burning, these system need replacement. I would expect a new level of scrutiny in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.