Q: We had been in Mammoth through the holiday period and we investigated some condos for sale. We came away with all the impression that Mammoth real-estate is a good value at the moment. We believe recent years of drought suppressed values. What is your opinion?
A: Mammoth condos are often a good value as soon as the ski conditions are excellent. With snow comes enthusiasm. Alumni of the Intrawest sales teams will certainly remember the phrase “Selling may be the transfer of enthusiasm.” So snow equals enthusiasm equals the selling of property. But is Mammoth real estate a good value with or without snow?
We can talk exactly about proposed developments, and who should own the Ski Area, increased air service and fancier ice rinks all we want. But quality snowpack to play and recreate on is the crème de la crème supporting value of local real estate. Especially since a lot more homeowners want to maximize nightly rental income along with the winter readers are the “money” from the equation. In this respect the last four drought winters have negatively impacted values.
Value is obviously subjective and susceptible to multiple factors. Let’s take a look at other important dynamics affecting Mammoth’s real-estate “value.”
The current drought period has coincided together with the peak and eventual decline from the distressed property market. Foreclosures and short sales impacted real estate values in Mammoth just as much as around the country. Foreclosures peaked inside the 2011-12 timeframe and short sales peaked shortly thereafter (and how government entities intervened in all that is another column). The best “deals” (lowest prices) were that can be found in that period. So the bottom of this past market cycle really occurred in addition to the beginning of the drought.
Additionally there is a large faction of mammoth lake homes for sale who purchased or refinanced inside the mid-2000s who definitely have been trying to liquidate but can’t afford losing their good credit standing. For these people a foreclosure or short sale is out-of-the-question. It will be the nature of this market. Many have watched real estate values nudge upward before couple of years and are determining to sell. Many of these sellers have to place money in the purchase to close the escrow. Some take substantial loses (and some are offsetting those loses with gains within their other investment areas).
Nevertheless the winding down of the distressed property cycle combined with drought winters created an equilibrium on the market. There has been enough supply and enough demand to help keep selling prices in a stable range. There has been no gigantic push upward like so many other markets in California. So when usual in Mammoth, there are several segments in the market which may have moved differently.
One of the market comparisons I really like to make is exactly what a house sold for inside the mid-2000s peak market era in comparison to a recent sale. I only want to use very same properties for that comparisons because there might be countless minute but critical variables. When closed sales come from the MLS I verify in case the property sold back into the 2004-2007 timeframe. I try to determine if there are actually any significant improvements which have been done to the property that could change the calculation.
Most of the sales that fall into this comparison study demonstrate that the Mammoth marketplace is selling at 60 to 70 percent from the selling prices in the mid-2000s. And again there are several variables. The Intrawest developed and sold properties from that era tend to have lower percentages (meaning they typically sold for higher market prices a decade ago). The best recent sale i recall was 53%. In the very lowest of the market some were below 40% of their mid-2000 price level (most were foreclosure/REO properties). On the opposite side there are a few Mammoth properties that are selling slightly over 70% of the they sold for in the peak period. Nevertheless the majority have been in the 60 to 70% range.
One could surmise out of this that this values only have rebounded modestly. And perhaps the drought winters had plenty concerning it.
The drought winters also delayed several of the Ski Area’s plans for development and expansion. The current ownership seems destined to spend money for capital improvements with money they realize as profits as an alternative to utilize money they are able to borrow. So these improvements have already been postponed by the drought winters. These Ski Area improvement projects always often create some property buzz (enthusiasm) plus some increased demand. Investors always follow investors and investment.
One thing that strikes me as odd is the Ski Area’s ownership owns a tremendous part of the remaining developable real estate in Mammoth however they see no reason to take a bit risk to stimulate the local values. But precisely what do I am aware? Sometimes it would appear that the environmentalists do run the show within Mammoth. The older I recieve the greater I feel which might be that is a a valuable thing.
And lately it appears the the Ski Area’s owners have realized the “good value” of having the Town’s ice rink aligned with all of their real-estate. We’ll ought to see.
Yet another way of assessing whether the local real estate is actually a “good value” is looking at what is being newly built; almost nothing. If values were overinflated there will be construction going on everywhere. Today, clients who need a nice condo to purchase have to consider a unit which had been built-in the 2000s or have a look at something which needs significant remodeling. Even the ones internal the 2000s need some updating and a lot of the older ones are deserving of “to the studs” remodels. But either way the best price-per-sq . ft . is going to be near to the simple value of today’s new and quality construction. And that doesn’t range from the land or permits. A lot of people believe that properties selling “below replacement value” equate to “good value.”
The only product that will be newly built in the present market are a handful of homes in Sierra Star. These are generally single-family homes within the $900,000 to $1,500,000 range. This really is a very strong segment in the Mammoth market and that cool product is helping to satisfy the demand. Of your 79 single-family home sales in 2015, 30 were priced in excess of $1million. Many buyers are seeing the “good value” from the new homes. Just examine every one of the factors. The lots are situated on among the most gorgeous fairways of the Sierra Star golf course. These parcels were previously slated for condominiums. But that market doesn’t exist. And so the land is likely being acquired at a cost that assists create the whole equation work.
The equation also includes an experienced developer and builder with 4 decades of experience in Mammoth. The project may well be being run as efficiently and effectively as is possible while making a very attractive finished home and neighborhood. The bonus for some owners would be the fact the zoning allows nightly rentals. And the rental/revenue potential is apparently quite high. The entire package is incredibly attractive, especially when the discriminating new owners reach select every one of the finishing touches.
Another “good value” factor may be the healthier state in the local condominium associations. Many buyers, owners and sellers may well not recognize this. The California Civil Code (aka “Davis-Stirling”) requirements on HOAs get the associations running more professionally than in the past. This runs from accounting and reserve requirements to regular meetings and communications. For associations where the vast majority of owners are second homeowners, this really is even more important. And 64dexmpky drought has played a role too; local HOAs have saved on snow removal expenses in the past couple of years and they also have been forced to reconsidered their water and labor intensive landscaping.
Of course, if a buyer is looking to build their own personal home within Mammoth, the vacant land market still offers excellent and relatively affordable opportunities. Mammoth remains land-locked so sprawl is out of the question. As well as the hard costs of subdividing land remain high. So for people looking with this direction, this excellent value might be a “great value.”
Ultimately the “good value” criteria is as different as the range of buyers and those who own Mammoth real estate. The task is making the right match, and that isn’t always easy. But this is the job of any good agent or broker. And yes, some properties are clearly better values than others. And that is true from the whole price spectrum. And it is never all about price.
So circling to the question, yes Mammoth remains an excellent value. The greater number of it snows the higher the worth. So let it snow, allow it snow, let it snow!