Mammoth Lakes CA Real Estate Blog

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Conditions February 19, 2017

Top of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area on February 14, 2017The skiing and opportunity for winter recreation have been incredible so far this winter season.  The mountain has gotten so much snow that even some of the expert runs now seem to be accessible for many skiers and boarders for the first time in years.  In all of the 17 years I’ve lived in Mammoth, I can’t recall this amount of snow by February 19th.  The storm track seems to continue to be active into the long range forecast.  Mammoth Mountain now reports having the most snow in the country, which is not a stretch of the truth at all…  Check out “On the Snow’s” reporting of the most snowfall for U.S. ski resorts showing Mammoth Mountain at the top with 350” at the summit.  

Although it’s a blessing to have so much snow after the consecutive years of drought (since 2010/2011 ski season), the copious amounts of snow have also brought the Town of Mammoth with the issues of dealing with too much snow all at once.  Although many of the storms have brought feet of snow, some of the storms were above freezing, which brought several inches of rain (on top of the feet of snow) to Mammoth.  This created flooding issues in various complexes around town.  The roads took quite a bit of work to get caught up with snow removal after the powerful series of storms in January that brought feet of snow to Mammoth, but everything seems to be under control at the moment.  The Town has had to start trucking out piles of snow lining the streets around town to keep the option...

Mammoth Lakes Summer 2016 Review

Fishing and Kayaking on Twin Lakes in MammothSummer is officially coming to an end as we begin our transition into fall and the lovely fall colors that this wonderful season brings.  Mammoth enjoyed record tourism this summer with record-breaking visitor numbers.  So many people were here enjoying the Eastern Sierra and the wide range of outdoor recreational activities: Back packing, Fishing, golf, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, tennis, paddle boarding, moto cross and paragliding (to name a few).  It seems that the hot temperatures in Southern California motivated visitors to head for the mountains, which resulted in Mammoth’s busiest summer in history.  I remember years ago when our shoulder seasons would last about six months of the year, which would begin in April and last through October.  The director of tourism for Mammoth has done an exceptional job in putting Mammoth on the map and getting people here to enjoy the year-round resort community, which Mammoth has become.  I’m not sure we really even have a shoulder season anymore.  People seem to be drawn to Mammoth all year long to enjoy the multitude of recreational opportunities or festivals.  Seeing this consistent explosion in tourism is great for the local businesses, which depend on tourism to survive.  

Snowcreek Fairway Ranch on Golf Course Entrance SignIn terms of real estate, it was a busy summer with record inquiries on active listings, property showings, and a lot of curiosity about possibly owning...

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Conditions & Featured Properties in the Spotlight

Mammoth Creek with Views of Snow Covered Sherwin MountainsSpring has sprung in Mammoth.  The long-awaited warmer temperatures, creeks flowing, green grass and flowers are finally here, just in time for Memorial Weekend.  The weather should be beautiful with sunny skies in the mornings and thunderstorms in the afternoons over the long weekend.  The Town of Mammoth Lakes is reporting a projected occupancy of 80% over the weekend, which is almost as high as peak winter ski season.  Both the Sierra Star and Snowcreek golf courses opened this morning and are looking great!  After a few months of uncertainty and discussions about the Sierra Star golf course possibly shutting down
for good, it is a welcome sight to see this extremely valuable resort amenity in full operation.  

Sierra Star Golf Course Opening Day with Sherwins in Background

So, what is the Mammoth Lakes real estate market doing?  Below are charts with closed sales data for all categories combined and individual categories from January 1st, 2015 through May 27, 2015 (last year), and the same period year-to-date.    

January 1, 2015 – May 27, 2015, had a total of 128 closed sales for homes, condos and lots combined.  There was a total of 26 closed residential sales (single family homes), 99 condos and 2 lots: 

...

Marriott International & Starwood Hotels and Resorts – Acquisition of Westin Monache, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Side by Side Photo of Marriott & Starwood Hotels at NightAs you may or may not have heard, on November 17, 2015, Marriott International began the process of purchasing Starwood Hotels and Resorts.  Part of this acquisition includes the popular Westin Monache resort condo hotel in Mammoth Lakes.  I only learned of this yesterday when a client who owns a condo at the Westin Monache advised that this was in process.  The combination of these two hospitality companies will create the largest hotel company in the world.

Westin Monache Lobby Area in Mammoth LakesThe Westin Monache management advised owners and Starwood Preferred Guests that they would continue to adhere to the franchise agreement signed in 2007.  This would imply that there wouldn’t be any changes to the brand, but this will be confirmed at a later date.  The Westin also plans to do some updating and renovating to the main lobby area and the common areas of the Westin Monache building in the near future.

The Marriott draws a large International crowd of business and recreational guests.  I personally view this change as a positive, which could possibly draw more rental guests to the existing Westin Monache condo hotel, in Mammoth.  Here is an interesting article regarding possible ...

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Conditions January 26, 2016

Skiers Enjoying Mammoth Mountain Fresh SnowAs of today, January 26, 2016, the Mammoth Lakes real estate market has a total of 54 homes, 141 condos, and 44 vacant land listings on the market.  The series of snowstorms, which started late November through present, have made the skiing/riding conditions excellent.  As a result, the Town of Mammoth Lakes has enjoyed some of the highest tourism numbers we’ve seen in years (during the winter season), which is great for the local economy.  We have another series of storms coming this Friday through the following week, which should continue to build the great snow pack.

Although the excellent skiing/riding conditions have brought healthy tourism to Mammoth this season, the strong demand for real estate hasn’t quite surfaced yet.  Typically, the winter season coupled with good snowfall creates a buying frenzy from the holidays through spring time.  It appears that even with aggressive price reductions, some properties are still sitting on the market.  Heading into 2015 last year, there seemed to be an obvious shortage of attractive homes on the market along with a more limited inventory of condos and homes.  This year, the inventory seems to be a bit higher, despite the snow we’ve gotten.  There is no question that the uncertainty in the markets (world and stock markets) has played into the apprehension to buy real estate.  As we approach the presidential elections...

Mammoth Lakes News & Properties in the Spotlight November 1, 2015

Fall Colors in the Snowcreek MeadowThis has been a beautiful fall season so far with gorgeous and vibrant fall colors, and spectacular weather.  For those who have never been to Mammoth Lakes during the fall (late September and October), this is probably one of the best times of year to take in the scenery of fall colors and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the mountains without crowds.  Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is scheduled to open on November 11th.  We have a winter weather advisory in the forecast for this evening and into tomorrow afternoon.  Approximately a foot of snow is expected to fall and frigid temperatures to follow this storm over the next few days.  This is great news for the ski area, and will more than likely attract some attention for the ski season opener. 

As of today, November 1st, the Mammoth Lakes real estate market has a total of 57 homes, 141 condos, and 50 vacant land active listings for sale.  The inventory has significantly shrunk over the past few weeks mostly due to several expired listings, a few cancelled listings, new escrows and closed sales.  Many sellers have realized that continuing to extend a listing, or have it on the market during what has mostly been an...

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Conditions August 22, 2015

HOUSE WITH GREAT LOCATION, INCREDIBLE VIEWS AND LIGHTAs of today, August 22, 2015, the Mammoth Lakes MLS shows a total of 71 homes, 199 condos and 57 lots on the market in Mammoth Lakes only.  Although there have been some sales during the summer season so far, for the most part, the condo market seems to be sitting in comparison with single family homes.  Attractive homes located in desirable locations, upgraded, or offering views, and bright sun light, seem to be in more demand versus condos.  Many buyers are looking at the high costs of the monthly HOA dues (homeowner’s association dues) and prefer to spend more on a house with the extra amount they can finance in place of paying astronomical HOA dues.  However, those buyers who do want to have the option of being able to generate some form of rental income to offset their costs of ownership will lean more towards a condo purchase (which can be rented nightly if allowed in the CC&Rs). 

Westin Monache Condo Hotel Makes the Highest Income for CondosThe majority of buyers who are considering a condo purchase in Mammoth Lakes are asking what type of income can be generated on an annual basis.  Since the bulk of the highest rental income will occur during ski season, if the snow conditions are lacking, then income will also be lacking.  Although there are historical rental income averages to provide prospective buyers with an idea as to what may be expected for income, one can never really “bank on” future earnings. ...

'Godzilla' El Nino Predicted for California 2015/2016 Winter Season

Riding Deep Powder on Dragon's BackThis could hopefully become what the news source states below, a very powerful "El Nino" forecasted for this coming winter.  California could receive even more copious amounts of snow than during the last official "El Nino" event we had back in 1997/1998.  

To learn more, click here.  

See The Weather Channel's story about "Strong El Nino Likely" for this coming fall and early winter.  Click Here to read the full story.Wetter Than Average Winter Expected for 2015/2016 California Winter Season

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Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Conditions – July 31, 2015

As of today, July 31, 2015, there are a total of 209 condos, 70 homes, and 55 vacant land listings on the market in Mammoth Lakes.  At a quick glance, single family homes priced over $1 Million seem to be in higher demand vs. the condo market of which the majority is sitting.  Vacant land listings also seem to be in higher demand vs. the condo market.  Although there was a healthy demand for homes and condos over the peak winter months along with a shortage of attractive options for buyers, that demand appears to have slowed down significantly over the past few months despite the great selection of properties currently on the market.

Snowcreek Ranch Where Vacant Land Listing Has Been Reduced to $319,500It‘s surprising to see that so many properties are sitting and haven’t yet sold.  A few that come to mind are: 189 Woodcrest Trail in Snowcreek Ranch listed for $1,599,000, a vacant land listing in Snowcreek Ranch reduced to $319,500, Snowcreek IV #514 townhome listed for $749,000, The Lodges #1101 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath reduced to $614,900, and Sierra Megeve #25 (2-bedroom, 2-bath and completely remodeled) listed for $425,000.  These are just a few of the many, which come to mind that have been sitting on the market.  Although the home located at 189 Woodcrest Trail is fairly new on the market with just under a month, the setting for this home is unbeatable and could be one of the best lots in Mammoth.  It was recently brought back to the market at a far lower price than where it was listed over the winter at $1,999,999.  

Graystone Completed Golf Course Homes Zoned for Nightly Rentals...

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Inventory Explosion July 6, 2015

Green Meadows and Golf Course at SnowcreekGreat weather continues to grace Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra.  Some much-welcome thunderstorms have been hitting almost every afternoon, bringing sporadic rain showers and slightly cooler afternoon temperatures.  Thanks to this much-needed rainfall, Mammoth is looking just beautiful with green golf courses and blooming meadows.   Speaking of the weather, the “El Nino” talk is beginning to spread with a favorable prognosis for a strong El Nino to hit this coming winter.  Read about the most current ENSO Diagnostic Discussion here. 

Along with the 4th of July fireworks came an explosion in the Mammoth Lakes real estate inventory.  Our inventory increased to 214 condos, 75 homes, and 55 lots over the weekend.  Although there was quite a bit of interest and showings for homes and condos, not much serious activity resulted.  As we get deeper into the summer season, the sales will begin to pick up and probably absorb some of the inventory.   This typically happens in August.  Although activity in the real estate market has been shy in...

Market Conditions and Properties in the Spotlight June 30, 2015

Mammoth Lakes Summer Thunderstorms, Green Grass and Flowers in Back CountryAs we approach the 4th of July weekend, the weather should continue to be beautiful with highs around 74 degrees and scattered afternoon thunderstorms.  The past week has brought some much-needed rainfall in the afternoons bringing out new wildflowers and greener grass around town and in the backcountry. 

Our inventory has really begun to increase, mainly in the condo sector of the real estate market.  As of today, June 30, 2015, we have 201 condos, 69 homes, and 53 vacant land listings in Mammoth Lakes.  Activity is beginning to pick up with increased website traffic, inquiries, showing appointment requests, and offers being presented.  This is customary for this time of year, and we should really see an increase in the number of pending sales (currently at only 50 for all property types in Mammoth) in the coming weeks.  There is a great selection of properties currently available on the market, but this mainly applies to condos and townhomes.  The single-family home sector of the Mammoth real estate market is still somewhat limited, or it is evident that sellers are listing their properties higher and higher.  Will buyers be willing to pay the higher prices over the summer season?  This will be interesting to see and I will provide a recap of the single-family home sales at the end of this summer. In the meantime, take a look at what Tom DiChristopher of CNBC's Realty Check has to say about the real estate market in general.  
...

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Conditions June 23, 2015

Summer Sunset Over Twin Lakes at Tamarack Lodge Mammoth LakesSummer has arrived in Mammoth Lakes.  Temperatures have been very warm over the past week or so, the Aspens are lush and green, and wildflowers are in bloom.  Summer is one of the best and most beautiful times of the year to visit Mammoth and experience all of the wonderful natural resources this mountain resort sanctuary has to offer.  Summer Horseback Riding in Mammoth LakesWhat an amazing lifestyle Mammoth Lakes provides year round for the recreational enthusiast or nature lover looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the ever-growing urban sprawl in the major Southern and Northern California cities.  Only a 5-hour drive from Los Angeles and you can escape the crowded freeways, city streets, and sidewalks to connect with this natural paradise.  Having just returned from Buenos Aires, Argentina, I found myself with a renewed appreciation and gratitude for this beautiful area I’m so fortunate to live and work in. 

When I review what is happening in the real estate market in other areas of California as well as nationwide, I have to scratch my head and wonder how such a beautiful (and small) resort area like Mammoth Lakes can still remain in relatively low demand with only slight appreciation in property values (sporadic).  ...

Properties in the Spotlight

As of today, June 1, 2015, there are a total of 181 condos, 63 homes and 51 vacant land listings on the market in the Mammoth Lakes area.  Inventory is slowly increasing as we approach the summer season, which officially kicked off on Memorial Day weekend.  Sierra Star Golf Course Memorial Day WeekendMammoth Mountain ski area is officially closed for the season, but the Sierra Star golf course is now in full swing.  The real estate market seems to be picking up with increased interest and inquiries regarding homes and condos on the market.  However, the number of properties currently in escrow remains low: Only 38 for all categories combined in the Mammoth Lakes area.  As we approach the 4th of July, pending sales and inventory typically tend to increase and with August being one of the busiest months of the year for real estate sales in Mammoth Lakes.  Interest rates remain competitive and quite low even for a second home/vacation home property at approximately 3.75% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage at approximately 2.89% annual percentage rate. 

Over the past 2 weeks, there have been 49 new listings, 37 price reductions and 14 closed sales (including surrounding areas for all property categories).  Below are the Properties in the Spotlight for new inventory in Mammoth for the week of June 1, 2015.

Courchevel #18 Remodeled Kitchen with Granite & New Cabinets...

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Conditions & Properties in the Spotlight

NMME SST FORECAST FROM MAY 2015As of today, Friday, May 15, 2015, the Mammoth Lakes real estate market has a total of 165 condos, 63 homes and 49 lots for sale on the Mammoth Lakes MLS.  There is only a total of 41 pending sales (properties in escrow) for the Mammoth Lakes area.  As springtime progresses, and with Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, the weather in Mammoth continues to be unsettled, which seems to have started on the Fishing day opener with the first measurable snowfall at the lower elevations in quite some time.  The 10-day forecast shows off and on rain/snow showers through Saturday, May 23rd.  While we’re on the topic of weather, take a look at this interesting May 2015 ENSO forecast blog post from the NOAA Climate.gov website.  If they are correct in their prediction of a highly likely and much overdue wet winter up ahead, California could get significant rain and the Sierra Nevada’s (where Mammoth Lakes is located) could get copious amounts of snow.  Although it is quite possible that this trend could fizzle out by next winter, let’s hope it continues and develops into a strong pattern!

Foreclosures in the Spotlight

109 STARWOOD DRIVE CUSTOM LOG HOME UPCOMING REO LISTING...

Lending Restrictions for Resort Area Condo Loans

As of Sunday, May 3, 2015, the Mammoth Lakes real estate market has a total of 165 condos, 60 homes and 49 vacant land active listings.  There are only 41 properties under contract (in escrow) for all property types combined within Mammoth Lakes.  This is relatively low even for this time of year.  Although there is serious demand for the right property, many buyers are waiting on the sidelines for their ideal property to come on the market.  Mainly, the single-family homes sector of the market is in high demand, but with a very limited selection of attractive or quality homes at market value.  There have been some new listings over the past few weeks, but everything seems to be listing at higher prices, and buyers are willing to be patient to see what the summer months will bring in terms of expanded inventory. 

Because it is so QUIET in town at the moment following a very early closing of most of the ski area, it is my assumption that sellers who are contemplating putting their property on the market are waiting until tourism increases.   Memorial Day weekend typically kicks off the summer season in Mammoth, but it doesn’t really get going until middle of June, and the momentum continues to build until it “peaks out” at around middle to late August (for real estate inventory and sales activity).  This would be the only explanation for the limited number of properties that are trickling onto the market following a record drought year with below average rental occupancy figures for the 2014/2015 ski season. 

Grand Sierra Lodge Condo Hotel at Village at MammothThe lending climate in Mammoth Lakes continues to be difficult for out of area lenders to tackle.  Since 2009, the lending restrictions...

Market Conditions & Best Time to Buy in Mammoth Lakes

As of today, April 20, 2015, the Mammoth Lakes MLS shows a total of 165 condos, 62 homes and 51 vacant land listings on the market.  The Mammoth real estate market has been pretty quiet in general with a few new listings trickling onto the market, a few cancelled listings withdrawn from the MLS, and a few new pending sales.  I had expected to see an explosion of new listings starting to hit the market around this time, but that isn’t really happening.

This was our fourth consecutive drought year with the 2015/2015 season being the worst.  Perhaps sellers feel that they’ve weathered the lack of storms, a very slow to rebound resort market, and incredibly restrictive lending conditions (among other disappointments in the Town of Mammoth) over the past several years, that they can wait it out longer.  If sellers have been able to make it through all of this adversity, it’s quite possible that they will wait until demand increases or the weather changes (bringing much anticipated normal snowfall over the next few years).  If this is the case, the great deals that buyers are waiting for – reduced prices – may not materialize.  Only those sellers, who are truly motivated and need to sell, will be the select few that may discount their properties below current market value.  From what I am noticing in the MLS, we aren’t seeing drastic price reductions or a flood of new inventory.  The real estate market in Mammoth seems to be somewhat neutral at the moment.

Twin Lakes at Tamarack Lodge in Summer MonthsOne of the questions that buyers frequently ask is when the best time of year to buy property in Mammoth is.  It used to be between April and mid-summer, which is when inventory would rise and tourism was...

Market Review & Properties in the Spotlight

As of today, April 2, 2015, the Mammoth Lakes real estate market has a total of 54 homes, 161 condos, and 48 lots on the market.  There are not very many properties in escrow at this time, only 51 total, which includes “pending”, “back-up” and “contingent short sale” classifications.  

With the closing of Eagle Lodge and Canyon Lodge soon to follow, the weather seems to be changing into a mild winter with a projected storm on the way next week, which should be cold enough to bring snow.  There has been much discussion on the news about the non-existent snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which is at the lowest in history, along with strict water rationing on the way for the state of California.  Some people are quite concerned that it will never snow again, while others don’t seem to mind and remain interested in owning property in Mammoth.  It has been a strange winter, and in noticing various different species of birds never seen in the area before (along with other parts of California), this could be an indication of possible weather change in the coming months/year.  This has been noticeable not only to me, but to many other people I’ve spoken with lately.  In correlation with animal behavior, although this is hopeful speculation on my part, I have a feeling that the weather is going to change bringing increased precipitation over the late spring, summer and following through into next fall and winter.  Maybe we’ll end up getting enough snow over the next couple of winters to end the drought.  Because the weather has been shifting to such extremes (world-wide), when the weather shifts again, we will most likely have some very intense storms, and Mammoth Mountain will be a winter wonderland again.  This has been the case throughout history.  Click...

Mammoth Lakes Market Conditions & Properties in the Spotlight

Eagle Express at Little Eagle During a Normal Snow YearThe Town of Mammoth Lakes appears to be heading into the shoulder season a lot sooner than in previous years.  It feels very quiet in town, along with reduced activity in the real estate market (overall).  Eagle Express (chair 15) has closed for the season due to lack of snow and warm temperatures.  Canyon Express (chair 16) is still running for the time being.  The Mammoth “Cali4nia” passes are now on sale for the 2015/2016 ski season for $689.00, which includes a $100 resort credit.  The pass is good for Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit ski areas.  Coming out of one of the worst drought years on record for Mammoth, I’m going to be optimistic in saying that it can’t get much worse than this.  I am hopeful that next ski season will bring normal snowfall to the Sierra Nevada range, which will help chip away at the severe drought conditions.  NASA reported last week that California has 1 year left of water (at the current levels).   We need the snow to fall in copious amounts not only for recreation, but most important, drinking water and farming. 

As of today, March 24, 2015, there are a total of 162 condos, 55 homes and 49 lots on the market.  During the past week, there were a total of 10 new escrows and pending sales combined and a total of 8 closed sales. ...

Properties in the Spotlight – Mammoth Lakes Real Estate

Mammoth Mountain Ski AreaDuring the past week, the Mammoth Lakes Real Estate market has seen an explosion in new listings with a total of 24 from Monday, March 9th until Sunday, March 15th.  Most of these new listings have been condos with a few single-family homes.  It isn’t surprising that we are seeing so many new listings hit the market this early after such a dismal ski season.  Typically, we don’t see this volume of new listings until after Canyon and Eagle Lodges close for the winter (usually around mid-April), although, that might happen very soon….  Compared with last season, if this “listing” trend continues, it’s apparent that there will be much more inventory and a great selection for buyers to choose from in the coming months.  To read about what’s going on in the real estate market nationwide, be sure to visit “Realty Check” by Diana Olick. 

Below are my property recommendations for the week: Properties in the Spotlight. 

The Lodges #1203 Living Room & Great RoomThe Lodges #1203 listed for $665,000: This luxurious, yet rustic, 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath condo with an attached one-car garage, and 1,856 square feet of living space, sits right on the Snowcreek Golf Course.  This is one of only 3 Plan 1 models in Snowcreek's "The Lodges" with golf course frontage. Extraordinary mountain, golf course and lake views can be seen from almost every room of this single-level, ground-floor condo.  Some of the many features...

Mammoth Lakes Market Conditions & Featured Properties of the Week

The Mammoth Lakes real estate market had an increase of 15 new listings, 11 price reductions and 6 closed sales for the past week. 

1 Creek Lane Craftsman Style House Backing to MeadowNew listings ranged in price from $135,000 for an upgraded studio at the St. Moritz condos complex up to $1,300,000 for a Craftsman style home in Old Mammoth located at 1 Creek Lane.  This property is located on one of Mammoth’s most coveted neighborhoods, and backs to the Snowcreek Meadow Preserve and flowing creeks.  The recently completed town bike trail system is connected by the new bridge at the Majestic Pines cul-de-sac over to the end of Waterford Street, which is where the Creek Lane property is located (corner of Waterford and Creek Lane).  A summary of the new listings this past week include 1 duplex in the Sierra Valley Sites neighborhood, 2 single family homes, and the rest being condos. 

101 Northstar Circle Luxury Home on Sierra Star Golf CourseThere were a total of 11 price reductions for the period, mostly in the condo sector of the Mammoth real estate market.  Some of these noteworthy price reductions are: Mammoth West #106, 2-bedroom, 2-bath townhouse at the base of Canyon Lodge, which was reduced to $265,000, Meadowridge #12, remodeled 2-bedroom, 3-bath town house across the street from the Sierra Star golf course and .5 miles to the base of Eagle Express chairlift, was reduced down to $369,000, White Mountain Lodge #2421, 2-bedroom, 2-bath on the 4th floor in the Village at Mammoth was reduced down to $449,500, Mammoth Green #215, 3-bedroom, 2-bath corner...

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