Q: We had been in Mammoth throughout the holiday period so we checked out some condos available for purchase. We came away using the impression that Mammoth property is a superb value today. We think the years of drought suppressed values. What is your opinion?
A: Mammoth condos are often a good value if the ski conditions are fantastic. With snow comes enthusiasm. Alumni in the Intrawest sales teams will certainly keep in mind the phrase “Selling may be the transfer of enthusiasm.” So snow equals enthusiasm equals the selling of real estate property. But is Mammoth property an excellent value without or with snow?
We can easily talk all 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 may be the crème de la crème supporting the price of local real estate property. Especially since progressively more property owners are trying to maximize nightly rental income along with the winter readers are the “money” from the equation. In that respect days gone by four drought winters have negatively impacted values.
Value is undoubtedly subjective and subjected to multiple factors. Let’s look at other important dynamics affecting Mammoth’s real-estate “value.”
The recent drought period also has coincided using the peak and eventual decline of the distressed property market. Foreclosures and short sales impacted the real estate values within Mammoth up to anywhere in the nation. Foreclosures peaked in the 2011-12 timeframe and short sales peaked shortly thereafter (and exactly how government entities intervened in all that can be another column). The ideal “deals” (lowest prices) were to be found for the reason that period. So the base of this past market cycle really occurred in addition to the start of the drought.
Additionally there is a large faction of mammoth lake homes for sale who purchased or refinanced from the mid-2000s who have been looking to liquidate but can’t afford the losing of their good credit standing. For these people a foreclosure or short sale is out-of-the-question. This is basically the nature of this market. Many have watched real estate values nudge upward previously several years and they are choosing to sell. Several of these sellers actually have to place money in the purchase to close the escrow. Some take substantial loses (and a few are offsetting those loses with gains in their other investment areas).
Nevertheless the winding down from the distressed property cycle together with the drought winters created an equilibrium available in the market. There has been enough supply and enough demand to help keep selling prices inside a stable range. We have seen no gigantic push upward like countless other markets in California. And as usual in Mammoth, there are several segments of the market who have moved differently.
One of the market comparisons I like to make is what a property sold for in the mid-2000s peak market era compared to a recent sale. I only want to use identical properties for that comparisons because there could be numerous minute but critical variables. When closed sales come throughout the MLS I check to see when the property sold back in the 2004-2007 timeframe. I try to determine if there are actually any significant improvements which have been done to the home that would modify the calculation.
A lot of the sales that fall under this comparison study show that the Mammoth marketplace is selling at 60 to 70 percent from the selling prices from the mid-2000s. And again there are many 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 cheapest recent sale that I recall was 53%. With the very lowest from the market some were below 40% of their mid-2000 selling price (most were foreclosure/REO properties). On the opposite side there are many Mammoth properties that happen to be selling slightly over 70% of the items they sold for inside the peak period. But the majority have been in the 60 to 70% range.
You can surmise using this that this values simply have rebounded modestly. And possibly the drought winters had plenty with regards to it.
The drought winters also delayed some of the Ski Area’s plans for development and expansion. The actual ownership seems going to spend some money for capital improvements with money they realize as profits as an alternative to utilize money they can borrow. So these improvements are already postponed from the drought winters. These Ski Area improvement projects always have a tendency to create some property buzz (enthusiasm) plus some increased demand. Investors always follow investors and investment.
The thing that strikes me as odd is the fact that Ski Area’s ownership owns a substantial portion of the remaining developable real estate in Mammoth nevertheless they see no reason to take a bit risk to stimulate the local values. But what exactly do I realize? Sometimes it appears that the environmentalists really do run the show within Mammoth. The older I get the greater number of I do believe which might be which is a a valuable thing.
And lately seems like the the Ski Area’s owners have realized the “good value” of having the Town’s ice rink aligned with all their real estate property. We’ll need 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 occurring everywhere. Today, buyers who need a nice condo to buy have to check out a unit which was internal the 2000s or examine an issue that needs significant remodeling. Including the ones internal the 2000s need some updating and most of the older ones are deserving of “to the studs” remodels. But in any case the supreme price-per-sq . ft . will likely be near the simple expense of today’s new and quality construction. And this doesn’t add the land or permits. Some people think that properties selling “below replacement value” equate to “good value.”
The only real product which is being newly built in the current market are a couple of homes in Sierra Star. These are single-family homes within the $900,000 to $1,500,000 range. It is a very strong segment in the Mammoth market and that cool product is helping to meet the demand. Of the 79 single-family home sales in 2015, 30 were priced at over $1million. Many buyers are seeing the “good value” within the new homes. Just look at all the factors. The lots are situated on some of 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 which helps create the whole equation work.
The equation comes with a highly skilled developer and builder with 4 decades of experience in Mammoth. The project is probably being run as efficiently and effectively as you possibly can while creating a very attractive finished home and neighborhood. The bonus for some owners is always that the zoning allows nightly rentals. And the rental/revenue potential is apparently very high. The whole package is incredibly attractive, particularly when the discriminating new owners arrive at select each of the finishing touches.
Another “good value” factor may be the healthier state of the local condominium associations. Many buyers, owners and sellers might not recognize this. The California Civil Code (aka “Davis-Stirling”) requirements on HOAs have the associations running more professionally than ever before. This runs from accounting and reserve requirements to regular meetings and communications. For associations where virtually all owners are second homeowners, this really is much more important. And 64dexmpky drought has played a part too; local HOAs have saved on snow removal expenses previously several years and they have also been forced to reconsidered their water and labor intensive landscaping.
And in case a buyer looks to create their very own home here in Mammoth, the vacant land market still offers excellent and relatively affordable opportunities. Mammoth remains land-locked so sprawl is unthinkable. As well as the hard costs of subdividing land remain high. So for people looking in this direction, this value can be quite a “great value.”
Ultimately the “good value” criteria is really as different as the wide range of buyers and those who own Mammoth real estate. The problem is making the proper match, and therefore isn’t easy. But that is the job of the good agent or broker. You will find, some properties are clearly better values than others. And that is true through the whole price spectrum. In fact it is never information on price.
So circling to the question, yes Mammoth remains a great value. The greater number of it snows the higher the significance. So permit it to snow, permit it to snow, allow it to snow!