Q: We were in Mammoth in the holiday period and we considered some condos for sale. We came away together with the impression that Mammoth real estate property is a good value at the moment. We think the years of drought suppressed values. What do you think?
A: Mammoth condos are often a good value if the ski conditions are great. With snow comes enthusiasm. Alumni from the Intrawest sales teams will surely recall the phrase “Selling may be the transfer of enthusiasm.” So snow equals enthusiasm equals the selling of real estate. But is Mammoth real-estate an effective value with or without snow?
We can 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 try out and recreate on is definitely the crème de la crème supporting value of local real-estate. Especially since progressively more home owners want to maximize nightly rental income and also the winter readers are the “money” from the equation. Because respect earlier times four drought winters have negatively impacted values.
Value is obviously subjective and susceptible to multiple factors. Let’s look at other important dynamics affecting Mammoth’s real estate “value.”
The current drought period also has coincided with all the peak and eventual decline of the distressed property market. Foreclosures and short sales impacted real estate values in Mammoth around around the nation. Foreclosures peaked within the 2011-12 timeframe and short sales peaked shortly thereafter (and the way the federal government intervened in all that can be another column). The most effective “deals” (lowest prices) were to be found in that period. So the base of this past market cycle really occurred in addition to the beginning of the drought.
Additionally there is a large faction of mammoth real estate who purchased or refinanced inside the mid-2000s that have been planning to liquidate but can’t afford losing their good credit score. On their behalf a foreclosure or short sale is out-of-the-question. This is the nature of the market. Many have watched property values nudge upward in the past year or two and are choosing to sell. Several of these sellers actually have to get money in the purchase to close the escrow. Some are taking substantial loses (and a few are offsetting those loses with gains inside their other investment areas).
Although the winding down from the distressed property cycle combined with the drought winters created an equilibrium in the marketplace. We have seen enough supply and enough demand to maintain selling prices in the stable range. There has been no gigantic push upward like a lot of other markets in California. So that as usual in Mammoth, there are numerous segments from the market which may have moved differently.
Among the market comparisons I love to make is what a house sold for within the mid-2000s peak market era compared to a recent sale. I only love to use identical properties for your comparisons because there might be numerous minute but critical variables. When closed sales come with the MLS I check to see if the property sold in the 2004-2007 timeframe. I try to determine if there are actually any significant improvements which have been performed to the property that will impact the calculation.
Many of the sales that fall into this comparison study reveal that the Mammoth market is selling at 60 to 70 % of your selling prices of your mid-2000s. And again there are plenty of variables. The Intrawest developed and sold properties from that era usually have lower percentages (meaning they typically sold for higher market prices ten years ago). The lowest recent sale i recall was 53%. At the very lowest from the market some were below 40% in their mid-2000 price level (most were foreclosure/REO properties). About the opposite side there are several Mammoth properties which are selling slightly over 70% of what they sold for from the peak period. Nevertheless the majority are in the 60 to 70% range.
You could surmise from this how the values simply have rebounded modestly. And perhaps the drought winters had plenty to do with it.
The drought winters also delayed a few of the Ski Area’s plans for development and expansion. The actual ownership seems destined to spend some money for capital improvements with money they realize as profits rather than utilize money they can borrow. So these improvements have already been postponed by the drought winters. These Ski Area improvement projects always tend to create some property buzz (enthusiasm) and a few increased demand. Investors always follow investors and investment.
The one thing that strikes me as odd is the fact that Ski Area’s ownership owns a significant part of the remaining developable real-estate in Mammoth and yet they see no reason at all for taking a bit risk to stimulate the neighborhood values. But precisely what do I understand? Sometimes it appears that the environmentalists really do run the show in Mammoth. The older I recieve the more I feel which might be that is a good thing.
And lately it appears to be the the Ski Area’s owners have realized the “good value” of getting the Town’s ice rink aligned with their real-estate. We’ll must see.
Another way of assessing regardless of if the local real estate property is actually a “good value” looks at exactly what is being newly built; almost nothing. If values were overinflated there would be construction taking place everywhere. Today, buyers who want a nice condo to acquire have to think about a unit that had been built in the 2000s or examine a thing that needs significant remodeling. Including the ones internal the 2000s might need some updating and most of the older ones are deserving of “to the studs” remodels. But either way the greatest price-per-square foot will likely be next to the simple price of today’s new and quality construction. And this doesn’t are the land or permits. Some people feel that properties selling “below replacement value” mean “good value.”
The only item that has been newly built in the present market are some homes in Sierra Star. They are single-family homes inside the $900,000 to $1,500,000 range. This really is a quite strong segment of your Mammoth market and also this cool product helps 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 have a look at all the factors. The lots are placed on among the most gorgeous fairways of your Sierra Star golf course. These parcels were previously slated for condominiums. But that market doesn’t exist. Hence the land is likely being acquired at a cost which helps make the whole equation work.
The equation includes an experienced developer and builder with 4 decades of expertise in Mammoth. The project might be being run as efficiently and effectively as is possible while making a very attractive finished home and neighborhood. The bonus for a few owners is always that the zoning allows nightly rentals. And also the rental/revenue potential is apparently quite high. The entire package is quite attractive, specially when the discriminating new owners be able to select all of the finishing touches.
Another “good value” factor is definitely the healthier state of the local condominium associations. Many buyers, owners and sellers may not recognize this. The California Civil Code (aka “Davis-Stirling”) requirements on HOAs possess the associations running more professionally than before. This runs from accounting and reserve requirements to regular meetings and communications. For associations where nearly all owners are second homeowners, this really is a lot more important. And 64dexmpky drought has played a role too; local HOAs have saved on snow removal expenses previously couple of years and they have also been forced to reconsidered their water and labor intensive landscaping.
And when a buyer looks to construct their very own home in 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 those looking in this direction, this the best value might be a “great value.”
Ultimately the “good value” criteria is just as different as the wide range of buyers and those who own Mammoth property. The task is making the best match, and this isn’t easy. But which is the job of your good agent or broker. You will find, some properties are clearly better values than others. And that is true through the whole price spectrum. And is particularly never exactly about price.
So circling returning to the question, yes Mammoth remains a great value. The greater it snows the higher the benefit. So allow it snow, let it snow, let it snow!