Mammoth Lakes, CA Real Estate News

We are now almost 3 years into this real estate market down turn and there is no sign of rebound just yet.  However, several well respected economists are making predictions of when they think our market will bottom out and then recover. Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan wrote in an article for Emerging Markets newspaper that the U.S. housing market will recover in the first half of 2009. “The recent slowing in the rate of decline in U.S. home prices is the first positive note in this now year-long trauma. More conclusive signs of pending home price stability are likely to become visible in the first half of 2009.” -- “ Greenspan Sees Housing Recovery in First Half of 2009,” by Jake Lee, Bloomberg, Oct. 10, 2008 Respected economist and Mercer University professor Roger...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
Broker’s Report, Oct 25––This time last year I returned from a fishing trip and reported cold water in the Pacific Ocean along the Baja coast (my conjecture back then––La Nina). This year it is completely different. Water temperatures in the same locations are 10-15 degrees hotter this year. We can only hope this is an El Nino type pattern and will result in a wet winter. Mammoth is currently experiencing a fabulous “Indian summer”­­––warm days perfect for recreation and brisk nights worthy of a fire in the fireplace.   Upon my return I realized I owed my readers a Broker’s Report more than a fishing report, so here goes…Being away from my desk for two weeks seems like a year but it doesn’t take me long to get back to speed when all the characters pour into my offic...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
Real Estate Q&A August 2008   Q: As relatively new Mammoth locals, we’re weighing our housing options. We can qualify for Mammoth Lakes Housing properties and have been sensing that regular rentals rates are coming down a bit. But we really would like the chance to buy something. What’s your take on opportunities for locals to buy in the next few years?   A:  To answer this question we need to visit some changing market conditions. Let’s look at rents first. Residential rents are the underlying driver in the decision making process to buy or not for many people. Many locals bought homes at opportune times in the 90’s and hedged nicely against increasing rents. They bought in the whole spectrum of properties from $35K condos to fourplexes they call home.   Mammoth re...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
  Broker’s Report August18––The dog days of summer find Mammoth with two months of solid and quite impressive summer tourism in the books. That success (and maybe even another decent month to go) may be the difference between some Mammoth businesses making it to next winter or not. Except for a few days of lull after the Jazz Jubilee, Mammoth has been very busy since early June. And the visitors seem glad to be here. Not bad considering the country is in a serious tourism recession.   Okay, okay. How’s real estate doing? (Smart People Are Buying Now!!) Actually, some times I wonder why I bother with all of this, but it is my odd obsession to watch all of the intricate movement in this micro-market of Mammoth. The most common thing I’m hearing these days is, “Paul, when there’s a screami...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
  The past few weeks have become more and more exciting in the Mammoth Foreclosure realm. From attending Trustee’s Sales (aka auctions), to “cash-for-keys” negotiations between lenders and former owners and tenants, to sometimes disgusting “trash-outs”, to seeing happy new owners settling into a once-foreclosed property, there are few dull moments. And the paperwork, endless forms, and seller confusion and delays continue. But all of this action reveals critical insight into the Mammoth real estate market conditions.   I’ve come to the conclusion (duh Paul!) that today’s foreclosures in Mammoth are far less a statement of the current local economic and real estate condition and much more the result of the give-away lending (and consequent gambling) and the market hyperbole of the 2005–0...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
Success Leaves Clues––and the Quickbooks Stare   Q: With all the reports of businesses closing in Mammoth, and it seems like the other half are for sale, what is going on? It’s not just the Village businesses. Over the years we’ve watched the businesses come and go, some sooner, some later. Mammoth appears to be a great place to own a small business, why is it so transient?   A: Sometimes I have to laugh when I get the “you’re in real estate, what do you know about business?” question from certain people. (And in the real estate business there is nothing worse than trying to sell somebody else’s brilliant business that is a black hole and yet they think it is so “valuable”.) Between drinking beer in college I took plenty of business classes and ...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
Broker’s Report June 16––I’ve got plenty to say this time around so bear with me. I’ll try to be concise. I’ll cover ground including the very interesting current market conditions, the ongoing development planning in Mammoth, the anticipated effect (my guess) of escalating gas prices on Mammoth, the latest and perhaps desperate maneuvers by local real estate “professionals” that consumers and customers should know about, and some recent comments made by Starwood Capital’s CEO Barry Sternlicht. Stay with me. Mammoth real estate activity in the past 45 days has made it clear there are real buyers for properties in almost all segments of the market if the prices are down. How far down? In some segments that means up to 25 to 40 percent off of the peak asking prices. I said asking prices. ...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
Asleep At The Wheel? Q: In a very recent column you stated that the spring buyers “have exited for the most part and there won’t be any volume of buyers looking until late summer”. I was told from somebody in the industry that business was picking up. Can you explain your perspective? A: Since the year 2000 there are clearly two primary selling seasons for Mammoth real estate. There has always been a pre-winter push driven by the anticipation of skiing and positive rental income. The other busy and productive period has become the late winter/early spring when Southern California families are here for extended vacations. Those weeks are more spread out due to the schools being on “tracks”. During these weeks there is no rush, no “weekend warrior” mentality. Mom and dad (and grandma and ...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
Broker’s Report April 16––In the spirit of keeping this from sounding like the Broken Record Report instead of a fresh Broker’s Report, I will digress somewhat this time around, but hopefully produce something worth your while. For those serious market watchers who want immediate information, here it is; the Mammoth market has, for the most part, returned to a stalemate between buyers and sellers. Some significant price reductions have brought transactions. But most sellers have dropped back into passive mode. A half dozen or so are slowly heading into foreclosure. And some have their fingers crossed that a short sale is possible. The typical spring break lookers and buyers who spread out over the weeks of the So Cal school breaks appeared and were bargain shopping. They have exited for...
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By Paul Oster
(RE/MAX of Mammoth)
Foreclosures are reaching record numbers in many real estate markets, some to the extent that foreclosure numbers are exceeding actual closed sales. Seeing those kinds of statistics can be shocking. Clearly, the values in those markets will be greatly impacted by the volume of foreclosed properties. That is why I have been intensively watching and reporting on that segment of the market for the past 18 months. But all appearances are that the Mammoth Lakes market will be different. Not that it will remain unscathed, but foreclosures will not be the foot-on-the gas of a downward spiral in values. After an early year push of a half dozen well priced and attractive lender owned properties, we have hit a lull. But there are more properties in the pipeline. Part of the lull was created by a ...
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By Jamie Nash
(Coldwell banker Mammoth Real Estate)
Want to help out our community? It's simple, use me for purchasing or selling property from now until the end of the 2008 school year and I will contribute 10% of my commission to Mammoth Elementary school in your name. You will get an ad in the local newspaper letting the community know that you contributed to Mammoth Elementary School. It's my way and your way of giving back to the community. Call me today for more information~ 760-914-0625
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By David Schwartz
(Mammoth Realty Center)
What do you call a Realtor® that has not sold anything for the past six months? "Hey waiter” is my bet! Mammoth has over 200 realtors and about 10 sales a month. Someone is not eating; in fact Realtors® are starving. The number of sold properties is so low that even the most optimistic are feeling blue. It may not be until 2009 before we see any life in the Mammoth real estate market. My calculations show that, this year, alone, at least $15,000,000 in commissions has NOT flowed to the real estate community due to the down turn in sales. That’s $15,000,000 that is not going into the community for dinners out, home improvements, local media advertising, charitable contributions and the multitude of other spending Realtors® and their families traditionally do. Coincidently, our retailer s...
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Our resort market of Mammoth Lakes, CA, is made up of two different kinds of sellers; those who don't really need to sell (their property is either a 2nd home that they can keep making rental income on or are just waiting for the market to rebound and can wait on their next 1031 exchange), and those who really need to sell (due to a life changing event, cannot afford payments, interest rate increase, etc).An example of each:Seller #1, we'll call him Mike, just increased the list price of his condo from $279k to $284.5k because when we just received an offer on it, the parties came within $10,000 of each other and then fell through.  It turned out that $279k was Mike's rock bottom price in order for it to make investment sense, so we raised his price to give a little negotiating room.  I...
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By David Schwartz
(Mammoth Realty Center)
Daniel Nissanoff, author of Futureshop said, "Fractional ownership is quickly becoming a mainstream way of living and is emerging as one of this decade’s major paradigms in consumer behavior." This quote is just the tip of an iceberg that is floating its way into American and that includes Mammoth Lakes.Fractional ownership has expanded into dozens of categories that go well beyond real estate. These include Aircraft & Jets (We all know about Net Jet but what about City Flyer where you learn to fly and have planes and insurance at you disposal.), Art (Own a Picasso, why not?), Boats & Yachts (Own the yacht club or a suite on a cruse ship) , Classic Cars (Let’s drive a Lamborghini this weekend), Corporate Hospitality (Sky boxes and more), Destination & Private Residence Clubs (Mammoth ha...
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By David Schwartz
(Mammoth Realty Center)
Mammoth has a new category of ownership emerging called "Fractional Ownership".Fractional ownership is a deeded interest in a vacation home with the property dividedinto more then one Assessors Parcel Number (APN). The result is that more then onefamily owns the same vacation home.The number of families that have ownership in the same home can vary between projects.In Mammoth we have three fractional projects, 80/50, Tallus and Tanavista, with more onthe way. Each project has its own unique product and ownership opportunities.80/50 in Mammoth80/50 is located in the Village. It is designed as a five-star residence experience that hasone; two and three bedroom units offered at 1/8th share ownership. Each unit has eightowners that share a reservation concept that rotates for peak holiday v...
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By David Schwartz
(Mammoth Realty Center)
A few months ago I had asked Realtors what they thought was happening with real estate in Mammoth. I had responses that were all over the map, but one response in particular stood out. It was from Howard Sheckter, our weather man/Realtor, who advised waiting until October before we passed any judgments on the real estate market. We have seen changes in real estate all through southern California and now would be the time to evaluate these changes. I have pulled together an overview of the Mammoth Lakes real estate market comparing two five month periods between June 1, 2005 to November 1, 2005 and June 1, 2006 to November 1, 2006.We will look at: Volume Units sold Average Price Days on Market (DOM)With data, you never know what will materialize, and this time was no exception. As th...
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By David Schwartz
(Mammoth Realty Center)
In our past article we reviewed productive ways to search for a condo in Mammoth. We suggested you connect with a local Realtor who has intimate knowledge of our market.  Further we suggested that you find that Realtor by using the internet or looking for Realtors who advertise in the Mammoth Times.  If you followed this advice, you probably found a great second home that you want to purchase.  The next step is for you and your Realtor to write an offer and eventually purchase that prefect home. When your offer is accepted, the adventure begins.  But what are the economics of owning a condo in Mammoth?  What does it cost to live the dream?I will use an example of purchasing a unit in the Village. I have chosen this example due to the fact that it may represent the best "economics" for c...
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By David Schwartz
(Mammoth Realty Center)
Please see our BLOG www.MammothRealtyCenter.com for my articles about Mammoth real estate.David
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Mammoth Lakes, CA Real Estate Professionals