Monthly Archives: May 2016

Market Update for May 2016 – Flat, but with some trends

How is the market in Mammoth? In a word…Flat.  Since when?…2014

The real estate market in Mammoth Lakes has been fairly flat.  It is neither a buyers’ market nor a sellers’ market.  Here are a few characteristics of our market…

Price per SqFt: We looked at $/sqft for condos and homes over the last few years and segmented them different ways (by location, age, price range) and some segments rose a tad, like newer homes (less than 25 years old) and non-Intrawest condos, and some segments dropped.  Overall, the $/sqft is fairly flat but trending slightly in the upwards direction.  Admittedly, $/sqft is not always the best indicator, as many factors are not always incorporated into $/sqft.  Let’s look at some other characteristics:

Price per sq ft condos + homes


Time to Sell: Homes are taking longer and condos are selling more quickly  Condos usually sell more quickly than homes, and right now they are selling a month and a half more quickly (97 days from listing date to contract date versus 141 days).  The difference can probably be explained by the difference in price points.  It takes longer to find a buyer for a $1.5M home versus a $200k condo (the pool of buyers is smaller)…

DOM2What is selling: 80% of the 120 condos sold in 2016 are below $465,000.  And you can barely find a house for less than this (only seven of the 30 homes sold in 2016 so far were below this mark).  In both segments, all cash financing are seen in a little over 1/3 of all transactions.




Inventory: Late spring is the time of year when sellers list (or re-list…or even sometimes pause their listing for 30 days to re-set the days on market to zero). In 2014, between the middle of May and the 4th of July, inventory shot up by 25%. In 2015, it shot up by 20% in the same span.  We expect to see a similar increase this spring.  Condos that were taken off the market in order to max out rental income will come back on the market. Homes and lots that emerge from the snow will also emerge on our active inventory.  On another note, our foreclosure inventory is basically non existent and we only have a few short sales.


Condo Sales Pace

Sales Pace: As you see in the graph, the pace of sales was strong in 2013 (the year after we bottomed out and had an uptick in the market), but then has been slightly slower since then.



Bright Spots: The bright spots in our market include the following:

(1) Lower-priced homes.  Half of the homes selling are considered ‘affordable’ in the under $599,000 range.  (The $700k-800k range has been struggling with only one sale so far this year).

(2) GrayBear: New development of single family homes along Sierra Star Golf Course with the rare ability to be rented out nightly.  These are priced $1M-$1.5M and the developer has been swamped with sales and construction activities along East Bear Lake Dr.

(3) Snowcreek Phase IV and Westin studios are among the most frequently purchase properties in 2016 so far.

Sellers who have had their properties on the market throughout the ski season without seeing them sell are really hoping the summer will bring them a buyer.  We do tend to see a new set of buyers during summer, as well as those winter enthusiasts who were not able to see many condos for sale because they were always rented during our recent successful ski season.

We believe that the drought has a lot to do with our sluggish market.  Buyers are skeptical (rightly so) that one good winter will lead to a trend of several good ski seasons in a row.  While Mammoth’s success definitely depends on the ski resort, our town has much more to offer and has been drawing tourists (and real estate buyers) for many other reasons.

Feel free to email us if you have any questions or comments!

-Dennis Cox & Tara Peterson

Biking in Mammoth

Mammoth is home to some of the best mountain biking and road biking in California. It offers excellent riding for all disciplines and skill levels. Year-round you will find both locals and visitors riding bikes, even through the winter at the lower elevations.


For cross country and downhill mountain bike rides, Mammoth Mountain offers over 80 miles of groomed single track. Whether pedaling the trails or taking the Scenic Gondola to the 11,053-foot peak to start your ride, you’ll enjoy world-class trails and breathtaking scenery.


Professional racers come up regularly to train and compete in Mammoth. The U.S. National Mountain Bike Championships will be held in Mammoth this July. Thousands of America’s top riders will come to compete in all disciplines of the sport.


Mammoth also offers miles of paved bike paths, including the Town Loop and the Lakes Basin Path which are friendly to all level of cyclists.


Road cycling in Mammoth is spectacular. The roads are well maintained and are ideal for altitude training. From Mammoth you can ride north or south on the wide shoulder of the 395, climb many iconic climbs such as Tioga Pass, or try a locals favorite like the Mammoth Scenic Loop or June Lake Loop.  And don’t forget about the annual Fall Century / Gran Fondo ride.

Bike rentals and maintenance shops can easily be found to support this industry (i.e. Footloose Sports, The Bike Maven, Brian’s Bicycles).  If you want some assistance going uphill, electric bikes are also available at the Pedego store.

Finally, when the ride is over, Mammoth offers a wide variety of restaurants, accommodations, and bike shops to help make Mammoth one of the top cycling destinations in California.

-By Joel Turner

Multi-Family Investing in Mammoth

Have you always wanted your own piece of Mammoth, but not sure if you can really afford it? There’s always the option of purchasing a condo and putting it on a rental program. The biggest downside to this is feeling like you need to rent the condo during all of those weekends and holidays that you might want to be using it yourself.  See our blog post about cashflow on Mammoth condos here.


Another great option can be investing in small multifamily housing. A duplex, triplex, or four-plex would allow you to own your own property, live or vacation in one unit, and rent out the rest. Often, the rental income from the other units can be enough to cover most or all of your mortgage payment for the entire property.


For instance, a triplex on Mono St. (three 2bedroom/1bath units) just sold in Mammoth this month for $620,000. The principal and interest on a mortgage payment would be around $2,300/month (assuming a 20% down payment and 3.5% interest rate).  Your other ownership expenses include common area utilities (exterior lighting / laundry room operation), snow removal, property taxes, and maintenance. 


If you reserved one unit for your personal use, each of the other units would only need to rent for $1150/month to cover your mortgage. Recently, 2 bedroom units in town have been renting for an average of $1200-1300/month. Viola! Living in Mammoth for (almost) free!


When considering multi-unit properties, you will want to become familiar with tenant rights and lease agreements, the best way to collect rent, how to advertise vacancies and whether or not to hire a property manager.


But don’t think that multifamily means sharing walls with your neighbors. There are a couple of options on the market currently that offer separate houses on the same lot. You can have the privacy of a single family home but still have rent money coming in each month.


Take a look at the current multi-family listings and see if any might be the path to ownership for you. View current multifamily listings here.

-By Shelby Pracht

Bigwood Condos

Bigwood Condos are located near the Sierra Star Golf Course and the Majestic Pine neighborhoods.  The complex was completed in 1974 with a total of 109 units. Amenities include a pool, spa, and a sauna; and each unit has a 1 car detached garage.

Floor Plans (and sales history 2004-2016) include:

– 1 Bed / 1 Bath @ 671 sqft. (High: $382,000 in April 2007, Low: $98,000 in June 2010)

– 1+Loft / 2 Bath @ 950 sqft. (High: $445,000 in November 2006, Low: $162,000 in February 2011)

Click Here to view all active condos at Bigwood

Maps of all complexes are found at


Mammoth Creek

Mammoth Creek Condos are located off of Old Mammoth near the Mammoth Creek Park. The project was built in 1976 with a total of 60 units. Condo amenities include a pool, spa, sauna and a recreation room. The project also is located next to a stream with a wide grassy area. Enjoy fishing, and lounging on the premises. You can directly access the Mammoth Creek Park from the condominiums as well as the Mammoth Town loop bike trail.

Floor Plans include:

  • 1 Bed / 1 Bath (833 sqft.)
  • 2 Bed/ 2 Bath (1100 sqft.)
  • 2 + Loft 2.5 Bath (1483 sqft.)

Sales History (2004-2016):

1 Bed / 1 Bath

  • High: $457,500 (March 2006)
  • Low: $154,000 (June 2015)

2 Bed / 2 Bath:

  • High: $620,000 (May 2006)
  • Low: $210,000 (September 2012)

2 + Loft / 2.5 Bath:

  • High: $637,500 (February 2006)
  • Low: $265,000 (July 2013)

Click Here for all active listings at Mammoth Creek

Sunrise Condos

Sunrise Condos is located near the Town and Old Mammoth. It was built in 1980 with a total of 51 units. Amenities include a Pool, Spa, Sauna, and Laundry. It is a short walk to the Mammoth Creek Park & Playground and with direct access to the Mammoth town loop bike path.

Floor plans range from:

  • 1 Bed / 1 Bath (800 sqft.)
  • 1 +Loft / 2 bath (1100 sqft.)

Sales History (2004-2016):

1 Bed / 1 Bath:

  • High: $437,000 (October 2006)
  • Low: $185,000 (May 2004)

1 + Loft / 2 Bath:

  • High: $601,000 (Aug 2004)
  • Low: $223,000 (May 2013)

Click Here to view all active Sunrise Condos