Category Archives: Real Estate Blog

How Long Will My Mammoth Property Take to Sell?


Better Get Your List Price Right: An analysis of condo sales over the last ten years shows that the average time it took a condo to sell was 75% quicker when priced right.  By ‘priced right’, we mean that a property was priced in line with the market that it received an offer and went into escrow without ever having to reduce its list price.

Put another way, it took an average of 172 days to sell condos that were fishing for a higher price and had to employ at least one price reduction, versus only 42 days for condos that went into escrow without any price reductions.  These is a significant difference.

Many sellers like to test the market with a listing price that is higher than what their Realtor recommends.  And they are okay if the condo sits on the market for a while, because many are also making rental income at the same time.  But if you need to sell your property quickly, we recommended studying recent sales of comparable properties (‘comps’) with us, noting how quickly it took them to sell, and then pricing your property appropriately.


Availability: Another factor that will influence your ‘DOM’ (Days on Market) is whether your condo is available for showings.  As alluded to previously, many sellers like to keep their condo available for short term rentals while it is also listed for sale.  This can seriously limit the number of showings, as potential buyers are often in town during busy weekends when many condos are occupied by vacationers.


Months of Supply / Absorption Rate: One overall measurement of how quickly it takes listings to sell is called ‘Months of Supply’ or ‘Absorption Rate.’  This is the number of months it would take to sell off the entire inventory at the current pace of sales (i.e. how quickly current listings get absorbed by buyers). 

Mammoth’s current condo Supply is 4.0 months. Calculation: 124 active condos for sale divided by the average of 31 condos selling per month over the last three months.  Theoretically, if you listed your condo in line with the market, you could expect it to sell in about 4 months.  If you choose a higher listing price, it could take longer (and require several price reductions).  If you are aggressive with the price, you might expect to sell it more quickly than 4 months.

The speed record for the Mammoth condo market in the last 15 years was only 0.7 Months of Supply recorded in January 2004 (things were selling like hotcakes in that market!  Remember Intrawest?).  The slowest absorption rate was during September 2008 (Recession) with a Supply of 40.4 months!  Can you imagine it taking 3 1/3 years to sell your condo?


Looking forward: As you can see in the graph below, the current trend is ever-so-slightly upwards.  This is because there are more listings and slightly slower sales…signs of a possibly cooling market.  Better get your listing price right!

Mammoth Condo Absorption Rate

Months of Supply (Current Inventory / Pace of Sales)








Homes: The current Supply for single family homes in Mammoth is 6.4 months (66 homes for sale divided by 10.3 homes selling per month).  Even through some minor seasonal fluctuations, the average Supply over the last year and a half has been 6.3 months.

The current nationwide Supply for residential real estate is 6.4 months as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank.  (The hottest market was 3.5 months of Supply in August 2003 and slowest was 12.2 months in Jan 2009.


The Extra Mile

We try to go the extra mile to get our listings to sell as quickly as possible.  From providing refreshments at Realtor caravans, to turning up the heat before showings, we like doing the little things that help show our sellers’ properties in the best light.  We have been known to shovel snow from walkways before showings (or remove the occasional dead animal!). 

And then there are the extra things done during escrow to help get to the finish line… zipping up to the property at the drop of a hat to welcome in inspectors, contractors, appraisers, etc.  We are pros at installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to help pass inspection.  We sometimes help move furniture when sellers cannot do so.

In our resort market with many absentee homeowners, we feel that it is just part of the job to be the boots on the ground and help wherever necessary to get to the close of escrow.   -Dennis & Tara (Sept 2019)

Is Real Estate in Mammoth Seasonal?

We often get questions about if our real estate market is seasonal like our weather and our outdoor activities are.

It is a good question, as the impression is that everything revolves around our ski season and our world class ski resort at Mammoth Mountain.  And the assumption is that ski season is when buyers fall in love with Mammoth and wish to purchase real estate.  It is true, ski season is when many people discover Mammoth and fall in love.

But buyers looking for that perfect ski-in/ski-out condo do not always buy in the wintertime.  They might need to get finances in order or have already mapped out their lodging for the rest of the ski season.  Also, it is hard to get buyers inside to see listings because many of them are on rental programs and are occupied much of the season.

Moreover, our market is subject to the macroeconomic conditions of our feeder market, Southern California, which is not seasonal.

However, there actually is some seasonality to the inventory portion of our market.



Like a Heartbeat…

The graph above charts the number of condo + home + lot listings over time versus their Days On Market.  Taking the difference between these two numbers (red line) shows a very regular rhythm to our inventory, looking like an EKG.

Every summer, the red line peaks with an influx of new listings combined with their inherent low days on the market.  Every winter, the red line takes a dive to a low point when inventory drops and the existing listings get stale.

Why does inventory drop?  We typically see a mini buying spree around Labor Day each year when the itch to ski returns and folks want to close escrow on a place before Thanksgiving.  And some sellers take their condos off the market during winter to capture the seasonally higher rental income.  In addition, single family homes and vacant lots are harder for buyers to assess when covered in snow, so they tend to fall off the market when the snow flies.

And when the daffodils bloom again in spring, houses come back on the market, nightly rental income starts waning and sellers put their places back on the market.



Winter: When inventory goes into hibernation, sellers could use this to their advantage when there is less competition, especially if they keep their property off a rental program so that it can be shown.

Summer: Buyers can use the swell in inventory to their advantage to pick and choose among more options.

All this being said, there is still plenty of real estate activity year-round in the Eastern Sierra as local families need to move, long-time homeowners sell off their vacation homes, and Mammoth Enthusiasts upgrade from a condo to a house.  We are even seeing an uptick in second homeowners making the move to Mammoth full-time.

So, while we wish there was a simple answer to ‘when is the best time to buy or sell in Mammoth?’, the best answer is to talk with us and we will assess current market conditions and match them with your specific family goals.


Speaking of current market conditions…

The national cooling in the real estate market may be creeping into our local market as well.  The current number of condos in escrow is 23, which is the lowest in 2½ years, down from a high of 61 in Sept 2017.

For the past year and a half, sellers had been successful at pricing their condos ahead of the market and getting an average of 97.9% of their asking price.  However, buyers are now being pickier and showing some price resistance, and we are seeing this number drop to 97.2% in the current quarter.

For single family homes, the median sales price so far in 2018 of $939,500 is 21% higher than in 2017, but sales are slower (5.75 homes sold per month versus 7.4 per month last year).

Tara and Dennis would love to help you sell your property.  When choosing an agent, experience matters.  We have been through several market cycles and are able to advise sellers on appropriate list prices, employ proven marketing strategies, help negotiate repairs, direct clients to reliable contractors and leverage our large database of buyers.

We look forward to helping you with your family’s goals!  -Dennis Cox & Tara Peterson

List of Condos with Private Garages

Here is a list of condo complexes in Mammoth Lakes which have private garages.  Many are small complexes with only ~4 units, so they rarely come on the market.  The ones with asterisks are the most likely to have HOA dues under $400/mo:

  • Arrowhead *
  • Cabins at Crooked Pines
  • Canyon Ski & Racquet
  • Chateau Blanc
  • Chateau de Montagne
  • Chateau Sierra *
  • [In the Chateaus above, some owners have converted garages into bedrooms]
  • Chateau Tyrol *
  • Courchevel
  • Creekside *
  • Diamond Run *
  • GrayEagle *
  • Joaquin Estates *
  • Laurel Creek *
  • Manzanita Ridge *
  • Meridian Court *
  • Mono Ridge *
  • San Joaquin Villas *
  • Shadowwood *
  • Sierra Valley *
  • Ski Run Villas
  • Snow Country
  • Snowcreek phase V (sometimes Snowcreek phases I-III will come with a detached garage)
  • Sunflower *
  • Tamarack *
  • Timber Ridge
  • Tosca *
  • Western Slopes Villas
  • Wilderness View *

These complexes also have private garages but will usually be more than $500,000:

  • Altis
  • Chateau Montalana
  • CreekHouse
  • GreyFox
  • Juniper Crest
  • Magnolia Lodge
  • Mammoth Gateway Village
  • Northstar Townhomes
  • Powder Reef
  • Red Slate
  • Snowcreek IV
  • Snowcreek VI (The Lodges)
  • Snowcreek VII (CreekHouse)
  • Sonenalp
  • Stonegate
  • Tennis Village
  • The Lodges
  • The Pointe
  • Timbers
  • Woodwinds


The complexes have common covered/underground parking (not private garage stalls):

  • 1849 (Phase I has covered parking but Phase II has open parking)
  • Aspen Creek
  • Bigwood
  • Crestview
  • Eagle Run
  • Helios North (Helios South does not have covered parking)
  • Juniper Springs Lodge
  • Magnolia Lodge
  • Mammoth Fireside
  • Mammoth Green
  • Mammoth Ski & Racquet
  • Meadow View Ridge
  • Mountainback
  • Sierra Megeve
  • Silver Bear
  • Snowbird
  • Snowflower
  • Solstice
  • St. Anton
  • Summit
  • Sunstone
  • The Village (Grand Sierra Lodge, Lincoln House, White Mtn Lodge)
  • Westin Monache

And the rest of the complexes in Mammoth do not have covered parking (like Chamonix, Horizons4, Mountain Shadows, Seasons4, Sierra Park Villas, Viewpoint, etc.)

If interested in receiving listing notifications for any set or subset of the lists above, let us know.  We can also add criteria for bedroom count, square footage, and max HOA dues.  -Dennis C. & Tara P.

Inventory Increase Coming?

Inventory “Should” Increase between Spring Break and 4th of July

[Update on 5/28/18: The inventory increase is HERE!  Scroll to bottom to see the stats]

[Original article from March 30, 2018:] We know you are frustrated, buyers!  You want buy something in Mammoth but do not currently have many choices.  Our inventory is at a 14-year low (only 52 condos for sale as of today!) so there is only one or maybe two listings that fit your criteria.  Plus, many listings are kept on a nightly rental program and, therefore, are rented and unavailable when you are in town to look at them!

However, we are hopeful that we have the typical increase in inventory this time of year as rental income from the ski season starts to dry up and would-be sellers are more ready to list.

Between the months of April and July during the years 2010-2016, we have seen an average of a 30% increase in the number of condos for sale.  See graph below:

Condo Inventory by Month pic


Last year (2017) was a bit of an aberration (inventory went down 24% from spring to summer) because Mammoth announced it was being purchased by KSL in April, plus we were just digging out from an amazing snow year, which both helped kick off a buying spree.

Let’s hope we get back to the same spring bump in inventory and get our choices up to at least 70 condo listings (hopefully 90!) by summertime.

While you buyers are trying to be patient, we know you are also watching interest rates with keen interest.  We are working hard to uncover listings before they get listed and position our buyers to be ready to pounce when something does fit the bill.  We are often running up to a new listing to take a 360 deg video so our buyers can analyze it from home (typically in Southern California).  Let us know how we can help you find your Mammoth getaway!  -Dennis


Update as of April 24, 2018: We now have 59 condos for sale, so inventory is slowly creeping upwards as predicted.

Single Family Homes: In the last 5 years, our single family home inventory swelled an average of 43% between May and August.  With snow melting and daffodils popping up, would-be sellers are tending their gardens and doing projects to get homes ready for market.


Update as of May 28, 2018: We now have 80 condos for sale!  That is a 54% increase from a little over 8 weeks ago.  Buyers now have a lot more to choose from and sellers better beware of more competition on the market.  Historically, we still have low inventory: the average number of condos on the market over the last 15 years is 140.

As for single family homes, we have not had our seasonal increase in inventory yet.  We are still at 34 Homes for sale, the same as one month ago.

The Perfect Storm: KSL + Snow + Airbnb

The Perfect Real Estate Storm: KSL + Snow + AirBnB

While we wait for the perfect winter storm to kick-start our ‘17/’18 ski season, the Mammoth real estate condo market is in the midst of a wild rise in prices.  The average $/sqft for non-Intrawest 1-bedroom condos has shot up 44.1% from Q2 to Q4 (thru Dec 3).  (Intrawest condos like The Village, Westin, and JSL were excluded because they tend to skew the data higher and not enough were sold to make it relevant).

One stark example comes from The Summit condos near Eagle Lodge.  See the chart below for sale prices of 1-bedroom condos in 2017.  There was some variance in the condition and location of each condo, but the variances were not enough to explain the overall 64% jump $200k to $328k.

Chart - Summit 1beds 2017

Why is this happening?

It started back in mid-April 2017 when KSL Capital, a partnership related to Aspen Resort, announced its purchase of Mammoth Mountain Resorts (which includes June, Big Bear and Snow Summit).  Being brought in with other resorts like Squaw and Deer Valley created speculation that maybe our ‘temporary’ white tent at Eagle Lodge will finally be developed into a proper lodge, along with other investment.

This, after Mammoth was emerging out of an Epic Winter that dropped over 20 feet of snow in the month of January alone.  (We just sold a condo that still has damage from that perfect storm; contractors have been in very short supply to repair all the damage.)  Folks around town are hoping for a more ‘normal’ winter this year; was it a case of too much of a good thing?  A quick drive around town revealed collapsed decks, lopped-off chimneys, and scrunched cars.  Despite the snow’s effect on structures and our shoveling muscles, Mammoth Mountain had great visitation and condo rentals were very strong.  Transient Occupancy Tax (the town tax that is collected on all nightly rentals) had 6 consecutive record-breaking months from Dec-May!

The AirBnB Effect: Because of the higher rental income noted above, more buyers want to get in on the AirBnB phenomenon.  They first hear about the commission rates that large rental companies in Mammoth charge (40-45% for most, up to 60% at The Westin) and realize, hey I can cut out this huge middleman and manage rentals myself from my phone. It is not quite as easy as that, but many buyers already have experience with AirBnB elsewhere and want to expand their portfolio.  Many are trying for their first time and therefore want something small that is manageable, thus the run on 1-bedroom condos mentioned earlier.

Perfect Storm: This trifecta of factors, in our opinion, have drastically increased interest in small condos in Mammoth.  Through Dec 4th of 2017, there have been 378 condo sales compared to 303 sales in all of last year.  Condos started selling more quickly last spring, creating a dearth of inventory (we are at our lowest inventory level in 14 years!), leading to multiple offers and a rise in prices.

Labor Day often marks the start of a mini buying spree as buyers want to get their rental set up before Thanksgiving.  This year was tougher because of limited options on the market, so many agents took to trying to find off-market listings and buyers were willing to pay over the asking price.  While low interest rates also helped some, it is still hard to beat an all-cash offer with no appraisal or loan contingencies.

Lately, however, we are feeling some resistance to some of the higher list prices that sellers are throwing out there to see what sticks.  A standard 2-bedroom condo at Sunstone was just listed for $575,000 when the last sale was for $425,000 last April.  This 36% jump hearkens back to the days leading up to the last market peak (i.e. 2004-ish), but our prices are still below the last peak (i.e. when someone paid $710,000 for a 2-bd Sunstone!).

Rising prices typically convince would-be sellers to wait a bit longer before selling, which further contributes to our low inventory and exacerbates the supply/demand balance.  If you are considering selling or buying soon, keep in close contact with us for updates and new listings.  -Dennis, Tara & Eric

New Businesses to Keep Eye Out For

New Mammoth Lakes Businesses to keep an eye out for:

* Shelter Distillery – Locals and visitors alike are anxiously anticipating the opening of this first distillery in Mammoth!  Shelter Distillery is located in The Village at Mammoth, adjacent to Gomez’s restaurant.  The distilling began a couple of months ago and the grand opening is slated some time in December (hopefully mid December!).  They will be offering food as well and we’re looking forward to seeing what kind of tasty offerings they will have!  Owners Matt and Gracie Hammer also own Black Velvet Coffee (located in the outlet mall on Main Street) and we’ve already seen the quality of what they offer in the way of coffee so are super excited to see what they are going to offer in the way of spirits!

* The new Bleu – You may have already partaken in the goodies at Bleu (charcuterie, cheeses, freshly baked breads, wine, beer, etc.), currently located right next door to Base Camp Cafe on Main Street.  However, the owners, Theresa and Brandon Brocia, are opening an expanded version of their existing shop in a new location off of Old Mammoth Road in the old ChartHouse building (across from Good Life Cafe and Nik N Willies).  Their expanded offerings will include meals to go (Lunch and Dinner boxes and “Event-Ready” platters) and a lounge that will seat up to 50 people.  Keep an eye out for the opening of the new Bleu hopefully in February sometime!

* Grocery Outlet – You may have already noticed the construction along Old Mammoth Road (across from Rite Aid and the DIY center) and wondered what is coming.  This is the location of what will essentially be Mammoth’s 4th grocery store.  Currently, we have Vons, Sierra Sundance Whole Foods, and Busy Beez General Store.  The new Grocery Outlet is proposed to be approximately 20,000 square feet in size.  No dates set yet for a tentative opening.

House-Hunting the Virtual Reality Way

What if you could start your Mammoth house hunting from anywhere in the world?  Well, now you can with our new Virtual Reality / 360° video house-hunting program.

Before you arrive in Mammoth, we can set up your own personal portal for viewing VR/360 videos of the properties you and your agent have preselected from the MLS.

The videos are organic and are narrated by one of us who is on site telling you about all the features (and sometimes, smells!) of the property. This video experience is a full immersion into the property from top to bottom.

You will be able to decide if the property is one you would like to see in person on your next visit to Mammoth.  This will allow you to enjoy more of your vacation time with family and friends on the slopes and not waste time on properties that are not what you are looking for.

In addition, on busy weekends when many properties are rented and unavailable to see, you still can view them on your private portal on your phone or computer while you are enjoying your stay in Mammoth.

Email our team member, Eric, to learn more or get set up with a free portal.

Prices in Mammoth over last 13 Years

When we get the inevitable question of “how’s the market up here?”, we have been telling our clients that we are still below the peak from ten years ago, unlike the rest of California!  Most of southern California is well above the the peak from ten years ago.  So is it a good deal to buy in Mammoth right now?  Since Mammoth’s real estate market has typically followed SoCal’s market, then possibly it is.

Just how much below our peak are we?  Here is the price per square foot data from 4,398 condo sales from 2004 to late July 2017 (there were more sales, but a few did not have $/sqft data):

Pricepersqft Condos graph Jul 2017


There was some frothiness in our market ten years ago when financing was easy and when buyers believed that condos built by Intrawest (i.e. Village, Westin, Juniper Springs Lodge, etc.) would be a great investment (in terms of appreciation) and generate good rental income.  The latter was true, especially in the good snow years, but then the bottom fell out of our market, like everyone else’s during the Great Recession.

The drop in the red line of the graph went from $915/sqft to $369/sqft in 2012, a 60% drop.  The current level of $494/sqft is still 46% below the peak.  Not that we are expect to hit that same peak soon, mainly because financing got really tough for these ‘condo-hotels’ (where a lot of foreclosures happened in 2009).

The blue line for the Non-Intrawest condos (i.e. Snowcreek, SeasonsIV, Summit, and everything else), shows the drop going from $520/sqft to $231/sqft, a 56% drop.  These condos are generally older than Intrawest condos and located further away from the slopes, which explains the consistent value gap below Intrawest condos.  These are still 41% below their peak.

So basically, the story from the last ten years is that we peaked (like the rest of the state) in 2007, then dropped like a bomb to 2009, kept going down until hitting rock bottom in 2012, jumped up a bit in 2013, then flattened out during our drought years, and now are going up again in 2017.

We had a great snow year (too great? asks some locals with chimneys that were chopped off by snow sheds), which always helps.  And the announcement in mid April that Aspen Resorts is attempting to purchase Mammoth Resort helped boost things recently and we are having a strong summer selling season.

How much further will we go?  Will SoCal reaching new heights, some buyers are looking for bargains elsewhere.  We recently sold a townhome to a couple buying their first home; they could only afford to rent in Manhattan Beach so they bought their first ‘home’ in Mammoth!  And those folks who have made great gains over the last 5 years are selling their investment properties in L.A. and deferring their capital gains taxes by buying a like-kind property in Mammoth with 1031 Exchanges.  So the demand is still strong and our inventory is lower than average, so this should lead to more price gains.

Aspen partnership to acquire Mammoth Resorts

Big news in Mammoth today!

Word just came out this morning that Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners, LLC, are purchasing Mammoth Resorts for an undisclosed amount.  Click Here to view an article from the Denver Post.  This has definitely created a buzz here in Mammoth (and outside of Mammoth).

What will this mean for the MVP season pass and for overall pricing for resort products?  what will it do for the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area brand?  We remember the disappointing feeling that Mammoth was getting ‘corporatized’ when Starwood Capital bought MMSA from Intrawest and Dave McCoy in 2005.  But they seemed to be able to keep the boutique feel of an independent ski resort (mainly by keeping key people in place, the veteran employees who have been here over 30 years), but also innovate and improve operations and marketing.  And when Mammoth (with June) bought Big Bear and Snow Summit, it seemed like a logical next move.  Does this now seem like the next logical move, to be acquired by Aspen?  Rusty Gregory, CEO of MMSA seems to think so, according to his resort’s press release this morning.  But he also states that Mammoth will “continue to operate on a standalone basis but coordinate closely with our new partner resorts.”  Rusty also disclosed that he will continue to own part of thew new company.

We have experienced (and are continuing to experience) an amazing winter here in Mammoth and, given this news, it should be an interesting spring for our real estate market.  With an already low inventory and healthy demand, there may be more confidence among buyers that a name like Aspen will just add more stability to operating a world class ski resort, restaurants, mountain bike park and partnerships with our local airport.  We would also anticipate that with new ownership we may see new capital improvements on Mammoth Mountain that have been put on hold for years.  Stay tuned.  Your comments are welcome!

-Tara P. & Dennis C.

Inventory Plummets as Mammoth Mtn gets ready for Opening Day!

Wow!!…As of today (11/8), we only have 108 condos listed for sale here in Mammoth!  This is the lowest that this number has been in 2 1/2 years.  As mentioned in our last newsletter, it is typical for the inventory to drop this time of year.  It is a combination of (1) buyers purchasing places before the ski season and holidays, and (2) sellers pulling their condos off the market to use them for one more season (or rent them).  But this number is LOW!  Should be an interesting winter in the real estate market here in Mammoth.

Opening Day for Mammoth Mountain is just TWO days away!!!  I was up at Main Lodge late yesterday and the Mountain is looking majestic.  If you like to ski the top, it looks like there’s some decent snow up there, especially for this time of year.  They are planning on running Chair 1, Chair 3, both upper and lower gondolas and are expecting to open Broadway, Saddle Bowl, Center Bowl, West Bowl, Dave’s Run, Climax and Cornice.  Here is a photo from Instagram posted by Mammoth Mountain showing the back side of Chair 3…looks inviting!  Can’t wait to get out there and make some turns later this week!


– By Tara Peterson