October 9, 2023
Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Update for October 2023
As we enter the last quarter of 2023, the Mammoth Lakes real estate market steadily progresses toward a more balanced market. This transition is influenced by various factors such as rising interest rates, growing buyer caution, and a limited supply of properties. Though inventory remains below the 10-year average, there has been a month-to-month rise in available properties in 2023. This chart illustrates the inventory levels for both condos and single-family homes over the past nine months, represented in green.
The Mammoth Lakes real estate market summary as of October 1, 2023:
As stated above, inventory levels for both condos (62) and single-family homes (28) are at the highest levels of 2023 and still significantly below the 10-year average. The chart below shows inventory levels for 2013 – 2023 for both condos and single-family homes combined.
Low inventory isn't a phenomenon isolated to Mammoth Lakes; it's a reality across the nation, with only a few exceptions. Surprisingly, around 40% of homeowners in the United States have no mortgage. Among the remaining homeowners with loans, a staggering 70% are locked into interest rates below 4%. Consequently, many homeowners are hesitant to relinquish their low interest rates to venture into the current market, where interest rates have surged beyond 7%. This naturally results in a diminished pool of available properties for sale, contributing to the persistently low inventory levels.
The stability of prices in Mammoth Lakes is directly tied to the persistently low inventory levels. As long as there is a demand from buyers eager to invest in this beautiful location and the available inventory remains scarce, the pricing will maintain its solidity. Interestingly, we've observed slight price reductions for properties in their original, non-updated state, while at the same time, turnkey, move-in-ready properties are showing a modest upward trend.
Currently, interest rates have climbed to their highest point in the past two decades. The prevailing conforming rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage stands at 7.81%, while the rate for a 30-year jumbo mortgage is slightly higher at 7.9%. Mammoth Lakes buyers are predominately making a discretionary purchase and financing is a convenience rather than a method of leveraging affordability. As a result, high interest rates are not as much a deterrent as they are in primary resident communities.
The era of multiple offers significantly exceeding asking prices has, for the most part, come to an end. Presently, the pool of potential buyers is decreasing, but these individuals are typically genuinely committed and financially qualified. Properties that have been updated and are ready for immediate occupancy consistently attract more attention compared to those in their original or dated state.
In the immediate future, the inventory of available homes for sale is expected to persist below the 10-year averages. Should this supply remain insufficient to meet the demand, it's likely that prices will hold steady for properties that have been updated or remodeled. Conversely, properties in need of renovation may experience a decrease in their market value. In terms of sale prices, our outlook suggests that the median home prices for this year will remain in alignment with the second half of 2022, accompanied by a substantial decline in sales volume, estimated at around 40%. The median prices covered in this report span nine months and exhibit a trend indicating price stability and a reduction in the number of days on the market. We will continue to closely monitor the growing challenges associated with obtaining fire insurance in California and its potential impact on the market in the times ahead.
What's Happening in the Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market?
It is helpful to look at the current market in two different segments: condos/townhomes and single-family homes. With half the year behind us, there is enough data to solidify the trends we have anticipated in previous months. This data is through September 30, 2023.
Single-Family Homes (SFH)
What Does This Mean for Mammoth Lakes Area Homeowners and Sellers?
Maintaining realistic expectations is crucial when considering the sale of your property in Mammoth Lakes. This market sets itself apart from other regions in California, which primarily center on full-time owner-occupied homes. Mammoth Lakes predominantly serves as a second home or discretionary income market. As the market gradually returns to normalcy following the extraordinary "COVID era," it's important for sellers not to anticipate multiple offers exceeding their asking price. If you're even remotely contemplating selling, reach out to our team to schedule a no-obligation Property Playbook & Strategy session. With the right strategy and patience, we will get your property sold.
What Does This Mean for Mammoth Lakes Area Home Buyers?
While the inventory remains limited, most sellers stand firm on their asking prices in this market. This environment caters to savvy buyers, and our expertise can be your invaluable asset in crafting a successful offer and securing a smooth closing. If you're not an all-cash buyer, it's wise to reach out to a lender in advance to obtain pre-approval and gain a comprehensive understanding of the various available options, especially as interest rates continue their ascent. We have connections with lenders boasting a proven track record in our area and innovative solutions, such as potential seller buy-downs of your interest rate for the initial 2-3 years. It's essential to note that lending regulations have evolved for many condo projects in Mammoth, with not all lenders able to finance specific projects. We can significantly enhance your prospects of attaining your dream property in this challenging market, so don't hesitate to reach out for a complimentary consultation that will set you on the right course to realizing your goal of property ownership in Mammoth Lakes.
Whether you are a seller or a buyer, there is no doubt you will benefit from teaming with an educated and experienced Realtor® to help you navigate the current market. We have tools, resources, and expertise to make buying and/or selling as hassle free as possible.
Enjoy the Journey. Love the Destination.
All data are sourced from the Mammoth Lakes Board of Realtors. Data for Mammoth Lakes ONLY and not the surrounding areas.
*Median price = middle value. This is a good indicator when there is significant data, as it minimizes the impact of unusually high or low values and provides a better perspective of the big picture.
**Total Available excludes properties under contract/pending that have not yet closed.
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