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2013 Market Wrap Up & Where We Are Going in 2014

By Lauren Tracy, Realtor-Associate at Mammoth Realty Team
End of Year Wrap-Up and Projections for 2014
As we say goodbye to 2013 it is a good time to take a look at what happened this year in our local real estate market and make some predictions for 2014.  I will be looking at the raw MLS data from 2011-2013 for Mono County as a whole to review our current trends that we can expect to see continue:
Here are some of the key indicators that our market is improving:
Vacant Land:  The key indicator of growth in land sales is a huge jump in the average sold price of lots in 2013 at $345,546, over $248,702 in 2012 and $154,412 in 2011.  That’s a whopping 123.78% increase in sales price over 2 years time. Incredible! The total number of lot sales has more than doubled from 2011to 2013 with only 24 lot sales in 2011 vs. 56 lot sales in 2013. The largest decrease in days on market occurred in this sector of our market, with average total days on market dropping from 450 days in 2012 to 324 days in 2013.  That’s a 28% decrease in total days on market of sold lots in our area.  The total percentage of lots on the market that sold in 2013 is up to 36.36%, up from 19.83% in 2011.  The percent of expired listings is down to 50.65% over 59.23% in 2012 and 90.08% in 2011!  We currently have 11 active permits in Mammoth Lakes for new construction.  Building is back in the area and local sentiment is strong for growth in this area.
Residential Single Family:  All indicators and trends are strong in this sector for moderate continued growth of about 0.5% – 1.0% per month into 2014.  Looking specifically at Mammoth Lakes, we’ve seen a 9.4% increase in average sales prices of single family residences from 2012 to 2013.  The average sales price of a home in Mammoth is up to $797,454 for 2013 over $728,874 in 2012.
In our total MLS market for Mono County, we’ve seen an 11.6% increase in average sales prices in 2013 over 2012.  I expect that this trend will continue into 2014, my prediction being a 6% – 10% increase in average sales price overall. A few other signals of strengthening in the sector are an increase in the percentage of sold listings up from 53.28% in 2011 to 72.24% in 2013.  The percentage of expired listings is also down from 39.89% in 2011 to 26.09% in 2013.
Condominiums:  The biggest indicator that we are in a seller’s market can be seen in the condo market.  The sale price/list price ratio continues to be the strongest in the condo market the last 3 years running, with a ratio of 95.87% for 2013.  Many highly upgraded condos are on the market lately for higher than average prices, showing that sellers are still trying to skirt the appraisal issue and some have been successful.  Many sellers are holding out for a buyer to recognize the true value of the improvements above and beyond what an appraisal value can generate.
The percentage of sold listings is up from 64.65% in 2011 to 90.1% in 2013, a 25% increase in 2 years time.  The percent of expired condo listings is down to 11.46% in 2013 compared with 33.82% in 2012. There are fewer and fewer condos on the market these days and asking & sales prices are continuing to test new levels and push into the pricing seen in 2010 and 2009.  The average sold price of a condo in our market is up to $332,992 in 2013 over $292,520 in 2012, a 13.84% increase for the year.  I expect to see a continuation of higher sales prices as inventory is extremely low in this sector of the market and sellers are pushing for higher prices, often above what appraisals will generate.

Final Thoughts: Due to the extremely low inventory in the area and increasing buyer activity during a normally slow time of year, the outlook is good for increasing prices in the area.  Many buyers are waiting for the “right deal” to come onto the market these days and we do expect to have some remaining short sales and distressed properties on the market in the next 12 months.  As long as interest rates remain low, we should continue to see steady growth throughout the year.