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Lauren’s Local Knowledge – April 1, 2013

Welcome to Lauren’s Local Knowledge, your one-stop shop for info about real estate in and around Mammoth Lakes, California. And Happy April Fools’ Day! Rest assured, the real estate market in the 93546 is no joke, especially if you’re a buyer. And

Low inventory and stagnant prices in Mammoth are making this the best possible time to be a buyer.  Because of sharp increases in other major California markets, buyers are beelining to Mammoth Lakes to take advantage of stagnant prices, hoping for quick returns on their money. Commonly referred to as “house flipping,” many buyers believe Mammoth Lakes real estate will soon see large rebounds in home and condo prices, just like LA and San Francisco.  This lag time in price rebounds have happened in the past.

The Mammoth real estate market has traditionally followed the trends of the LA real estate market by about six months – one year.  According to Kelman at TechCrunch, over the last 12 months, LA average home prices have risen 12.1%, and San Francisco average home prices have risen 20%!

“This marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

According to local appraisers at Matthew Lehman Appraisal, during the week of 3/26/13, “Mammoth prices haven’t risen yet.”

Local escrow officer, Paula Freeman at Sierra Escrow, as of 3/29/13, said sales prices are testing new levels, but appraisals are still coming in based on last year’s prices, causing problems for buyers with mortgages who are relying on appraisals to get their loans through.  Paula says, “Sellers have to lower their prices and/ or buyers will have to come in with more cash to get the deal done.”  Cash is now definitely king in this market that is just starting to test its upper levels of price.

Inventory in Mammoth as of 3/30/13 according to the local MLS:
Currently there are only 10 Short Sale/REO properties available for sale in the Mammoth Lakes area!  As recent as 12 months ago our inventory was comprised of 35% – 50% Short Sale and REO properties.

LOW Inventory in the SFR and Condo market: 45 SFR’s available, 112 Condos available.  13 SFR’s in escrow & 66 Condos in escrow.

Land/Vacant Lots have skyrocketed to new levels with a whopping 45 lots available for purchase currently in Mammoth Lakes and 3 lots in escrow.  A year ago there were only 2 available lots for purchase in Mammoth Lakes.

We’re seeing a sharp increase in available vacant lots for sale, signaling the beginning of the new construction boom.  Mammoth Lakes Realty, Inc. is ready to take on this new market opportunity with its design and construction teams standing by.