Rain and Smoke Dominate But The Crowds Are Here To Beat The Heat!!
Market Summary: July 15 – July 29
At the period’s end the condominium inventory is up one (1) to 104. There were 11 new condo listings in the period and only one (1) is already under contract and in escrow. Of the 11 new condo listings, three (3) are new under-construction Creekhouse units. They are projected to be completed in spring of 2019. We are a month away from Labor Day weekend and that normally marks the peak of the inventory in the Mammoth real estate selling cycle. The statistics would indicate we appear to be near the peak of inventory for 2018. This time last year there were 83 condos on the market, two years ago, 171.
Single Family Inventory
The inventory of single-family homes is down two (2) to 53. The peak of inventory for homes may also have been reached. But I can tell you first hand that there were almost NO showings of single family homes in the past 30 days. The electronic lockboxes do not lie. The lack of showings is almost bizarre. But we are in the “Dog Days of Summer” and we’ve been here before. Prior to Memorial Day weekend the local market had been very active straight through the end-of-the-year holidays and into spring. This time last year there was the exact same number of homes on the market (53), two years ago there were 76.
The total number of properties in “pending” (under contract) in Mammoth Lakes is up six (6) to 64 at period’s end. So the market isn’t completely dead. Of the 64 properties in “pending,” there are 44 in “Active Under Contract” status (formerly “back-up”). The total number of pendings in the aggregate Mammoth MLS (which includes outlying areas) is up three (3) at 87. Ironically, there was the exact same number of properties in pending status this time last year, and two years ago there were 66. So again, the data would show we have settled into a rather normal pattern. But some agents and sellers were expecting the pace of the first half to continue through the summer. It didn’t.
Market Updates and News
Mammoth Lakes now settles into classic summer weather and activities. Most weekends the major event is based on music and alcoholic beverages. It has proven to be a successful formula…. The on-and-off smoke
More condo sales during the period but a couple standout; the sale of a Courchevel back row unit for $339,000. This is a 2 bedroom / 2 bath townhome with a private 1-car garage. This is a pretty easy walk to
Favorite New Listing For The Period!
Other Real Estate News
Airbnb is back in the news as they are now backing litigation against New York City. A couple of weeks ago NYC passed an ordinance forcing Airbnb to disclose all of their host information for hosts in The City (there are approximately 40,000). The move was clearly the next step in attempting to ban short term rentals. The hotel industry has apparently been lobbying the city council to shut down all of the competing activity. Other council members are claiming that the Airbnb activity is seriously impacting rents and affordable housing (sounds familiar).
And now Airbnb is financing one of their hosts as plaintiff against NYC. Apparently the host who has lived in the same house for 56 years spoke at a council meeting in support of short term rentals and Airbnb. A week later he was served with summonses and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. The result is a perfect opportunity for Airbnb to take on the City because this is an owner who is is “just trying to make ends meet” by renting out a room or two.
Meanwhile, one of the reoccurring questions I get from potential buyers of condominiums is “Will the Town of Mammoth Lakes ever try to shut down nightly rentals in the local condominiums?” (like in the single-family neighborhoods). The answer is clearly no; the majority of condo properties are zoned for nightly rentals and the existing CCR’s allow for nightly rentals. But most importantly the majority of the Town’s operating budget is derived from bed tax generated in local condominiums. And most of the “hotels” are actually condominium projects, so there isn’t likely to be sufficient hotel industry lobbying.
In fact, one of the misunderstood reasons the Town bed tax receipts have been so strong in the past two to three years is the influence of dynamic pricing in the market. Dynamic pricing is something Airbnb helped bring to the forefront because of their vast data and sophisticated software. Hosts and rental companies have been able to tap into the data and raise or lower prices based on demand. It has been very effective. That creates more overall revenues and obviously more bed tax revenue for the Town. It has also upwardly influenced condominium values in Mammoth Lakes.
And recently some local public officials have pushed the idea that one way to solve the workforce housing crises is to rent properties (at great cost) that are currently in the nightly rental pool and turn them into long term rentals. Basically, compete with the nightly rentals. One of the glaring problems is that most of the owners of these short term rental properties actually want to come and use their property on occasion (like to go skiing with their Ikon Pass). The other glaring problem is the long term rents would have to be massively subsidized by the Town (my estimate is by 2 to 3 times the “affordable market rent”) ANDthe properties would also not be generating the thousands of dollars in bed tax every year. Maybe the Town should just be buying used motor homes for the workers.
Sometimes, math is hard.
Thanks for reading!
** Closed sales data is compiled from in-house files and public records.