As we enter the 4th quarter of 2022, Mammoth Lakes inventory continues to decline while days on the market is increasing. Pricing is down slightly from historic highs in 2021 but still higher than pre-COVID levels. Over the longer-term, I believe the supply of homes for sale will remain below historic averages, and I say this for one simple reason: mortgage rates. In 2020 a record number of households refinanced their homes to take advantage of the mortgage rates that had plummeted, and in 2021 over 6 million home buyers locked in mortgages with rates averaging below 3 percent. This includes many Mammoth Lakes second homeowners. I do not expect the number of homes for sale will get back to normalized levels in the mid-term as many potential sellers will decide not to sell as, if they did, they would lose the “never seen before, and likely never to be seen again” mortgage rate that they currently have. As expected, this uptick in rates has once again sidelined many potential buyers. Of course, there will be sellers who want to cash-out, do a 1031 exchange or need to sell because of death or divorce. I believe listing activity may be tight for a long time and if the supply remains below the level of demand, the prices will hold. As for sale prices, I still believe — as do almost all economists — that the median home price next year will hold consistent with 2022, but there will be a significant drop in the volume of sales.
It is helpful to look at the current market in two different segments: single-family homes and condos/ townhomes. This data is through September 2022.
- The YTD median sales price for condos sold through September 2022 is $775,000 which is up 26% over 2021 and down $20,000 from August.
- The median days on market YTD is 50 days which is down 2 days from 2021. Days on market for condos sold in September was 67. This time-period begins on the day the property is listed and ends when it closes escrow.
- 269 condos have closed escrow so far in 2022 (29 per month) as compared to 2021 when the average was 38 per month. Assuming the trend continues, the result will be 31% fewer condo sales for 2022 (equal to pre-COVID levels).
- There are 48 active condos listed for sale as of October 1 compared to 61 last month. There were only 3 condos listed in January 2022 and inventory steadily increased month over month until it started to decline in August. While inventory is up from earlier this year, it is down from pre-COVID levels (March 2019 there were 94 condos listed for sale).
- There are 45 pending sales on October 1 as compared to 44 last month.
- The YTD median sales price for single-family homes through September 2022 is $1,225,000 which is up approximately 15% over 2021 and down $5,000 from last month.
- The median days on market is 64 days which is the same as last month and down from 70 days in 2021. Days on market for single family homes sold in September was 97.
- 69 single-family homes closed escrow through September 2022 (7.6 per month) which is down from 11 average monthly in 2021. Assuming the trend continues, 45% fewer homes will sell in 2022 (equal to pre-COVID levels).
- There are 16 active single-family homes listed for sale on October 1 which is down from 26 last month and up from 10 in January. March 2019 (pre-COVID) inventory was 38.
- There are 9 pending sales on September 1 which is down from 12 last month.
What Does This Mean for Mammoth Lakes Area Homeowners and Sellers?
It is important to have realistic expectations when selling your property. Mammoth Lakes is a different market than other areas in California which are mostly focused on full-time owner-occupied properties. This is mostly a second home market and as we transition to a more balanced market, sellers should not expect multiple over asking price offers. While properties are still selling, most are taking longer than they did in the last 24 months. If you are even remotely thinking about selling, contact our team to schedule a no obligation Property Playbook & Strategy session. With the right strategy and patience, we will get your property sold.
Although inventory is on the decline and so are the numbers of buyers, this means less competition. It does not mean there are “deals” to be had (note the average sold price is still up over 2021) but pricing is stabilizing and most often selling at or below list price. If you are not a cash buyer, contact a lender in advanced to get pre-approved and make sure you understand the different options available as the interest rates continue to increase. We can connect you with lenders who have a proven track record of success in our area and creative options (ie possible seller buy-down of your rate for the first 2-3 years). Lending rules have changed on many condo projects in Mammoth. Many buyers do not know that not all lenders can lend in certain projects in Mammoth Lakes. We can help you increase your chances of securing the property of your dreams in this tough market so reach out to me for a free consultation to set you on the right path for achieving your goal of owning property 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 this hot market. We have created guides to help with both the buying and selling process. You can access the guides on my website:
- 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 used as 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 which have not yet closed.