What a difference a few weeks make.
Prior to reopening, Stacey Bardfield, Owner/Broker of Mammoth Sierra properties, described the local real estate market as being “dead as a doornail.”
“Anything that’s affordable is off the hook. Interest rates being what they are, it’s cheaper than rent [to buy right now] for a lot of folks.”
Stephanie Cook, Owner/Broker of Mammoth Realty Group, says, “The market’s been crazy. People just want out of the city, and they’re buying properties of all descriptions. The high end isn’t totally there, but anything under $2 million is in play.”
“As soon as you list something, it’ll sell as long as the price isn’t too crazy. Listings are getting top dollar and multiple offers.”
And Bardfield says the high end will kick back in shortly, as is already the case in Tahoe. “If we had 5G [wireless} and a better airport, the money would be here already,” she said.
“A $2 million Starwood home looks a whole better than commuting to a downtown high-rise,” added Bardfield.
Heads of big companies are here looking, she elaborated. They need tangible infrastructure which allows them to do their jobs remotely. They don’t need anything else. But if the answer is no to any of the key questions [transportation, connectivity, et. al.], “They can’t be here for more than a weekend.”
According to Re/Max Owner/Broker Paul Oster, 23 properties went under contract locally in the period from June 21-July 5.
To put that in perspective in terms of real estate activity, Matthew Lehman’s July 1 market report indicates there were just 137 sales in the Mammoth market (100 condos, 37 single-family homes) during the first half of 2020.
Lehman notes there were 387 total condo sales in 2019.
In Bishop, Jake Rasmuson, Broker/Realtor at Bishop Real Estate, said the most limiting factor in the Bishop market is simply supply.
Normally, said Rasmuson, there are about eighty homes on the market. Last year at this time, there were 55. Right now? 40.
And the properties that do hit the market don’t stay there long.
Average days on market: 19.
Average days on market one year ago: 32.
The Southern California buyers, said Rasmuson, have shown keen interest in the vacation-type properties one finds in Aspendell or Swall Meadows.
Like Bardfield and Cook, Rasmuson says low interest rates have been a real market driver. “Buyer affordability has increased dramatically.”
Rental and Commercial markets
Bishop Real Estate manages both commercial and residential real estate.
On the residential side, Rasmuson said rents have been consistent and people are making a solid effort to pay their bills.
The Sheet also spoke to two landlords in Mammoth. They said CARES Act funding has been crucial to tenants, and are hopeful the program is extended (it’s scheduled to expire at the end of this month, though congressional leaders have indicated further stimulus is planned).
On the commercial side, it’s murkier. As Rasmuson says, “You can’t get blood from a turnip.” He says smart owners are being realistic about what they can expect to collect. One encouraging note: Rasmuson says, “We’ve seen some sales [in commercial property] in a price range we’d anticipate.”