Real Estate Down, But Not Yet Out

The Eastern Sierra is not immune to the doom and gloom of the national real estate slump. How big a hit the local market takes, though, is still yet to be seen. for_sale.jpg

Across the Eastern Sierra, the number of homes selling is down over last year. Prices are down as well. The only thing that is up is the amount of time it takes to sell a house, also a sign of a soft market.

For the Bishop area, Realtor Stan Smith with Pleasant Valley Associates reports that while some areas like Meadow Creek in Bishop and Terrace Drive in Big Pine are holding their value, home prices are down 12-16% overall.

RE/MAX Realtor Deanna Lantieri, explained that some areas, like the Bridges in Mammoth, has held its value, but that for the most part prices are comparable to where there they were two years ago.

The speed at which homes are sold has dropped as well. Gone are the days of three or four offers at the same time, according to Stan Smith.

We have not heard anyone say that the market will go up in the near future, but the question remains as to whether or not home prices will drop further. It appears that most sellers are not biting on lowball offers. So far, Lantieri reports that there appears to be a line drawn in the sand between buyers who want a deal and sellers who arent willing to offer big discounts.

With national press hyping the plummeting real estate market, real rstate appraiser Jonathan Palmer says that Mammoth may be teetering on the edge of a decline, but so far he hasnt seen it. Palmer is optimistic so far about the market in Mammoth. He sees the condos selling at the new Westin as a good sign.

Inyo County is relatively stable, he says. Palmer explained the difference in the markets is that in Bishop, people tend to buy a primary residence rather than a second home. Palmer explained that when the market tanks, there is usually a flood of real estate listings on the market, something that he has not yet seen.

With prices now adjusted to where they were two years ago, time will tell if they stabilize or fall further.

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