Mountain housing inventory – A closer look

Oct 18, 2023 | Ask the Realtor

If you’ve been chatting with a friend or neighbor lately about the real estate scene up in the mountains, you might have heard whispers about a boom in housing inventory. It seems like more and more properties are popping up for sale. Here are the four main reasons we’re seeing “for sale” signs pop up.

Reason One: The Pandemic Work-From-Home Dream. Remember when the pandemic hit, and everyone was giddy about working from home in the mountains? People from big city areas like Los Angeles and Orange County saw our cozy mountain homes and thought, “Why not make this place my permanent abode?” They scooped up houses faster than you could say “commute,” and life was sweet.

But the dream of permanent remote work hasn’t fully come true. Many employers are now calling their employees back to the office. So, those who bought mountain homes are faced with a dilemma: Keep the beautiful mountain abode (and the mortgage that comes with it) and pay rental prices in the city or say goodbye to the mountain.

Reason Two: Short-Term Rental Reality Check. During the pandemic, some folks had a brilliant idea – buy a second home and make some cash by renting it out when they weren’t using it. It sounds good in theory, but the practical side is a bit more complicated. Being a short-term rental host is like running a mini-hotel. The maintenance, taxes and other expenses can take the shine off the dream.

Now, with home prices soaring, many of these rental properties are up for sale. Owners are looking to recoup their investment, make a profit from the rising market values, and avoid the hassles and costs of running a rental business.

Reason Three: Cha-Ching – Profit Galore. If you’re a homeowner in the mountains and you’ve been keeping an eye on your property’s value, you’re in for a treat. Our local real estate market has seen prices skyrocket by 7.9 percent year over year in 2023. Those who bought their homes a while back are sitting on a potential goldmine. With prices soaring, they can make a tidy profit, especially if they didn’t take out any Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) on their homes. Plus, some homeowners may even score a tax exemption on their capital gains if they’ve held the property for more than two years.

Reason Four: Snowmageddon – Too Much Snow. The winter of 2023 left some homeowners fed up with shoveling snow day in and day out. Many are saying goodbye to the snow and ice and trading it in for a life in shorts and sandals all year round.

It may seem like there’s a house listing boom in the mountains but, comparing to data from 2019’s normal market, we’re actually low on inventory. Appearances can be deceiving. While there may seem to be more homes on the market, it’s all part of a complex mix of dreams, profits, and weather conditions.

What will 2024 bring? We’ll find out sooner than we think.

If you’d like to learn more about the current local market conditions, explore available options or subscribe to local market statistics that you can follow at your own pace, reach out to Theresa Grant, Real Estate Broker (DRE #01202881) at [email protected]. You can also follow her on Instagram, @theresagrantrealtor, and YouTube, @theresagrantrealtor.


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