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The song remains the same for Summit County Real Estate

by The Mountain Living Team

Can you see what the future holds?We're still telling the same story we were last year.  Inventory is low which is pushing prices higher, and inventory will continue to drop through the end of the year. 

As of November 18th we have just 355 residential properties on the market in Summit County.  That's 11% fewer properties than the same time last year.  We had 240 residential sales in October.  At that same pace, the inventory we have on the market won't last through the year.  Typically, sales slow around the holidays and through the first of the year and we'll continue to have properties come on the market but our inventory will likely be in the low to mid 200s before the end of the year.  200 may sound like a lot of properties to choose from but realize, that is residential properties anywhere in the county.  From south of Breckenridge to north of Silverthorne, from Keystone to Copper and Frisco and Dillon in between.  It's all price ranges too; studio condos to multi-million dollar homes.  To add to the scarcity, roughly half the residential properties on the market now are priced over one million dollars.  For most buyers, that fact alone takes half the inventory off the table.  For most buyers, there will be less than ten properties to choose from at any given time; even fewer as the purchase price goes lower.

Summit County Colorado Real  EstateThe low inventory often makes buyers ask if they should wait.  If the current trend continues, next summer when we have more properties on the market, prices will be even higher.  If the property you want is out there, I suggest you act now.

The Summit Daily, our local paper, just printed an article about the current real estate market.  Take a look at it by clicking here.

Summit County residential property sales finished up the first quarter up 9.7% over the first quarter of 2013. Pretty flat sales in January and February gave way to a surge in March. April has seen a strong start and the activity level in the county continues to be strong. The increase in sales is thanks to sales at the ski areas in Summit County. Copper Mountain saw an increase of 42.9%, Breckenridge was up 39.5% and Keystone up 18.2% over 2013 first quarter sales. The county overall was up less than 10% because of declines in sales quarter over quarter in Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne. The reason for those declines could be because inventory is in shorter supply in those areas. Dillon has the lowest inventory level in the county with only a four month supply and the biggest decrease in number of sales dropping 32.1%. If buyers cannot find what they want, they cannot buy it. It's typical for more properties to come on the market as ski season ends and the summer buying season approaches. If our inventory levels cannot build prior to the anticipated stronger summer sales, prices will be pushed higher. That's something we haven't seen a lot of in Summit County in a long time

Media reports had me in a panic when the shut down first happened. I was wondering if the sales we have in progress would be stalled, wondering if buyers out there looking for homes could get a new loan if they found the right place, wondering what exactly this political maneuvering would mean for our local real estate market. After talking to a few of the lenders working on loans for us, I have been able to relax. Second home loans in Summit County are still happening. Sales are able to happen and there is little effect being felt on our end; at least for now.

Second home buyers are still active in our market. Sales for the month of September were the highest we have seen for any one month for nearly six years. The number of properties under contract has dropped only minimally, nearly keeping pace with those record sales and setting the stage for October to be another exceptional month of sales. The longer the government shut down continues, the more likely it will have an impact on the Summit County real estate market. At this point however, sales continue to be strong and continue to happen without being hindered by the government.

The bottom line: The government shut down isn’t shutting down Summit County real estate sales.

 

Summit County real estate is cheap compared to other areas

by Joanne Hanson

I left my Summit County home on Thursday to attend a meeting of the Rocky Mountain Resort Alliance in Telluride, Colorado.

We each gave a report on the state of the real estate markets in our areas, comparing sales for 2007 to 2006, and reporting on what we are seeing as trends for 2008.  RMRA is composed of Boards of Realtors in resort areas in the Rocky Mountains, from Whistler  to Park City to Telluride. 

The general trend seemed to be very similar to what we have in the Summit County Colorado real estate market, where our number of sales was 14% lower than a year ago, but the average price was up 19%.  Total dollar volume was up about 14%.  Fewer units sold could be construed as a weak market except for the fact that we did not have a lot to sell most of the year, and as a result, with more Buyers than Sellers, prices increased dramatically. 

The Telluride representative reported that high end single family properties were still moving strongly; that Buyers are cautious but still buying.  In the Mountain Village, properties are selling for about $800 a sq ft with the highest sales currently around $1200 a sq ft.  Two new projects are scheduled to be built soon, and pre sale prices are projected to be around $1900 to $2200 per square foot.  Those prices are much higher than we are seeing at the base of Peaks 7 and 8, where ski-in Breckenridge condos are selling for $1000 to $1500  per sq ft. 

Jackson Hole, Wyoming has three new condotel projects underway, and they will be selling for $1300-1600 per sq ft.  They also had a lower number of transactions and higher sales.  Commercial property sales in Jackson have been very strong this year as well. 

The other Summit County, (Utah), home of Park City and Deer Valley, also saw increasing prices in the high end.  Lower priced properties that are older and dated have been slower to sell.  We also have seen that Buyers of Frisco homes and Breckenridge condos want the remodeling done before they buy it.  Second home owners want a base to play, not another place to work on.  Preparing the home to sell is very important today. 

Whistler, in British Columbia, Canada, actually had more transactions than the year prior, and prices were up about 8%.  They have a shortage of high end single family homes, which have been selling for about $1300 per sq ft.  The demand from many international Buyers  is causing inventory levels to fall and prices to increase.  The winter Olympics are coming to Whistler soon, and the community will benefit from the amenities that are left as a legacy when the Olympics are done. 

Breckenridge ski condo prices really seem like a good value when compared to Vail, our next door neighbor. 

New condominiums being built in Vail in the Lionshead area are selling for $3000 to $3600 per square foot!  The higher prices have ski mountain views and a great location, but it just goes to show that Buyers are willing to pay more for a premium location.  The trickle down effect from the high end condos and homes caused lower priced properties further away from the mountain to increase too, and it makes  affordability problems for locals, who end up commuting longer distances in order to be able to afford a home of their own. 

Aspen had 19 sales of homes over $10,000,000.  However, they now have enough property for sale in that price range to last three years, so it is possible that prices may moderate a little this year.  The last quarter of 2007 was slower than expected, and they actually ended up about 2% lower in total dollar volume.  New construction in Aspen is running about $3000 a sq ft, while 10-15 year old homes are going for around $1200 per sq ft. 

Overall, with the exception of Sun Valley, who had fires this summer,  prices were up and sales were down because fewer properties were for sale.  Most Realtors are seeing that Buyers, many of whom can pay cash, are cautious but still ready to buy when they find the right property at the right price.  The loan problems haven’t really affected the high end of the market.  Sellers need to have their properties priced realistically, updated and staged to sell.  If the location is good and the finishes are updated, the property will sell.  Summit County Colorado vacation home prices are excellent values compared to the other resort areas, and we have the added advantage of being close to Denver, so that most people don’t have to drive more than a couple of hours to be at their second home.   Most of our homes and condos, even new construction, are $400 per sq ft or less, something hard to find in other resorts!  We have four world class ski areas within minutes of each other, so you can be away from the ski area base, not pay the price for location, yet still be very close to skiing at your choice of mountains. 

What makes a house a vacation home?

by Joanne Hanson

In Summit County Colorado, most of our homes are vacation homes.  The ideal vacation home has a big garage, but not because you need to park lots of cars in it.  You need a place to store your skis, your snowmobile, the bikes and your raft.  Oh yeah, and the canoe and the sailboat.  The car sits out on the driveway. 

 We find that we lack storage in many of our condominiums.  That is because the builders figure that if you are only there 3 days at a time, why do you need big closets?  Well, ski clothes are bulky, for one, and so are ski boots.  Then you have hiking boots, fleeces, waterproof and wind resistant jackets, water bottles, fanny packs and back packs, mittens, hats, helmets, snowboards, ski poles and adjustable hiking poles.  So the perfect ski home has a coat rack on the wall and it is usually jammed with stuff that won’t fit in the closet.  Ski passes are always buried underneath it all.  Cubbies are a great addition in an entry or mudroom as they do a better job of keeping the mittens and helmets under control. 

Hot tubs are high on the amenity list, and with all the physical activity I don’t have to tell you why.  Open kitchens/living areas are a must, as the cook doesn’t like to be alone and everyone enjoys sitting at the bar watching and helping after a busy day.  TVs are usually large, although they don’t get turned on much.  Furniture is comfortable and overstuffed and the walls are always covered with photographs taken at ski areas, many yellowed and faded.  I enjoy looking at them and watching the growth of the family through the ski photos.  We often have to tell our clients to pack them up when they list their properties as too many potential buyers do the same thing and forget to look at the house! 

Then we have the prerequisite signs that say “welcome to our cabin”, shower curtains, rugs and wallpaper borders with bear, moose or deer (sometimes fish).  Bedspreads and towels are often also decorated with furry animals of some sort.  Logs, which used to be structural, are often decorative, used for mantels and stair railings.  There is usually a big dog bed in either the living room or master bedroom, and a raft of dog toys are scattered around.

There is nothing like a vacation home.  From a simple cabin with the 1960s sofa that Grandma and Grandpa moved in when it got too beat up for the main house,  to penthouse condominiums and multi-million dollar homes with high end finishes and upscale furniture.  For many,  they are are a getaway and a refuge from the rat race.  More people are able to realize the dream of a second home, and it is the fastest growing segment of the real estate market.  The baby boomer generation is looking for a way for families who have moved away from each other to come back together.  They want to create cherished memories for every family member and have some great  times with kids and grandkids.  And it works! 

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Photo of Jason & Meredith Adams Real Estate
Jason & Meredith Adams
Mountain Living Real Estate
PO Box 4115
Frisco CO 80443
888-666-0844