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First Quarter Summit County Real Estate Statistics

by The Mountain Living Team

Despite low inventory levels, it’s been a great first quarter for residential real estate sales.  Sales are up over 2016 and the highest we’ve seen in a decade.  Inventory is starting to build so hopefully we can sustain an even better second quarter.

Residential sales in January were great; up 29.9% over 2016 and the most January sales since 2007.  February was not as good.  We actually lost a little ground with a decline of 20.7%.  March pulled the quarter back up with another double digit gain; up 38.5%.  That brought the total quarterly residential sales to 330, up 16.6% over 2016. 

Inventory has been on the rise since mid March.

Inventory has been on the rise since mid March.  It’s still low for this time of year, ideally I’d love to have double the listings we have now.  The increase is starting early this year.  Because there is so little competition right now, properties are coming on the market hoping to find a buyer that has been waiting and get a premium price on their property.   

At the start of April, the type of activity we are seeing in a given week is about 50 new properties on the market, 43 going under contract, 19 price decreases & 7 that were under contract but fell apart and are back on the market. 

The second quarter always has more sales than the first quarter.  The third quarter will have more sales than the second quarter.  Typically the third quarter has the most sales but we have been mixing it up recently with some really good fourth quarters too.  Last year there were nearly 60% more sales in Q2 than in Q1.  We will need, and should get, a lot more properties on the market to sustain that type of activity.  The only question is if there will be enough listings to build up the inventory.  Last year’s summertime high was under 700 properties for sale; about a 3 month supply. We will probably have fewer properties than that this year.

 

January gives a strong thumbs up to the state of the Summit County real estate market

by The Mountain Living Team

When 2016 ended the year with slightly fewer sales than 2015 it gave us some pause.  We began to wonder if this was an indicator.  Has the steady increase in our residential real estate market begun to stutter?  Unfortunately, there was no one to give us an answer.  All we could do was wait and see what would happen in the coming months and re-evaluate.  Well, just one month has gone by and so far, the market is still looking strong.  

January residential sales in Summit County posted strong sales, up 29.8% over January 2015 with 113 sales.  That beats January sales for the last 9 years and 14 of the last 17 Januarys!  The only years with stronger January sales this century were 2001, 2006 and 2007.   

As usual, Breckenridge had the bulk of the January sales with 42%.  Frisco contributed the least with just 8% of the sales.  That could be partially due to the very low inventory levels in Frisco.  Frisco has only 4% of the inventory in the county but managed 8% of the sales.  Dillon is in a similar situation with only 3% of the inventory but carrying 11.5% of the January sales. 

Both Land Sales and Partial Ownership Sales were strong in January.  January sales in those categories, however, barely make a dent in the annual sales numbers.

We will continue to watch the market as we push further into 2017.  January is giving us no indication that the market is stalling and it is actually looking very strong.  It's impossible to know the future all we can do is try and spot the subtle clues we see and hopefully interpret them correctly.  Let us know if you have questions about the Summit County real estate market.  We're here to help with any of your Summit County, Colorado needs.  

The Future of Real Estate

by The Mountain Living Team

2016 year end sales were down 4% from 2015 numbers.  That’s it.  We are done clawing our way out of the recession.  Our double digit annual rise from the ashes is over.  So what’s next?  Where does the market go from here?  Predicting the future would be so much easier if I had a crystal ball.  Instead, I am forced to look back, reflect and anticipate what may be.  Doing so, however, leaves me pondering the question, does it really even matter?

2006 saw Summit County’s strongest sales with nearly 2500 for the year.  2007 was still a strong year with a minimal 9.8% drop in sales from 2006. In 2008, our inventory levels were building and sales were lethargic.  By fall of 2008, the recession had hit Summit County.

Drawing parallels to the past, if 2015 was our peak sales year and 2016 was still a strong year with a minimal 4% drop in sales, what does that mean for 2017?  Perhaps it’s just a little down turn like that seen in 2001 and 2002.  Perhaps it’s not the sign of a down turn at all but just a hiccup brought on by the lack of properties for sale.  Unfortunately, I think it’s impossible to know for sure if our market will continue to be strong with rising prices or pull back in 2017.  We will have to let a few months pass in 2017 and take another look to see if any type of pattern has emerged.

Jump in the poolBuyers and sellers need to understand that the market will have its ups and downs, but overall, property values will continue to go up in the long term.  People that bought property during our peak years of 2006 & 2007 bought at the top.  The market came down after that, but now values have come back to or exceeded previous highs.  It’s a typical real estate cycle.  Timing the market is difficult at best and leaves you standing on the edge of the pool waiting for the right time to buy instead of jumping in and making the most of it.  If your goal is a long term investment, now is as good a time as any.  Come on in, the water is great!

 

2016: Year in Review

by The Mountain Living Team

2016 was very much a seller's market; very tight inventory and rising prices.  Buyers struggled to find properties, often compromising or waiting.  Indecisive or out of town buyers often missed properties as they were snatched up by ready buyers.  More properties than usual seemed to come back on the market because quick acting buyers, after doing further research, decided the property wasn't right for them.  Moves between properties in the county were more difficult because replacement properties were hard to come by.  That caused many sellers to hold off on selling.  

  • Residential inventory is down 24.7%

  • Residential sales were down 4% year over year.

  • Average sales price for residential properties in Summit County is up 5.8% to $595,390.

  • Average price per square foot for residential properties is up 6.9% to $376.45

  • The average days it takes for a residential property to sell is down 26.8% to 82 days, just under 3 months.

  • The list price to sales price ratio for residential properties in Summit County is 97.42%.  That's slightly better than 2015's 96.63%

  • The most expensive home to sell in 2016 sold for $6,400,000.

  • Breckenridge has the highest average sale price at $781,274.

  • Copper Mountain has the lowest average sale price at $381,719.

  • Land sales are improving but it is still a buyer's market in most areas.  

There are just over 300 residential properties for sale in all of Summit County.  Around 600 properties would be a more reasonable amount of properties for this time of year.  During our most recent downturn, Summit County had around 2000 residential properties available for sale.

No one can say for sure where the Summit County real estate market is headed.  I anticipate the first half of 2017 will be more of the same with tight inventory and rising prices.  The second half of the year is still too far away.

Market Comparison: Frisco vs The Highlands

by The Mountain Living Team

With the low inventory levels in the real estate market buyers are being forced to look outside their initial target area in order to have more to choose from.  That means the area that they have been following during their search may not be where they end up looking and/or buying.  As a result, they can be less informed about the area and what to expect in property values.  

Recently, buyers we have been working with expanded their search from Frisco to The Highlands in Breckenridge.  They were curious as to how The Highlands compares to single family homes in Frisco.  I did a little research and put together a few charts to help them determine if The Highlands was, financially, a place they wanted to be. 

Average Sale Price

The average sale price in the Highlands is much higher than it is in Frisco.  Because of the higher price point I think it makes the market more volatile; reacting more substantially to economic trends.  


Average Price Per Square FootThe  average price per square foot is surprisingly similar given the difference in sales prices.  Frisco is more inconsistent.  I believe that is because the single family homes in Frisco vary more in age and quality than we see in The Highlands.  An abundance of any type of home sales can swing the averages for that year. 

Average List to Sales PriceThe average list price to sales price ratio tells us how much sellers are coming off their list price.  This is based on the current list price at the time of the sale and doesn't include any price reductions made prior to an offer being accepted.  More properties on the market typically will push sellers into deeper discounts in order to secure a buyer.

Average Days on Market

This chart tells us that most of the time a Frisco home will sell quicker than a home in the Highlands.  It also shows us the average days on the market is a largely fluctuating number and that we are currently in a downward trend meaning homes are selling quicker than in the past.  

As with any averages, it must be understood that before making matter of fact claims the numbers must be dug deeper into.  A few sales can impact an average made from a limited section of data.  The Summit County market is a small market making it more susceptible to a few sales.  If you have questions about any of these statistics we are happy to dig deeper into them and provide you the information you need.  Just let us know via email or a comment on this post.

2016 - a year of scarcity in residential real estate

by The Mountain Living Team

Inventory levelsWe currently sit at 404 residential properties in the entire county for sale.  Of those 404, 213 are priced over one million dollars.  Of the 203 Summit County residential properties that sold in October only 25 were priced over one million dollars.  That means 178 people spending under one million dollars in just one month.  We only have 191 properties under one million dollars on the market right now.  That’s a severe shortage!  This isn’t the first time the market has looked like this during 2016.  It is the tightest market we have seen but every month this year has a very similar story.  Not many properties for sale. With monthly sales averaging approximately 150 homes per month we need closer to 900 properties on the market at all times.

Inventory levels do fluctuate seasonally every year.  Our highest inventory levels are generally seen in the summer and dip to its lowest point at the end of the year.   Our peak inventory level was just under 700 this year, hit in early August, and we haven’t hit our low yet.  As you can see from the chart, we have been seeing inventory falling steadily since 2009.

 

Properties are scarce in Frisco right now

by Meredith Adams

Are you looking for a home in Frisco?  It is slim pickin’s right now.  As I’m writing this there are only 21 residential properties for sale in Frisco.  The lowest priced is a 3 bedroom condo for $428,000.  Only 12 of the 21 properties are priced under a million dollars.  There are 12 additional properties under contract.  11 of those are priced below a million dollars.  Frisco had 223 sales in 2015, which works out to be about 18 sales per month.  The beginning of the year is typically a slower time of year for us.  January in 2015 only had 6 sales.  There have already been 9 sales this January.

Market conditions like these can result in multiple offers on properties.   The shortage of inventory makes the buyers stack up as they wait for something to come on the market and often leaves them competing for properties.   As we head into summer we see more and more properties come on the market.  That will help alleviate the property shortage and even out the buyer/seller mix.  Even at our peak inventory level in 2016, I don’t anticipate having an abundance of properties.  I expect the Frisco market to be a seller’s market all year long.

Multiple offer situations can complicate a property sale as the seller has to determine the best course of action for handling all the buyers.  We will be posting additional information about handing multiple offers soon.

Copper Mountain real estate in 2015

by Meredith Adams

2015 was a year of significant improvement in the Copper Mountain real estate market.   Copper started the year in an extreme buyer’s market but thanks to a great summer and fall, ended the year in a balanced market.  Sales numbers were up 29.7% over 2014.  Median sale price increased as did the list to sales price ratio, and the number of days on the market dropped.

A balanced market means all of the properties on the market could sell at the current pace in five to seven months.  As that timeframe increases, meaning a longer time for the inventory to be absorbed, the market swings to a buyer’s market.  As that timeframe decreases, with a shorter time for the inventory to be absorbed, the market transitions to a seller’s market.  The absorption rate is impacted by both the supply and the demand of the market.  Copper Mountain began 2015 with 16.2 months of inventory, an extreme buyer’s market.  It gradually decreased throughout the year and ended with a 7.3 month supply; at the outskirts of a balanced market. 

Sales are typically slower the first half of the year.  2015 only had 17 sales in the first five months.  Sales came on strong in the second half pushing the total sales just shy of the one hundred mark with 98.  These are much stronger sales than the 74 seen in 2014.  This year is looking much stronger than 2015 with 4 sales already this year and 9 more under contract.  2016 could be the year we hit 115 sales, the number of sales we had during our peak year of 2007. 

Copper Mountain’s average sale price dipped slightly in 2015 however the median increased.  The average sale price in 2014 was $388,805 and only $355,309 in 2015, a 8.7% decline.  That was due to the highest sale price in 2015 being only $868,150.  In 2014 homes sold for $2.3million and $1,690,000 influencing the average sale price that year.  The median sale price in 2014 was $322,500.  It increased in 2015 by 6.7% to $344,000.   

During 2015, sellers were agreeing to sell their properties, on average, for 95.4% of their list price.  In 2014 sellers had to give away a little more selling for 94.4% of list price.  This ratio does not take into account any price changes that may have happened prior to the property going under contract.  The amount a seller will negotiate from their list price is typically driven by market conditions as well as the seller’s motivations.  In general, less negotiation can be expected in a seller’s market than in a buyer’s market.

As expected given the improving market conditions, properties at Copper sold faster in 2015 than they did the previous year.  The days a home spent on the market fell to a median of 137.  That is down from 2014’s median of 164, or approximately 5 ½ months.

No matter how you look at it, 2015 was a great year for Copper Mountain.  So far, all signs for 2016 are pointing toward another great year for Copper Mountain real estate.

Read more about the Summit County market in 2015.

2015 - The Summit County real estate market year in review

by Meredith Adams

Residential SalesThe Summit County real estate market has been plugging along in an upward trend since 2009.  That continued through 2015 but with a little more gusto than previous years.

Double digit sales increases continued in 2015 with a 13.3% bump pushing us to more than double the sales that happened in 2009.  While the sales numbers are extraordinary, they are still 23.2% below the market peak in 2006 when we had 2,499 residential sales.

Inventory levels are extremely low.  There are currently fewer than 500 residential properties on the market in Summit County.  That’s about half the properties on the market this time last year and about 1/3 the properties that have been on the market to start previous years.  We typically gain inventory as the year goes along with the peak coming around September.

The increasing demand and shrinking inventory pushed prices higher in 2015.  The amount of the increases  vary across the county, neighborhood to neighborhood.  The high demand in some neighborhoods fueled competition between buyers creating multiple offers.  As a result, some sale prices exceeded pricing hit during the peak of our market.

2015 was especially good to Copper Mountain’s real estate market.  The year started as an extreme buyers market with a 17 month supply of properties on the market.  After 96 sales in 2015 it ended the year a balanced market with only about a seven month supply currently.   Reaching 96 sales meant a 29.7% increase over 2014 numbers; a much needed improvement.  Copper is still behind the rest of the county however, with all other areas already in a seller’s market.

2015 was a good year.  At this point, indications are that 2016 should be even stronger.

 

Absoprtion rate, a worthy statistic all by itself.

by Meredith Adams

If you are interested in buying real estate in Summit County you may start looking at market statistics to get a feel for the state of the market.  Those market statistics may not mean much until they are put into the perspective of the Summit County market.  If you hear that there are 1000 properties for sale, it's hard to know what that means.  Is it a seller's market or a buyer's market?  Are the 85 sales last month exceptional or terrible?  Without some context, statistics are relatively useless.  That's why one of the statistics we look at every month is the absorption rate.  It automatically puts the statistics into the context of the market.  That means, even with no additional information, you know where the market is.

Absorption rate is the relationship between inventory and past sales.  If in the last year there have been 1200 sales and now there are 300 properties on the market, it is is a fair assumption that it will take 3 months to sell all the inventory.  1200 sales in one year equal 100 sales per month.  Therefore, 300 properties should take 3 months to sell.  The absorption rate in this example is 3 months.  In most markets, three months of inventory is a Seller's market.  

Looking at the Summit County market through the end of October the absorption rate is 3.6 months; a sellers market.  When diving deeper into the data we see that Keystone and Breckenridge are both seller's markets with 3.3 and 4.8 months of inventory respectively.  Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne are extreme seller's markets with 1.6, 1.7 and 2.3 months of inventory.  Copper is still a buyer's market with 8.9 months of inventory.

With just this one statistic, you have a much clearer picture of the Summit County market.  As a buyer or seller, by looking at the absorption rate you have a general overview of what is happening and what to expect.  Additional information will help dial it down even further but absorption rate is a fantastic statistic that should be utilized.

 

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