EAGLE COUNTY — The Vail
Valley real estate market had started to lag before the world’s economy fell
apart in 2008, but it was still the last of the “good years.”
least one month, though, and depending on where you looked, the valley’s real
estate market looked like the good years were back.
Back On Track
recent sales numbers from Land Title Guarantee Co. showed July sales finally
back up to the levels seen in 2008. In July of this year, there were 190 sales,
which together added up to $122.9 million in “dollar volume.”
those numbers rival the ones posted in 2008, they’re miles better than the
numbers posed in 2009, the year the economic slump really hit the valley. That
year, the July sales figures were 75 units sold for $59.6 million.
usually the case in local real estate, the volume in July came overwhelmingly
from property priced at $1 million or less. That part of the market accounted
for 84 percent of all transactions and was right at half of the dollar volume.
A substantial number of those sales were in Eagle and Gypsum, which accounted
for one-third of all sales in July.
‘A Normalized Market’
Denton, of Ascent Sotheby’s International Realty in Vail, has been selling real
estate in the valley for more than 30 years. Denton said the numbers so far
this year indicate a “normalized” market.
back in a user market — a lifestyle market,” Denton said.
other hand, the high end of the market continues to lag. Vail’s Real Estate
Transfer Tax collections are down more than 20 percent from last year, and out
of all the sales in July, just five were for more than $2 million. Meanwhile,
property priced at less than $500,000 often has multiple offers from potential
a longtime broker based in Vail, said there’s currently “a lot of difficulty”
between asking prices and offers.
expensive property will often draw offers to buy, Byrne said many of those
offers are rejected.
are enough off (the asking price) that we aren’t closing the deals,” Byrne
that sellers seem to be firming up on asking prices could be the result of
improving markets elsewhere, Byrne said. Steve Cardinale, a broker in Slifer
Smith & Frampton’s Beaver Creek office, agreed, saying the luxury markets
in places including New York, San Francisco and Hawaii seem to be drawing
Demand High, Supply Low
problem in the Vail Valley could be the lack of new inventory, Byrne said.
Units at the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons in Vail seem to be drawing more
interest, he said. Just about everything else is a re-sale of an existing unit.
and Cardinale believe the divide between buyers and sellers may be narrowing,
if not closing.
who have made (rejected) offers are starting to come back,” Byrne said.
who also has more than 30 years in the local real estate business on his
resume, said some “pockets” in Beaver Creek are starting to show some life.
But, he said, at the very high end of the market — $7.5 million and above —
sellers are in a position of being able to wait for the right price on their
say, ‘My property’s unique — if it doesn’t sell, I’ve got a nice place when I
come skiing,’” Cardinale said.
Time As A Cure All
between buyers and sellers might have just one cure — time.
may be starting to do its work. Cardinale said the markets for high-end items
from homes to planes to boats and cars is starting to show life. People who
have ridden the stock market to its current level may be ready to cash out and
have some fun.
said he’s starting to see a little loosening, too, saying his company, at the
moment, has a home at Red Sky Ranch in Wolcott under contract. In fact, Denton
said, the entire valley real estate business has put just more than 20 homes
priced at $2 million or more under contract this summer. That’s a good thing.
there are a few hundred more homes in that price range on the market.
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