Keeping you informed on market statistics, real estate news, and events around town
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Real estate recovery continues in the Vail Valley
From the Vail Daily:
Pre-sold real estate is
returning to the Vail Valley, albeit in a small way.
As the local real estate market continues its recovery from its
2009 collapse, 2014 is looking like the best year since the boom times in terms
of both transactions and the money generated by those sales.
The most recent data from Land Title Guarantee Co., which uses
county records of closed transactions, shows a continued return to health in
the local real estate market. Bank sales, which peaked at more than 20 percent
of all real estate transactions a few years ago, now account for about 5.1
percent of all sales through July 31. Sales volume, the amount of money
generated by those transactions, is more than 30 percent more than 2013’s
totals through the end of July. The number of sales through the first seven
months of the year is off slightly from the 2013 pace, due largely to a bit of
a drop in transactions in July.
Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate Vice President Julie
Bergsten said the July dip was unexpected. There’s usually a bit of bounce in
sales in July she said, and that bounce didn’t materialize this year. On the
other hand, Bergsten said sales in August — transactions either under contract
or which haven’t yet shown up on county records — rebounded a bit from July,
and are at the same levels seen in the same period in 2013. Those sales were
aided a bit by pre-sales at Brookside Lofts in Avon. Work hasn’t yet started to
convert former office space to residential space in the building along U.S.
Highway 6, but Bergsten said eight of the 16 units are already under contract. Those
units, which start at about $600,000, are an example of movement in the market
for units priced less than $1 million. And activity in the market depends in
large part on the neighborhood.
Lack of Inventory
While Vail’s market remains strong, nearly half of all July’s
sales were in non-resort areas of the county. And, Bergsten said, the market
remains sluggish for single-family homes in Beaver Creek. Conversely, a
less-expensive unit such as a condo will probably move quickly, in part because
there aren’t many of those units available. The lack of inventory is also being
felt in Gypsum. There, units priced at $400,000 or less tend to go quickly —
depending on the neighborhood and the unit, of course — primarily because there
are so few homes available.
Laurie Slaughter, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado
Properties’ Gypsum office, has long sold real estate in that part of the
valley. She said the lack of inventory in the lower-priced part of the market
is due in part to the fact that the flood of foreclosures and short sales seen
a couple of years ago has slowed to a trickle. That leaves fewer units
available, although Slaughter said some sellers are trying to venture back into
the market. Some of those sellers are testing the market, setting prices that might
be a bit higher than buyers are willing to pay.
Trading Space for Convenience
While the lower end of the market sees the few available units
sell quickly — for the most part — Slaughter said the Cotton Ranch neighborhood
around the Gypsum Creek Golf Course is selling more slowly. Given the options
at about the same price closer to the resorts, Slaughter said it’s possible
some buyers are trading space for convenience.
Both Bergsten and Slaughter said given the lack of units in
more-active parts of the valley, it could be time for developers to start
building more homes. Slaughter said the Stratton Flats property along U.S.
Highway 6 is a “missed opportunity” for builders right now. “It would have been
nice to have homes there for sale,” she said. While the local market has some
dips and rises at the moment, Bergsten said that’s a good sign of a healthy,
normal real estate market. “This is the kind of market we saw before 2005,”
Bergsten said. “Normal markets go up and down from time to time.”