Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report. We publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town. The newsletter electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at www.vail
Eagle County real estate sales are seeing a resurgence of growth, reporting a third quarter jump of 24 percent in dollar volume sold during the prior year.
Bank sales continue strong, meaning that the supply of foreclosed properties is being steadily cleared from the market, adding a degree of price stability.
Contributing to the increase are sales to international buyers, primarily from Mexico.
In Eagle County, inventories of properties available for purchase continue to shrink, aided by bargain shopping for appropriately valued properties.
In Colorado, the six north-central mountain counties where the core of the resort industry is located have all shown increases in real estate sales. Other major Western mountain resort areas such as Sun Valley, Idaho and Jackson Hole, Wyo., are also seeing strong growth. Local trends mirror the improvement in national home sales trends.
Challenging economic conditions for local residents: Eagle County unemployment numbers are modestly receding from October of last year, 8.24 percent, down from 8.90 percent.
The unemployment rate has more than tripled from Eagle County's low average annual employment rate of 2.87 percent in 2007. The labor force is down by 1,752 and the number of jobs by 3,146 when compared with October of 2007.
Eagle County foreclosure rate dropping, a positive sign: Across Eagle County, the number of active foreclosures is down roughly 31.5 percent compared to this time last year, while the dollar amount is down 41.4 percent. As of Dec. 5, 442 foreclosures had been filed in Eagle County in 2012; of those, 22.9 percent had been sold. Countywide, the average sale price was 72.1 percent of total indebtedness.
Vail's property values are holding better than the other communities with an average sale price of 90.1 percent of total indebtedness. Foreclosures have had the highest impact in the work force communities of Eagle and Gypsum, as well as the timeshare holdings in Avon.
The drop in foreclosure rates coupled with high levels of bank sales clearing the market of available inventory is a positive sign that real estate values for workforce housing are stabilizing.