EAGLE COUNTY - Real estate supply is tighter and prices are creeping up, says the Vail Board of Realtors.
The group's report for the first quarter of this year shows less real estate inventory valley wide. Homes are staying on the market for about half the amount of time they were a year ago.
"It's the basic law of supply and demand," said Mikel Oburn, a Realtor with Prudential Colorado Properties. "Inventory remains low, and so do interest rates, so prices are creeping up."
Singletree, for example, has about half the properties on the market it had a year ago, Oburn said.
The Board of Realtors report shows local inventory levels are 34.5 percent lower than they were in the first quarter of 2012.
This time last year saw 17 months of local inventory available. It's down to nine and half months of available inventory.
That means if no other homes came on the market, every available home would sell within that time.
"This shift may mean that for owners who were on the fence about listing a property, the time to revisit their decision is now. There are buyers out there looking to purchase," said Julie Retzlaff, chairperson of the Vail Board of Realtors. "From the buyer's perspective, now is also the time for them to move forward. Those considering a purchase could anticipate a rise in purchase prices in the future, as fewer inventory options exist. Lower inventory can create a rise in prices as a multitude of buyers compete for the same property."
The market is also tightening back to what passes for normal as bank-owned and distressed property sales work their way through the market.
During February of this year, statewide foreclosure filings were down 43.6 percent, year over year, and foreclosure filings fell to the lowest point recorded in any month since the Colorado Division of Housing began keeping monthly foreclosure stats in 2007. Statewide foreclosure auction sales were at the lowest level recorded in any February during the past seven years.
Across Colorado, there were 3,995 foreclosure filings during the first two months of 2012 and 2,616 during the same period this year, according to the state Division of Housing.
Mesa County had the most foreclosures. Boulder County had the fewest.
Foreclosure filings peaked in mid-2009 in response to large job losses beginning in late 2008. A subsequent rise in foreclosure sales at auction peaked in spring and summer of 2010 as the state worked through the large inventory of foreclosures filed in mid 2009.
Foreclosure filings declined between January 2011 and July 2011, but have been generally flat since late 2011. Foreclosure sales activity has been falling since late 2011.
There appears to be a six to nine-month delay between trends in filings and sales. For example, the large decline in filings that began in mid-2009 shows up as a decline in sales that begins during the spring of 2010. This likely reflects a time lag between the initiation of foreclosures and the completion of foreclosures. Nevertheless, the increase in filings that appeared in late 2011 has yet to produce any resulting rise in auction sales.
Since 2011, however, both filings and sales have shown general declines in activity.
Nationwide, foreclosure filings have tended to peak late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.