Joan Harned
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December 20, 2013
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Vail Daily column: How is the real estate market doing?

Dear Joan,

I think I am reading good news about real estate prices and sales in our valley in the local paper. However, I am not sure enough to go ahead and put my property on the market and feel confident I can get the price that I want. Is the real estate market truly better this year? Are prices going up? What is your interpretation of the market in general?

Dear “Unsure,”

I can’t tell from the information you gave me about “the price you want,” but I will happily give you my opinion of the market in general. We have several great title companies in our valley and one of them is Land Title, which gives us sales statistic updates regularly. Land Title’s most recent report shows that we are up 8 percent in the number of transactions in Eagle County over 2012. Also, we’ve only had 120 bank owned sales this year, compared to 313 last year. Having fewer bank owned sales has helped stabilize pricing. As far as price increases go, it is difficult to assess each of the 32 areas in the county simply by taking the average price of a single family home. I say this because home sizes vary greatly and some areas have a low volume of sales, which provides less than realistic data.

Although price per square foot doesn’t tell the whole story, it might be a slightly more accurate measure. Overall, the average price per square foot for single family homes is up 1 percent year to date from 2012. But the real story is in the different areas of the valley. To determine what your neighborhood is experiencing, here are communities and the change in price per square foot from 2012: Vail Golf Course, 133 percent; Vail Village, -7 percent; Lionshead, -8 percent; Minturn/Redcliff, 36 percent; Eagle-Vail, 10 percent; Avon, -23 percent; Edwards, 27 percent; Cordillera Valley Club, 20 percent; Cordillera (south of I-70), 0 percent; Eagle, 8 percent; Gypsum, 23 percent.

Once again, this doesn’t tell the whole story, as some areas were harder hit so their increases are greater in a recovering environment. You can see that we are generally on the rise, and I can definitely say the “feeling” of stability is back.

Also, don’t forget that if you are going to buy a new property, while you are waiting for your price to go up, chances are the price of your next property is rising also. You may not end up better off financially by waiting. An experienced broker can help you interpret your neighborhood and make this decision.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned at joan@teamblackbear.com, 970-337-7777 or www.skiandteehomes.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 20, 2013 08:18PM Published Dec 20, 2013 06:30PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.