John Stroud
Post Independent Staff

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May 4, 2013
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Garfield County real estate sales dip during first quarter

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Real estate sales in Garfield County were down 14 percent through the first quarter of 2013 in terms of dollar volume, although the number of actual transactions was up slightly.

According to property sales figures from January through March compiled by Land Title Guarantee Co. of Glenwood Springs, sales throughout the county from Carbondale to Parachute totaled $61.2 million. That’s down from $71 million in sales for the first quarter of 2012.

The total value of March sales alone were down 35 percent, compared to the same month last year, according to the monthly market analysis prepared by Land Title Manager Tammy Sommerfeld.

While the total number of real estate transactions remain up 0.8 percent through the first three months of the year, at 248, a slow March wiped away what had been a strong start to the year. Only 78 transactions were recorded for March, down from 114 in March 2012, for a 32 percent decline.

The March slowdown comes after a decent start to the year in January and February. Garfield County real estate activity during 2012 was the strongest in four years, since the 2008 recession.

Sales volume in 2012 was up 35 percent over 2011, while total transactions were up 32 percent for the year.

By comparison, though, real estate sales in the county totaled $723 million in 2008 and topped $1 billion in 2007, compared to $376.3 million last year.

The low point in the county’s real estate market downturn came in 2010, when sales for the entire year came in at $236 million. That was the norm for two or three months worth of activity in 2007 and 2008, according to historical data kept by Land Title.

Bank sales resulting from foreclosures accounted for 26 percent of transactions through the first quarter of this year, totaling $14 million worth of sales, according to the March report.

Through March, the average single-family home sold in Garfield County for $274,838, which is down about 17 percent from the average sales price in 2012.

Carbondale-area sales led the county with a total of 24 transactions ($8.5 million), followed by Glenwood Springs at 15 ($3.5 million), New Castle with 11 ($2 million), Silt with nine ($1.4 million), Battlement Mesa with eight ($1.4 million), Rifle with seven ($1.6 million), and Parachute with four ($199,500).

Most buyers this year so far are local, accounting for 81 percent of the sales. Another 6 percent were from the Front Range of Colorado, and 14 percent were from out of state, but within the United States.

Also, 54 percent were cash sales and 46 percent were secured with loans, according to the report.

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The VailDaily Updated May 3, 2013 10:40AM Published May 19, 2013 01:08PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.