VAIL — Thanks to a number of high-end sales this winter, real estate closings in April produced the best month thus far this year in terms of dollar volume. Sales in April were also the strongest the county has since July 2008, with $239,411,420 in total sales volume, according to the latest report.
The dramatic upswing, up from only $104 million in March, was largely fueled by high-end sales, including the sale of Vail Village’s Galatyn Lodge for $28.6 million.
Overall, there were 10 transactions for more than $5 million, said the Land Title Guarantee Co.’s monthly analysis. The two highest residential sales were also in Vail Village, which sold for $19 million and $14.5 million. There were also 11 transactions in the county that sold for between $2.5 million and $4.9 million.
These high-end sales created a staggering $1,639,804 average sales price for April. However, the overall median price for property sold in Eagle County was $567,500.
Prices have steadily been making their way up throughout the year, and buyers are beginning to realize that if they want a good price, they need to buy now, said Slifer, Smith & Frampton President Jim Flaum.
In some cases, homes are selling at or above 2008 prices. Most of the high-end sales happened in the winter, when prospective second-home owners were in town. Flaum said he thinks the April spike isn’t an anomaly — prices and transactions are generally trending upward — but the amount of the sales was affected by some major transactions and the time of year.
“A lot of prospects who have been out there looking are finally realizing that the price of the market is at the bottom and now starting upward. They realized that if they wanted a good price and a choice pick, they had to act,” said Flaum.
Most of that activity has been centered in Vail, but Flaum said the rising prices and “buying flurry” were trends throughout Eagle County.
Activity in Vail
Vail led in number of sales in the county with 31 total sales — including 13 in Vail Village and two in Lionshead.
The two villages are the focus of much of the county’s real estate growth at the moment, said Slifer, Smith & Frampton broker Led Gardner
“So far we’re not seeing similar sales in Beaver Creek. There’s some activity, but the rebound in pricing is in Vail’s core area,” said Gardner. “However, the hope is that this will set the bar for the rest of the valley for the remainder of the year.”
Another trend for the high-end market has individuals buying older homes to tear down and rebuild.
“We’re seeing a lot more speculative projects. There’s a dearth of land, and we’ve seen several examples of people buying an existing older home, tearing it down and building something for their own use,” said Gardner.
According to the April report, the rest of Eagle County had a busy month as well.
For the first time in a number of months, Eagle and Gypsum were out-sold in the number of transactions. In April, Avon was active with 13 transactions, followed by Arrowhead with 11. Eagle-Vail had five transactions, Eagle had eight and Gypsum had 10.
Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.