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LIV Sotheby’s releases the Mid-Year Micro Market Report for Vail Valley

The mountain lifestyle rarely gets more upscale than what’s found in the renowned Vail Valley. As a well-known luxury market, the Vail Valley drives visitors and buyers from around the world to experience the year-round activities, the tight-knit community feel, the high-end shopping and dining, and of course the spectacular mountain views.

LIV Sotheby’s International Realty produces a Micro Market Report focusing on the real estate performance for Eagle County for January through June of 2019 compared to January through June of 2018. Buyers interested in Eagle County have a unique advantage right now with the current increase in average days on market, as well as a slight dip in the number of sold listings.

“Sellers are seeing benefits this year in the Vail Valley with an increase in average price for many of the areas, but buyers are also going to see some benefits through the rest of 2019 due to the increase in average days on market — meaning buyers have more time to make their decisions,” said Dan Fitchett Jr., vice president and managing broker of LIV SIR’s Vail Valley offices.

Diving into the many neighborhoods of Eagle County, significant highlights were reported including increases in average price and in the number of properties sold. West Vail and Cascade showed an outstanding 51% increase in average price to $1,676,397 in 2019 compared to $1,112,056 in 2018. Arrowhead also reported a significant 37% increase in average price to $2,123,885 in 2019 from $1,545,714 in 2018. Increases in properties sold were also abundant for 2019 including an 86% increase to 26 properties sold in 2019 for Arrowhead and a 62% increase to 21 properties sold in 2019 for Cordillera.

Visit ColoradoMarketReports.com to view the entire Eagle County Micro Market Report, showing real estate performance from January through June 2019 compared to the same time frame of 2018. LIV Sotheby’s International Realty compiles quarterly and year-end reports of micro-market statistics so you can learn more about your community and to help you make effective real estate decisions.

To discuss buying or selling a Vail Valley residence, contact a real estate professional today by visiting resorts.livsothebysrealty.com or calling 970-476-7944.

Golden Peak penthouse a rarity

In real estate, the term ski-in/ski-out can mean many things, but Golden Peak Penthouse, East truly lives up to that description. This new offering marks the first slopeside residential project at the base of Vail Mountain in nearly 20 years.

Positioned at the base of Golden Peak, the Riva Bahn Express lift and just short walk from Bridge Street in Vail Village and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Golden Peak Penthouse, East represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“If I can only use one word, it would be ‘scarcity’,” said Tye Stockton of The Stockton Group with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “You can’t get slopeside, new construction, ski-in/ski-out anymore. We only had two penthouses, and we sold one so we have one left. This is it.

This penthouse is two-stories, boasts over 5,600 square-feet and all floors are accessed by your own private elevator. The open floor plan brings the outdoors in with ample windows and views of the Gore Range. Enjoy the Colorado climate with over 2,000 square-feet of outdoor living space. Indoors you’ll find a mountain-modern aesthetic with a state-of-the-art kitchen, dining area, great room and lounge.

Six bedrooms will allow you to invite the whole family or invite friends up for a ski weekend or for the spectacular summers in Colorado.

“This residence is for a family that loves to ski and wants to be next to the slopes,” Stockton said. “They love Vail, they want all the privacy that a house affords but they also want the convenience of being able to lock the door and walk away and not have to worry about it.”

Scarcity is one word Stockton used to describe Golden Peak Penthouse, East but urgency is another word he used. “Golden Peak Penthouse, West sold earlier during the construction phase without any marketing, so a lot of the world doesn’t even know this exists yet, so we feel once we really start promoting it, Golden Peak Penthouse, East is going to sell very quickly,” Stockton said.

To learn more, visit www.goldenpeakpenthouses.com or call Tye Stockton at 970.471.2557.

Ask a Realtor: Can we downsize by the end of the year?

Dear Mike: My wife and I are Vail homeowners and empty nesters. We’d like to downsize from our current home, which is larger than our needs, and buy a smaller home in the Vail Valley. Our hope is to have our existing home sold and a new one under contract by the end of the year. Is this reasonable timing?  Are there any factors that we should consider as a seller and buyer? 

— Empty Nesters

Dear Empty Nesters: While the average number of days on the market varies by price range, the current ballpark for homes in the $750,000 to $1.5 million mark is approximately six months. 

That being said, there are a number of factors that can make the turnaround time shorter or longer, including the asking and listing price.  If your current home and the one you would like to buy are priced appropriately based on current market value, and mortgage rates remain favorable if you are financing, it is reasonable to expect you could meet your goal by year’s end.

The good news for you and what most people do not realize is both buyer and seller need to ask similar questions of their broker. First and foremost, do a market analysis and determine opportunity within your price ranges and then establish attainable goals. These would include the aforementioned pricing, inventory, days on the market based on home value(s) and any other goals you and your wife have that should be considered, like location and access to other amenities or services.

Second, review pricing niches and market share for each niche. Based on a similar category range of the $750K to $1.5M noted above, there are fewer discrepancies than if you are selling or buying at a much higher (over $1.5M) or less (under $700K).  This will also help provide a more accurate assessment of inventory and opportunity. 

Another factor to look at is the desirability of the market areas where you are selling and buying as well as design, age, size and condition. These all directly correlate to determining the appropriate price for a listing or making an offer. The closer the listing price and offer is to the actual market value, the more likely each home will go under contract and close in a reasonable amount of time.

Once these have been determined, it’s important to develop a marketing plan to make sure that everyone agrees on the strategy.  A plan also allows accountability on both ends so that adjustments, as needed, can be made and communicated in a timely manner.

Communication is key and should be a two-way street, not a one-lane highway. By being clear about your goals and priorities and understanding that the market will respond much more favorably with accurate pricing, your broker will be in a much better position to help you sell and purchase a new home within a reasonable time period. Good luck!

Mike Budd is a 19-year Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties veteran, specializing in residential and commercial real estate, including being named Vail Board REALTOR of the Year in 2016.  A Vail Valley resident for 21 years, Budd has seen the Vail Valley evolve into one of the most desirable resort/lifestyle communities in the world. Contact Budd with your real estate questions at mike@mikebudd.com,  970-376-4511 or http://www.mikebudd.com.

Vail Valley real estate dip tracked to decline in sales of $5 million or more

The Vail Valley’s real estate market has long been an unusual one, with very expensive sales accounting for a large share of the market’s dollar volume. That means a few sales can have a large impact on volume.

That seems to be happening this year. 

Land Title Guarantee Co. tracks real estate transactions recorded at the Eagle County Clerk & Recorder’s Office. So far this year, dollar volume and transactions trail numbers for the same period posted in 2017 and 2018.

Transactions this year are 82% of the 2018 figures, while dollar volume is 87% of 2018’s numbers. 

It seems there are a few things at work in the decline.

Markets are cyclical

First is the cyclical nature of all markets. 

Mike Budd, a broker in the Edwards office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Mountain Properties, said the upper level of the market — $5 million and above — is unpredictable and can vary widely from year to year.

Budd said there were 55 sales in that range in 2018. That would have been between 18 and 19 sales through the first third of 2018. Through the end of April of this year — the first third of the year — there have been 15 such sales. 

In both cases, though, sales of $5 million and more made up roughly 3.5% of transactions and accounted for roughly 25% of the sales volume.

Still, fewer big sales mean lower volume.

The other factor is inventory.

Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate managing broker John Pfeiffer said his brokers are telling him they have willing buyers but little to buy across the price spectrum, adding that the firm has a handful of high-end sales set to close in the next several weeks. 

Pfeiffer said he recently held a meeting with Slifer Smith & Frampton’s brokers. Virtually all are talking about the lack of inventory, he said. Pfeiffer added that he sees a steady stream of emails from brokers who say they have willing buyers but nothing to sell. The biggest challenge is with homes priced at $1.5 million and less, he added. 

Pricing’s influence

Budd said that inventory in the western part of the valley is “really tight,” with a bit more supply from Edwards east.

Budd noted that in 2018 the local market switched from being dominated by sales of $500,000 and less to sales between $500,000 and $1 million. That’s due to both inventory and price increases, he said, with buyers who had been in the $500,000-and-less range looking at homes priced around $600,000.

Price increases have played a significant role, Pfeiffer said, noting that the least expensive single-family home in Eagle is priced at $485,000, a price that doesn’t include a garage.

Still, both Budd and Pfeiffer called the current market “stable.” Budd said that outside the market’s upper reaches, the rest of the market is “relatively predictable.”

Despite this year’s dip, Pfeiffer said current indicators point to continued stability. 

Pfeiffer said the state-level experts he’s talked to remain “bullish” on Colorado’s economy. Pfeiffer added that bankers and lenders he talks to aren’t concerned about the state’s economy at the moment.

“Inventory is our main story,” Pfeiffer said. “We have the clients. … It’s an incredible time to list a property for sale, and it’s an incredible time to buy.” Pfeiffer said that is due to a combination of a strong economy and continued low mortgage interest rates. That combination doesn’t happen very often, he said. 

And while the local market has had a good run-up the past few years, annual increases aren’t guaranteed.

“That’s part of a healthy market,” he said. 

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com and 970-748-2930.

LIV Sotheby’s: Vail Valley real estate is showing an increase in performance

While the summer season has been a bit delayed this year, we are now officially welcoming the warmer, yet beautiful Colorado weather that this time of the year brings. With that, we are seeing some increases in performance for real estate in the Vail Valley, but we are also seeing some major opportunities for both buyers and sellers according to the May Market Report produced by LIV Sotheby’s International Realty (LIV SIR).   

For interested Vail Valley buyers, year-to-date performance is showing slight decreases in activity compared to January through May of 2018. If last year wasn’t your year to act and make the investment you’ve been thinking of, now may be the time as average days on market is slightly higher than last year and the average list price is slightly lower than last year.

Sellers should also be thinking about their next steps because when looking at the last 12 months, year-over-year, there are clear increases in performance that would benefit someone interested in selling their Vail Valley home. Including all price points, increases are shown for total sales volume (+3%), average sold price (+7%), average price per square foot (+6%), average list price (+7%), and highest sold price (+24%).

The performance increases follow a similar path for Vail Valley’s luxury market of $3,000,000 and above, with an additional increase of 5% in listings sold for the last 12 months, year-over-year. Plus, for the luxury market, last month reported significant increases compared to April of 2019. Total sales volume increased 63% and listings sold increased 67% to 10 listings sold in May.

“The summer selling season typically brings a different kind of market for the Vail Valley,” said Dan Fitchett Jr., vice president and managing broker of LIV SIR’s Vail Valley offices. “While there are still increases in performance, we may see some metrics slow down as those living in Colorado take time to enjoy the outdoor activities that summer offers.”

For buyers or sellers, 2019 is showing to be a year to make a move in the Vail Valley. Understanding the market and the local economy is a critical piece of real estate success. The Monthly Vail Valley Report provides detailed information to ensure you are up-to-date with local real estate, keeping your pulse on recent activity and trends.

To discuss buying or selling a Vail Valley residence, contact a real estate professional today by visiting resorts.livsothebysrealty.com or calling 970.476.7944.

Visit www.ColoradoMarketReports.com to view the latest monthly reports, dissecting the Colorado real estate performance.

Kelli Williams is the director of public relations for LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, the exclusive Board of Regent for the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, has 23 office locations in the resort communities of the Vail Valley, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, and Telluride, also including Denver Metro and the surrounding areas. For more information, call 970.476.7944. To service all of your real estate needs visit resorts.livsothebysrealty.com.

Vail Community Profile

Live where you can walk to the gondolas and indulge in all that Vail Mountain has to offer.

Endless activity, exciting events, world-class dining and more are right at your fingertips in Vail, and it’s all interconnected by trails and villages adorned with Tyrolean charm.

The largest ski area in America, Vail attracts millions of international visitors every winter. After the snow melts, golfing, biking, hiking and fishing become the ways of life.

From the real estate expert:

“Eagle County averages 118 inches of snow per year, but this community is not just the host to the best snow skiing in the world — it is a year-round attraction. The county garners national recognition for its extensive trail system and every outdoor activity, both summer and winter, are explore and enjoyed to the max.” – Vail Board of Realtors, HOME Magazine June 2019

Community Map

Win land, help St. Vincent Hospital

What would you do if you won land in Colorado?

The St. Vincent Hospital Foundation is hosting the Colorado Land Rush and raffling off a forested .46 parcel of land in the Pan Ark Estates subdivision south of Leadville. Raffle tickets are $75 plus fees. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced at the Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival in downtown Leadville on June 22 at 4 p.m. and you don’t need to be present to win

Sound too good to be true? Land ownership could be a reality and in buying a raffle ticket, you are actually helping to support rural healthcare services in Lake County

After nearly closing the facility in 2015, St. Vincent Hospital is celebrating its 140-year history and will break ground on a new state-of-the-art facility later this year. The funds raised from the Colorado Land Rush land raffle will be used to help purchase a new CT scanner, which enables doctors to diagnose head and neck injuries, find internal organ damage and stabilize patients. Whether the patients are treated in Leadville or need to be transferred to a trauma center, detailed imaging from a CT scanner is critical.

Situated in the shadows of some of the state’s 14,000-foot peaks, the Leadville area boasts majestic views, hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, skiing and other outdoor activities.

What would you do if you won land in Colorado? The possibilities are endless for outdoor recreation and it’s a place for you to call home.

To purchase a raffle ticket or tickets, go to www.coloradolandrush.com. To learn more about St. Vincent Hospital’s new facility and extensive history, please visit www.leadvillehospital.org. Act fast, the winner will be announced at the Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival on June 22 at 4 p.m.

East Vail parcel the subject of another development plan

VAIL — Triumph Development has returned with a plan for housing on a parcel in East Vail. The new plan has far less density than a plan submitted, but rejected, in March.

The new plan calls for a total of 73 units — 42 apartments and 31 townhomes — on 5.4 acres just north of the Interstate 70 interchange in East Vail. That number includes both deed restricted and free market units, as allowed under the parcel’s “Housing” zoning. The remainder of the 23.3 acre parcel is zoned in the town’s “Natural Area Preservation” zone district, one of the town’s most restrictive.

The parcel is currently owned by Vail Resorts, but Triumph has a contract to purchase the land.

Vail Resorts first came to the town in 2017 to ask for a change to the current zoning. The parcel has been owned by Vail Resorts — and, previously, Vail Associates — since the early 1960s. Sometime after, the parcel was forgotten. A town zoning map from the 1970s lists Colorado Department of Transportation as the owner.

Once the parcel’s ownership was straightened out, the resort company did all the necessary paperwork and paid taxes on the parcel.

Vail Resorts’ move to re-zone the land was done with workforce housing in mind, and the company and Triumph in October of 2018 entered into an agreement for Triumph to purchase the property.

In March, Triumph and the town announced the framework of a deal in which the town would have purchased the entire parcel for $4 million. The deal would have resulted in between 130 and 140 one- and two-bedroom units on the property.

A split town council on March 19 voted 4-3 to reject the term sheet.

That vote came after about 90 minutes of public comment.

At the time, council members opposed to the deal said they didn’t want to approve any deal before the development proposal had been discussed by the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission.

Opponents of development on the property have also expressed concerns that putting housing on the site would endanger a small herd of bighorn sheep that winters in the area.

At the time the deal was rejected, Triumph Chief Operating Officer Michael O’Connor said the company would probably return with a proposal that complies with existing zoning on the property.

In a Friday telephone interview, O’Connor said the current proposal “very carefully” meets the requirements of the Housing zoning district without any requested variances. That means fewer units. It also means that 30% of the total floor area of the project can be sold on the free market.

Vail Housing Director George Ruther said the Housing zoning district allows that mix so developers can subsidize deed restricted housing on those parcels.

O’Connor said the current proposal will also include an environmental impact report for both the housing and preservation parcels.

Triumph was the developer of the Chamonix townhome project in West Vail. That project added 32 townhomes to the town’s stock of deed restricted housing.

“We’ve tried to take what we learned at Chamonix and improve on it,” O’Connor said. That’s why the current proposal includes both rental and for-sale housing.

Having both apartments and townhomes can create “a community that’s for everybody,” O’Connor said. That’s going to include a mix of unit sizes and amenities.

The new proposal will go first to the town’s planning board. Given that the proposal meets existing zoning, that board could provide the final word on the project. Given the controversy that’s accompanied virtually every step of the project’s history since 2017, that’s unlikely.

Ruther, the former head of the Vail Community Development Department, said the town council can review decisions in one of a few ways. An applicant can appeal to the council if the planning board denies an application. A majority of the council can also ask to review a planning board decision.

But that requires a decision from the planning board. Ruther said he anticipates that group will hold two or three meetings on the proposal. The first of those meetings is expected this month. The Vail Planning and Environmental Commission meets at 1 p.m. the second and fourth Monday of every month. Schedules and agendas can be found on the town’s website.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2930.

Mike Christenberry joins Keller Williams Gold Team

Realtor Mike Christenberry has joined the Gold Team at Keller Williams Mountain Properties. The Gold Team is comprised of veteran Realtors Ron Goldberg, Hannah Goldberg and Mark Patterson. Christenberry, with Keller Williams Mountain Properties since 2016, is moving into The Gold Team’s offices in Edwards Corner.

Christenberry has had listings and sales throughout Eagle County, including ranch land, commercial and residential properties. He has extensive knowledge of the back roads of Eagle County. In his first year with Keller Williams, Christenberry received recognition in the Million Dollar Sales Club and followed that by helping acquire the largest commercial listing for the office that quarter with the historic State Bridge property.

Attention to detail and sincere care has long been a part of Christenberry’s work ethic and drive. Longevity in his careers is a sign that he can and will go the distance for his clients.

Christenberry has been in the mountains since 1994, moving from New Jersey, where he helped manage one of the East Coast’s largest ski and sport shops. In Vail, Christenberry worked as spa director of the Cascade Resort and Spa. He helped found Jointworx Physical Therapy and Massage in Edwards, where he has a limited practice in therapeutic massage.

Christenberry lives in Edwards with his children, Max and Grace. He enjoys taking advantage of all the Vail valley has to offer from hiking and biking to snow and river sports.  As an amateur photographer, Christenberry’s works have been featured on Denver TV News and will soon be a part of his first book: “What My Eyes Heard.”

Neuswanger: Many factors determine the cost of a mortgage loan

When you are taking out a mortgage loan, there are many factors that determine the actual cost of the loan. It’s not just the interest rate and the payment. Loan closing costs can skew the true cost of a loan, sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars over time. 

There are loan closing costs, and there are transaction closing costs. Loan closing costs include the origination fee, underwriting fee, tax and flood certificates, appraisal, credit reports and lender’s title insurance and the title company loan closing fee.

Transaction closing costs include setting up escrows for taxes and insurance, owner’s title insurance, transfer taxes, and the title company transaction closing fee. Transactional costs are the same regardless of the terms of the loan.

When you apply for a mortgage you have the option of choosing a loan within a range of interest rates. The highest rate will generally have no origination fee and will pay you a credit toward your loan closing costs.  The lowest rate might include paying an origination fee, discount points (a point is 1% of the loan amount) and no closing cost credit. 

Pay more now, less later

In other words, you can pay less up front and have a higher monthly payment and interest rate, or you can pay more at closing and have a lower rate and payment.

For example, today on a $500,000 purchase price with $100,000 down you could get a loan for $400,000 at a rate of 3.625% and pay $12,000 (3%) in origination fees and discount points.

If you chose a rate of 4.625%, you eliminate the $12,000 and the lender gives you a credit against your closing costs of $1,344.00. The payment at 3.625% is $1,824.00 vs. $2,056 at the higher rate. For $232 per month, your closing costs decrease by $13,344.00. That’s about a 58-month payback.

There is a second element that homebuyers need to consider as well.  While both loans will pay off over 30 years, the lower rate loan actually builds equity quicker in the earlier years.

Over five years, the 3.625% loan would pay down by about $40,400. In the same time span, the 4.625% would only pay down by about $34,682. So in effect, the borrower is saving an additional $5,718 over five years with the lower rate, in addition to $13,920 via lower monthly payments. 

Over 30 years the only savings would be the lower payment,  but if the borrower might well be out of the property or the loan in a shorter period, there is a significant difference.

There are also some half-way options that might, for example, eliminate part of the points and no lender credit.

Borrowers should ask their lender for an amortization table and factor in not only the closing costs but how quickly the loan will amortize off over the anticipated period they will own the home. 

Chris Neuswanger is a mortgage loan originator with Macro Financial Group in Avon and may be reached at 970-748-0342  He welcomes mortgage related inquiries from readers.  His web site is www.mtnmortgageguy.com