August real estate sales were strong |

August real estate sales were strong

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Real estate sales in August continued the comparatively brisk pace this year, but prices paid continue to lag.

According to the latest report from Land Title Guarantee Co., there were 164 sales in August, a 30 percent jump from August of 2011, and a number not seen since the market dived in late 2008. For 2012 so far there have been 971 sales, just 74 sales fewer than in 2008, and 133 more than last year.

Of those August sales, 43 – 26 percent – were bank-owned. Most of those sales were in Eagle and Gypsum.

With the increase in sales comes somewhat higher transaction prices. For 2012 through the end of August, the sales total is 18 percent higher than the same period in 2011. August’s dollar volume was 41 percent higher than the same period last year.

As is usually the case, lower-priced sales made up the bulk of transactions. In August, nearly 70 percent of all sales were priced at $500,000 and less. The averages are usually boosted by a relative handful of high-priced sales, but there were fewer than usual in August – there were only 10 sales of $2 million or more, and just one sale of $5 million or more, a $7 million sale in Avon’s Mountain Star neighborhood.

While sales and dollar data appears encouraging for the year, local broker Larry Agneberg Tuesday sent a chart from the Vail Board of Realtors, showing the lowest number of homes for sale since 2007.

As of the end of July there were 1,017 “active” listings in the Vail Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service database, and 255 homes under contract, the smallest spread in several years. That’s a bigger spread than the peak of the real estate boom of the previous decade – when there were just 146 more units for sale than under contract – but it’s less than half the figure in the depths of the bust, July of 2009. That month, there were 1,619 more units for sale than under contract.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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