Beaver Creek real estate showing strength; brokers say resort is ‘exceptional value’ right now
By the numbers
$192 million: Total sales volume in Beaver Creek through July 31.
$171 million: Total sales volume in Vail Village through July 31.
$1.2 billion: Total sales volume for Eagle County through July 31.
1,179: Total Eagle County transactions through July 31.
Source: Land Title Guarantee Co. e
EAGLE COUNTY — Vail is the big dog in the Eagle River Valley’s economic kennel. But Beaver Creek, somewhat quietly, is having a very good year for real estate.
The latest data from Land Title Guarantee Co. shows that Beaver Creek so far this year has exceeded Vail Village in terms of the value of its real estate sales.
The reason seems to be value.
Mark Weinreich, a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, said that values in Beaver Creek single-family homes can be half that of comparable properties in Vail.
“Beaver Creek represents an exceptional value for resort property,” Weinreich said.
For one thing, Beaver Creek doesn’t have the instant name recognition that Vail does. But that can be a good thing, he said.
Buyers seem to be catching on to Beaver Creek this year. According to Slifer Smith & Frampton managing broker John Pfeiffer, there have been 15 sales of single-family homes in Beaver Creek this year. There were three such sales in all of 2017.
That value comes in a couple of ways.
Pfeiffer noted that prices in Beaver Creek have softened somewhat. Prices now make financial sense for buyers who want to buy an older home and renovate it.
And, in today’s market, people buying resort real estate want their vacation homes to be up-to-date in style and technology.
Weinreich said another factor is that Beaver Creek remains a seasonal resort.
Pfeiffer said that Vail is no longer just a place for summer and winter vacations, but a place people want to be about 10 months out of the year — May and November remain less desirable.
“Beaver Creek becomes exceptionally quiet in the shoulder seasons,” Weinreich said.
On the other hand, Weinreich said that Beaver Creek recently has updated its design guidelines, something that hadn’t been done in several years. That means people can get a “more contemporary feel,” in architecture, Weinreich said.
Still, he added, Beaver Creek hasn’t yet been updated the way Vail has over the past 15 years or so.
Weinreich noted that when he got into the local real estate business in the early 2000s — the years just before Vail’s “billion-dollar renewal” — buyers would look at Vail and Beaver Creek, and pick Beaver Creek because it was more modern. That perception has flipped.
‘Best of the best’
Longtime Vail Valley Realtor Ron Byrne agreed there are values to be had at Beaver Creek. But, he added, there are some finished high-end homes.
Byrne’s company was the listing firm for a 10,000 square foot home at The Chateau. That home sold for $13.4 million over the summer.
“That was someone who built the best of the best,” Byrne said. “It was the only one of its kind.”
Weinreich said people who buy homes now and renovate them stand to profit from their investments.
“It’s not a factor of the resort, but that there will be more, new, good product up there,” he said.
And, Byrne said, since Beaver Creek was designed from the ground up with a good amount of slopeside real estate, there are more ski-in/ski-out homes than there are in Vail.
High-end property in the valley represents a fairly small number of sales, but represents a large amount of the market’s dollar volume. Pfeiffer said that’s good news all around.
“The market is strong and stable, and substantial deals are being done,” Pfeiffer said. “The wealthiest of wealthy people are buying in the valley, and they still want to put their money here. That’s good news for everybody.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at email@example.com and 970-748-2930.