blog:Time to move downvalley? |

blog:Time to move downvalley?

Mark Conlin
Vail CO, Colorado

Want an extra bedroom? Tired of shoveling snow? It certainly may be time to move down valley. It is no secret that locals have been leaving Vail to move to the likes of Edwards. This article will NOT discuss the trade off between walking to the bus stop on a powder day vs. living in a place that feels like a town, that is a personal decision and one we all have to make on our own.

Instead, a historical price comparison between Vail and down valley (Avon, Edwards, and Eagle) will be used to determine if now might be the best time to move.

For example during 2006 Vail property (not including Vail Village, Lionshead, and Cascade) averaged $501 a square foot while Edwards property averaged $352. This is a discount for Edwards property of 30%, meaning that property in Edwards on a square foot basis costs one third as much as property in Vail. So your 1000 square foot condo in East Vail would likely cost as much as a 1300 square foot condo in Edwards.

This is good news if you think it is time to move out of East Vail and experience sun past 3pm during the winter, but how good is it? By studying the relationship between averaging pricing since 1991 of Vail vs. Avon, Edwards, and Eagle we can determine if the current situation is better or worse then average. The average discount between Vail and Avon, Edwards, and Eagle has been 21%, 20%, and 41% respectively. The discount at year end 2006 was 26%, 30%, and 47%. The price advantage from Vail to down valley is higher then the long term average. Great news if you want to move.

Several things might explain the current high price differential between Vail and Edwards. One reasonable assumption is that the second home owners and vacation skiers have expanded their idea of “ski” property to include all of East and West Vail thus creating high demand for property that was once for locals. This theory is also supported by the fact that East Vail has outperformed West Vail for the last few years (due to more of the property being on the bus route and thus excellent for vacation home owners). On the other hand, this premium could be a temporary abnormality in the market and things may soon return to the long term average of 20% price premium between Vail and Edwards.

No one can say what property values will be in the future, and the analysis above does not imply that growth rates will continue along historical trend lines. The sold history is simply that, sold history, not the future.

Mark Conlin can be reached at or (970) 367-1426.

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