Eagle County real estate dip continues through July
Both transactions and dollar volume are down about 10% compared to the same period 2018
- 10%: Decline in real estate dollar volume compared to 2018, for the first seven months of 2019.
- 11%: Decline in real estate transactions compared to 2018 for the same period.
- 69%: Number of transactions of $1 million or less, for the same period.
- 34%: Dollar volume generated by sales of $1 million or less.
- Source: Land Title Guarantee Company.
EAGLE COUNTY — The real estate mantra, “location, location, location,” is one of the oldest business truisms. These days, “inventory, inventory, inventory,” is having an effect on the local real estate market.
Even with a solid summer, real estate transactions and dollar volume — the value of those transactions — have dipped this year compared to 2018. The dip isn’t huge — about 10% in both cases — but is the valley’s strong real estate market starting to cool?
John Pfeiffer, the managing broker at Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, said Eagle County still has a “strong, stable” real estate market. Pfeiffer said some of the decline is due to natural fluctuations in the market. Some, though, is due to the lack of homes for sale across all sectors of the market.
According to data from the Vail Board of Realtors recently shared by Slifer Smith & Frampton broker Led Gardner, there were 1,060 active listings as of Sept. 9 on the county’s Multiple Listing Service. That’s a decline from the overall inventory number on the same date in 2018. Current listings roughly equal the number of sales through the end of July.
Lack of inventory a challenge
That relative lack of inventory means a number of potential buyers aren’t finding just what they want, so they stay out of the market.
But, Pfeiffer added, the right home at the right price moves quickly. The Lion, a new condo building in Vail, is selling well. The Riverfront Townhomes near the Westen Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon sold out quickly, and the remaining units at Avon’s Base Camp project sold out in about 40 days.
All of those projects are listed by Slifer Smith & Frampton.
At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, brokerage owner Michael Slevin agreed that lack of inventory can be a “challenge.”
And, he added, “What a healthy market will do is pause for a little bit. You don’t always have the luxury of pricing (above) the market.”
Slevin said despite the dip this year, he expects year-end numbers will be close to those posted for 2018.
And, while, local buyers account for about 55% of all transactions, “There are a lot of buyers in town right now,” Slevin said. “A lot will want to buy in advance of ski season.”
Still ‘very healthy’
Slevin agreed with Pfeiffer that the local market is “very healthy” at the moment. And, he added, while buyers and sellers are often influenced by state and national economic news, they also need to pay attention to what’s happening where they live, or want to buy.
“Real estate is very local,” Slevin said. “There can be large changes between certain areas.”
Pfeiffer agreed, saying it’s important to pay close attention to the market in Colorado and its communities.
“The (national) news isn’t focusing on the local market,” Pfeiffer said. “News on the coasts has no application to here.”
Pfeiffer acknowledged that the local market will hit a downturn at some point. But, he added, “there’s a difference between a downturn and a recession.”
And he added, “We still have the advantage over so many markets. People are always going to want to come to the Vail Valley. We’re so blessed with that advantage.”
Greg Sparhawk, along with partner Jim Comerford, have proposed a large development of fairly small homes for the north side of Minturn, near the town’s railroad yards. The partners are under contract with Union Pacific Railroad for the property, which is across Minturn Road — also known as County Road.