Eagle County real estate market still strong, but is moving off the highs set in 2021 | VailDaily.com

Eagle County real estate market still strong, but is moving off the highs set in 2021

But the local market will still pass $3 billion in sales for the third straight year

LIV Sotheby's International Realty has this home at 1119 Ptarmigan in Vail listed for $20 million. Homes at all market levels are sitting a bit longer than they were a year ago.
LIV Sotheby’s International Realty/courtesy photo

Eagle County’s real estate market this year won’t crack the $4 billion mark in sales volume. But this will be the third consecutive year sales volume has exceeded $3 billion.

Through the end of November, the valley’s real estate sales have slowed somewhat from the frantic pace set in 2021. That’s probably a good thing.

By the numbers
  • $3.4 billion: Eagle County real estate sales volume through Nov. 30, 2022
  • $3.9 billion: Eagle County real estate sales volume through Nov. 30, 2021
  • $40 million: Largest Eagle County November sale
  • $1.2 million: Eagle County median transaction price as of Nov. 30
  • Source: Land Title Guarantee Company

“What the market is doing is getting back to a semblance of balance,” said Michael Slevin, the owner and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties. “The last two years were as unique a time in real estate as any I’ve ever experienced.”

The slowdown in transactions is significant — a nearly 30% drop from 2021 through Nov. 30.

On the other hand, the number of transactions through November virtually matches those for the same period in 2019.

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That’s the last year before the pandemic, and there seems to be something of a return to those conditions.

Longer from listing to sale

Slevin noted that the ratio of listing price to sales price has dipped below 100%, meaning there’s some flexibility coming back to the market. And Steffan Mehnert of Keller Williams Mountain Properties said his firm has seen a slight increase in FHA home loans. Those loans virtually disappeared in the second half of 2020 and all of 2021, Mehnert said. And, he added, time on the market is creeping up. Both those factors are making it possible for buyers with conventional financing to compete in the market, he added.

One Keller Williams client has been waiting 90 days for a sale, Mehnert said. That’s much longer than the days, or even hours, it took to get a home under contract a year ago. But, Mehnert noted, 94 days is the historic average for time on the market.

Rising interest rates have been another factor in letting some steam out of the local real estate market. Mehnert said 30-year mortgages are still charging just less than 7% interest, also not far off historic averages.

Matt Fitzgerald, president of Slifer Smith & Frampton’s Vail Valley operations, noted that very low rates and high demand drove a lot of 2021 activity, as did a booming stock market. That led to significant price appreciation at all levels of the market.

While some conditions have changed, Fitzgerald noted that inventory remains quite low. The Monday “hot sheet” from the Multiple Listing Service showed 295 listings. That’s about a three-month supply, based on transaction numbers.

Inventory is still low

Even with a slowdown, “we haven’t seen that much of an uptick in inventory,” Fitzgerald said, adding that inventory is a nationwide problem.

But, as usual, the upper reaches of the market are driving the sales volume numbers.

Alex Griffin of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty noted that just three November transactions added just more than $100 million to the sales volume tally.

“That’s really padded the numbers for this year,” Griffin said, adding that’s usually the case in this market.

In comparison, through Nov. 30 there were 33 sales of deed-restricted units for a total of just less than $15.4 million. That’s 0.45% of the valley’s dollar volume for the first 11 months of the year.

While the market has slowed some, those interviewed for this story see the local market’s strength continuing into 2023.

“Properties that are priced close to the market are still seeing good absorption,” Fitzgerald said. “An aspirationally priced unit… those are going to sit.”

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