Eagle County’s 2022 real estate ‘dip’ still yielded the second-highest dollar volume in history
Fears about interest rates, the economy seem to have faded for now
A dip in the Eagle County real estate market still resulted in the all-time second-best year in terms of dollar value.
The 2022 dollar volume of $3.58 billion was a 16% decline from 2021’s record-shattering $4.28 billion. Perhaps more telling, though, was the decline in transactions. The 1,973 transactions were the fewest since 2014.
Travis Cox, team leader of Keller Williams Mountain Properties, said while there’s plenty of national news about a cooling real estate market, the local market is still strong.
While the “crazy times” of 2021 and the second half of 2020 have subsided, Cox noted that what’s declining in most places is the rate of price appreciation. The speed of transactions is also cooling off, with fewer contracts being written within a day or two of a property hitting the market.
“You don’t want a house to go under contract in an afternoon,” Cox said, adding that a significant portion of those quickly written deals fell through before closing.
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Alex Griffin, the local manager for LIV Sotheby’s International Real Estate, said despite national and state news, “the sky is not falling.”
Interest rates settling down
Griffin noted that while interest rates have risen in the past year, current mortgage rates are in the low-5% range. Still, that’s quite a bit higher than rates in the 3% range seen in 2021.
But, Griffin added, given chronically low inventory and the fact that buyers still want to buy, people are coming into the market, even before the active buying seasons of spring and summer.
But, Griffin added, changes in the market mean it’s unlikely we’ll return to the “mosh pit” market conditions of 2021.
Easing the land-rush atmosphere of 2021 means “buyers are much more critical (about) both price condition of homes,” Michael Slevin. Slevin, the owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, said buyers for the most part are no longer willing to ignore the condition in order to get into a home. But, he added, if a seller has a home in “proper condition,” it’s still possible to receive multiple offers.
“We’re back to a more traditional experience,” Slevin said. “Buyers are more discerning.”
One thing that apparently hasn’t changed much is the growth of all-cash offers, especially in the market’s upper reaches.
Griffin noted that as much as $1 billion in 2022 dollar volume came from transactions that were never publicized in the local Multiple Listing Service.
Many of those sales — a good number of which are in the resort areas of the county — are cash deals.
Another difference in 2022 market activity was that Eagle County for the first time passed Pitkin County in total dollar volume.
Lower-priced unit decline
Last year also saw the continued decline in the sale of units priced at $500,000 or less. Only 98 of those units sold in 2022. In 2021, 369 of those units were sold.
In comparison, there were 100 sales of $5 million or more.
Cox said he was surprised that many lower-priced units sold. But, Griffin noted, the data compiled by Land Title Guarantee Co. also includes sales of fractional units. Many of those are priced at less than $500,000.
While the lower end of the market continues to lag — largely due to lack of inventory — Slevin said it looks as if the local real estate market is returning to something like normal behavior.
Slevin noted that 2020 and 2021 were “a moment in the market just like a recession. It took some time to get back to equilibrium.”