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How high will buyers go?

Edward StonerVail, CO Colorado

VAIL When the Arrabelle at Vail Square project sold out in a matter of minutes in 2005, that set a new benchmark for real estate in Vail, said local Realtor Michael Slevin.Arrabelle brought this market up to another level, he said. Now, new projects are really testing the waters to see how high it can go.In Vail Village, the average price per square foot has increased 110 percent since 2003, according to numbers from Vail Property Brokerage, a local real estate company.For new projects like the Four Seasons and the Lodge at Vail Chalets, prices have approached $3,000 per square foot. The average for Vail Village is $1,393 per square foot.Greg Strahan of Vail Property Brokerage noted that sellers are now asking for prices that are some 55 percent more, in terms of price per square foot, than whats been sold over the last six months.

Theres no precedent for premiums that are currently being charged, he said. We have to wait and see whether buyers will accept those premiums. … The question is, how much is the market going to go up?But even if prices level off in the near future, that doesnt mean theres any softness in Eagle Countys real estate market, Strahan said.Owners have even resold properties before they are built, making profits of upwards of a million dollars. Two brand-new Gore Creek Place townhomes were resold by their owners, one for $1.3 million more than the original cost and another for $1.15 million more than the original cost, local Realtor Led Gardner said.Vails real estate market is staying on track with last years record year, even with far fewer transactions this year. Through September, there has been $228 million in sales. Thats the same amount of sales for 2005 through September. But the number of transactions is down 22 percent.The market may just be catching its breath before it goes up again, Gardner said.What typically happens for Beaver Creek or Vail is well have a run up in prices over a two-to-three-year timeframe, after which the market might stop to catch its breath, and then it will take off again, he said.Realtors say the high-end market is pushing sales.I see our market probably establishing a new sales record this year, Gardner said.Sales of properties of $5 million or more are up 60 percent this year, Gardner said.Wall Street bonuses seem to be high this year, Gardner said, and that bodes well for that high-end market.Those are our buyers, Garnder said. They come out of Wall Street and bring that bonus money to the Vail Valley.

Realtors say the high-end market is pushing sales.”I see our market probably establishing a new sales record this year,” Gardner said.Sales of properties of $5 million or more are up 60 percent this year, Gardner said.Wall Street bonuses seem to be high this year, Gardner said, and that bodes well for that high-end market.”Those are our buyers,” Garnder said. “They come out of Wall Street and bring that bonus money to the Vail Valley.”

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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