Petersmeyer: Here’s data on Eagle County’s starter home market (column) |

Petersmeyer: Here’s data on Eagle County’s starter home market (column)

Kent Petersmeyer
Real Estate

The working definition of a “starter home” in Eagle County, which I have adopted for the last several years, includes these property characteristics:

• The home, condo or townhouse must offer a minimum of two bedrooms and two baths.

• It must be non-deed restricted.

• It must provide at least 800 square feet of living space.

• The home must be priced between $250,000 and $425,000.

• Owners must pay homeowner association fees of no more than $350 per month.

For the 12-month period ending Feb. 28, 2019, 183 properties meeting those criteria were purchased. That is a run rate of 15 sales per month. Drilling down into the details reveals these highlights:

• Gypsum accounted for 46 percent of the sales.

• Eagle and Gypsum combined accounted for 74 percent of the sales.

• Avon and Edwards accounted for 12 percent of the sales, bringing the total for the top four communities to 86 percent.

In all, 47 of the 183 properties (26 percent) were built in 2017 and 2018; they are in neighborhoods including Aspen Ridge and Hawks Nest (Buckhorn Valley) and Two Rivers Village in Dotsero.

From an availability perspective going forward, there are less than 25 properties currently active on the Vail Board of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service based on my definition of availability. That represents less than a two-month supply based on historical demand.

There is no question that if availability becomes more plentiful, sales will follow. In this instance, supply drives demand and sales.

The recent announcement of The Residences at Fox Hollow is something to be celebrated. We should all congratulate Michael Rough, of Keller Williams, for pulling that project together with his capable team of professionals.

Looking at the next pricing tier up ($426,000 to $500,000), 177 properties sold during the last 12 months (15 per month) and 26 are currently available. However, many of these properties have much higher association fees.

The implications for first-time homebuyers are clear. Clean up your credit, increase your savings rate to accumulate funds for a down payment, sit down with a mortgage professional to see if you can pre-qualify for a house, condo or townhome now and visit with a qualified real estate broker who has a good feel for how to help you navigate the process of making a transition from being a chronic renter to becoming a homeowner.

Good luck.

Kent Petersmeyer works with buyers and sellers as an associate broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties. He can be reached at 970-456-8203 or

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