Real estate sales "gangbusters’ |

Real estate sales "gangbusters’

Cliff Thompson

Real estate sales in Eagle County in November continued on a torrid pace. It was the fourth consecutive month where sales exceeded those of last year.Sales totaled $144 million, 117 percent of last November’s dollar volume, with 260 transactions. That’s brings the year-to-date total to 2,309 transactions and $1.28 billion in sales. The record, $1.7 billion, occurred in 2000 at the height of the valley’s real estate boom. The statistics were compiled by Land Title Guarantee Company of Vail and Eagle.”The numbers from November are a continuation of the rebound we have seen which began in August,” said Led Gardner of Sonnenalp Real Estate in Vail. “Of particular note is the resurgence in the high-end market”Behind tourism, real estate is the second largest industry in the county.Driven by continued low mortgage rates, sales of entry-level housing priced at $500,000 and less, contributed 124 sales, or 47.6 percent of the transaction total, and $34.9 million, or 24 percent of the dollar volume. Those properties were scattered across the county, exclusive of slopeside areas.Sales of mid-range properties, which slowed when the national recession hit, continue to rebound. There were 31 sales of properties priced $500,000 to $1 million for 12 percent of the transaction total and 1.5 percent of the dollar volumeTwenty-three high end properties priced $1 million and above sold, including two properties at $5.4 million. High-end properties totalled $87.56 million or 60 percent of all sales.Those properties were in Vail Village, Spraddle Creek, Cascade Village, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and the Cordillera Valley Club.”A lot of people have realized the market isn’t going to go down any farther,” said Dan Fitchett of the Forbes Group. “The buyers are now coming out of the woodwork and purchasing properties that they were just thinking about purchasing two years ago.”The surge of sales activity over the last four months has brought the sales total from a low point of 77 percent of last year’s total in April, just after the war, to 96 percent.But some said the continued boom is a bit of anomaly.”The remarkable thing about this activity is that it is occurring during a normally slow time of the year,” Gardner said. “With great early-season snow, bookings up across the valley, the stock market hovering in the 10,000 range for the first time in 18 months and the recent capture of Sadaam, it appears we are in for a gangbuster of a ski season.”Slifer, Smith & Frampton’s Jim Flaum expects the movement of high-end properties to accelerate during the ski season.”That’s typically when the high-end action takes place,” he said. Continuing good economic news turning lookers into buyers, he said.The 11-month transaction total to date – 2,309 -is closing in on the 2,334 logged all of last year. The average residential-sales price in November was $627,339.Cliff Thompson can be reached at 970-949-0555 x450 or