Real estate sales remain strong |

Real estate sales remain strong

Cliff Thompson

Sales volume for the first half of 2002 increased 3 percent over the same period last year. Volume, in fact, is just 12 percent behind the record set during the red-hot 2000 seller’s market.

“The intriguing thing, when you look at the volume of activity at the peak in 2000, we’re really not that far off that,” said Roger Pack of Advantage Real Estate. “It really kind of indicates the market is holding up quite well.”

Pack compiles real estate sales data and analyzes it. His report is a compilation of information from the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office and the Vail Board of Realtors.

According to the report, there has been a “stabilization of values” over the last 18 months. That, coupled with low interest rates, money moving out of the volatile stock market and into real estate and elsewhere, and continued urban flight, continue to fuel area sales, Pack’s report states.

There were 831 sales of improved residential property in the county in the first six months of 2002 totaling just over $600 million. During the same period last year, there were more sales, 909, but they totalled $581 million. By contrast, in 2000 the total was $686 million with 932 transactions.

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Sales figures represent sales of single-family homes, duplexes, condominiums and townhouses.

In the second quarter, however, there was a 4 percent decline in sales volume. It totalled $295 million, compared to $307 million last year during the same period. It’s a 28 percent decline from the same period in 2000 when sales totalled $377 million .

The average sales price for residential property in the first half of 2002 was $636,000.

Time between placing a home for sale and selling increased significantly from 163 days in 2000 to 238 days this year. The ratio of asking price to selling price declined from 97 percent to 93 percent over the past two years.

Certain market segments are selling better than others. High- and low-end seem to be moving better than others. Houses and condominiums priced at less than $500,000 are selling well.

“The lower the price point, the greater the pent-up demand,” the report states.

Inventories of high-end properties in Avon, Beaver Creek and Edwards, are increasing.

“The market remains rather segmented, with some segments exhibiting very tight supply-and-demand conditions and others seeing an increase in inventory amid slower sales activity,” the report states. “This has resulted in price reductions, a better selection of properties, and in some cases, below-market-value transactions involving motivated sellers.”

Historically low interest rates have provided opportunity to purchase more expensive property, in some instances, for the same monthly payment.

By residential category and location, the following sales figures were logged in the first six months of 2002:

– The 270 condos and townhome sold totalled $136,342,600. Average sales price county-wide was $504,973. That’s a 3 percent increase in dollar volume.

– Topping the list of average sales price for condos and townhouses by area was Beaver Creek at $1.2 million. Vail was next at $440,835, while the Minturn , Avon and Eagle-Vail area’s average sales price was $264,110.

– The low-end was Wolcott West, which includes Wolcott, Eagle and Gypsum, with an average sales price of $221,348.

– Improved residential housing sales totalled $158.4 million, with 193 sales for the period and an average sales price of $636,699.

– Beaver Creek again topped the average sales price by area with a price of $2.84 million.

– Least expensive was the Wolcott West area, with an average selling price of $425,590.

Vail has retained some of the characteristics of a seller’s market, said Pack, because it has little or no new inventory. Upper-end sales have been strongest in Bachelor Gulch and Beaver Creek, he added.

Editor’s note: Data for this story was compiled by Advantage Real Estate.

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