September was best real estate month in 2015
EAGLE COUNTY — Real estate sales in September of this year were the best for that period in more than five years, and marked the best sales month of the year so far.
Land Title Guarantee Co. tracks completed transactions recorded at the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The most recent data, for September, shows year-to-date highs in both number transactions — 236 — and dollar volume — $229.5 million. That sales volume exceeds even June, which was reported as an exceptional month in the market.
As usual, the transaction numbers were strongest in Eagle and Gypsum, with a combined 55 sales in September. Also, as usual, sales of $1 million or less made up the majority of all sales — 141. Sales of $500,000 or less accounted for 76 of the month’s transactions.
In the highest reaches of the market — property selling for $3 million or more — there were 15 sales. There were four sales of $5 million or more, including a $10.9 million home sale in Vail Village.
Busy in Arrowhead
Land Title tracks sales by both the town and neighborhoods. In September, Arrowhead was the neighborhood with the most dollar volume. In all, 14 sales generated $36.6 million.
Michael Slevin, the managing broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, said the activity in Arrowhead represents a new part of the market’s natural cycles. The sales there were mostly single-family homes, Slevin said, adding that the buyers of those units are probably attracted to the proximity to the activity in Edwards’ commercial areas.
“You have comparable access to skiing, and more direct access to Edwards, and the shopping and dining there — all the things that make a community,” Slevin said.
The Vail Board of Realtors keeps track of all the real estate for sale in the valley. At the moment, the list is only about 860 units, which Slevin said is a fairly small number.
But that relatively tight inventory is leading to more building, although not to the extent seen in 2008, the end of the last local real-estate boom.
“There’s a sense of confidence — people are ready to embark on projects,” Slevin said.
That seems to be true at both ends of the valley.
There’s new construction in Eagle and Gypsum. And, for the first time in years, factory-built homes are being brought into the Two Rivers Village neighborhood in Dotsero. Chad Cremonese, the listing broker for Two Rivers Village, said more than 20 new homes will be either sold or completed this year.
“We’ve got a backlog into the spring (of 2016),” Cremonese said. “We’re building a lot of homes for people.”
The demand in Dotsero is driven by a combination of rising prices elsewhere, combined with the difficulty and expense of finding home rentals, Cremonese said.
“As rents go up, people compare our home prices,” he added. “They can be doing something with their money.”
At the other end of the valley, Michael O’Connor, a principal and chief operating officer of Vail-based Triumph Development, said his company has been successful building both residential and commercial property this year.
The company is currently building a brand-new hotel in Breckenridge. In Vail, the company has built several high-end homes before a buyer is lined up.
“We’re seeing strength in all the markets right now — especially the very high-end projects in premium locations,” O’Connor said.
The escalating cost of construction isn’t as much of a problem in the high-end market as it is in the lower-priced end of the market. Still, O’Connor said, rising construction prices are having an effect throughout the market. The success of projects in the western part of the valley shows how much demand exists for homes in the lower price ranges.
Prices are rising for existing homes throughout the valley, Slevin said. But, he added, the market’s momentum hasn’t yet swung from buyers toward sellers.
“We’re finding a healthy balance in the market right now,” he said.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org and @scottnmiller.