Vail Valley home sales spiked in June | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley home sales spiked in June

By the numbers

78 percent: Increase in June dollar volume over 2014.

39 percent: Increase in units sold in June over 2014.

5 percent: Year to date increase in dollar volume over 2014.

11 percent: Year to date increase in units sold over 2014.

Source: Land Title Guarantee Co.

EAGLE COUNTY — The recovery of the local real estate market has continued into the summer, thanks in large part to almost boom-level sales in June — which recorded yearly bests in both dollar volume and unit sales.

In all, 219 units sold in June for a total of $225.9 million. Both those numbers were far and away the best seen in 2015. The dollar volume number represents a 71 percent increase over the previous-best number this year, recorded in May. Units sold increased 74 percent over 2015’s previous best, also posted in May.

But the market’s strength in June is a spike in the year’s trend line.

For the year through June, total transactions are up 11 percent over 2014, and total dollar volume is up just 5 percent. And, as impressive as June’s volume numbers were, the dollar volume in April was just 48 percent of the same month in 2014.

HIGH-END MARKET

Onie Bolduc, of Sonnenalp Real Estate, is this year’s chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors. Bolduc said June’s dollar volume was boosted in large part by seven sales of $5 million or more. In fact, three of those sales were for more than $9 million, and the biggest single sale was for $15.75 million.

Sales of expensive homes always boost the dollar volume numbers in Eagle County — seven sales of $5 million or more accounted for one-third of the month’s total — and June was an exceptional month, Bolduc said.

The high-end market has cooled somewhat in July, Bolduc said, with just three sales of $5 million or more, and just one of more than $9 million. In fact, Bolduc said, the overall market in July cooled somewhat, although deals closed in July of this year are up 41 percent over the same period in 2014. Dollar volume is up a similar amount.

‘TRUE INVESTMENTS’

The fact that June was a spike in this year’s market narrative is a positive sign for those who lived through the overheated market of roughly 2005 through 2007, Bolduc said.

Michael Slevin, the managing broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, said what he’s seeing is that, unlike the boom days when many new condos were bought and flipped before the units were even finished, second-home clients now are looking for places to bring their families.

Those buyers are investing “for more lifestyle choices than a huge investment or appreciation play,” Slevin. “People are making true investments.”

Outside the resort areas, sales continue to be strong in downvalley areas, with Eagle and Gypsum accounting for about 25 percent of all sales so far this year. Homes priced at less than $500,000 account for 44 percent of all transactions.

While inventory remains tight in that part of the market, Bolduc said more homes are coming into the market priced between $500,000 and $1 million. That price range is where the majority of inventory is in the valley from Edwards east.

And the market seems to remain strong moving into the late summer months.

Kent Petersmeyer, a broker in the Edwards office of Keller Williams Mountain Properties, emailed data from the Vail Board of Realtors showing 272 pending sales in the valley as of July 31. Given that most sales take between a few and several weeks to close, that represents solid business in August and September.

INVENTORY PROBLEMS

While the market remains solid, inventory continues to be a common problem.

Bolduc said that people who bought in 2010, 2011 or 2012 — near the bottom of the recent market slump — should have some equity in those homes. That makes those people good candidates to move up in the market.

But while some inventory is up, the number of listings on the valley’s Multiple Listing Service — where virtually every property in the valley for sale is listed — is quite low.

Older homes may not move as quickly, either, Slevin said.

“Folks are still focusing on or looking for new, or newer, homes,” Slevin said. That’s especially true in the resort markets, he added.

“A lot of folks want turn-key units,” Slevin said. “Downvalley, the feeling is the same, but people are challenged by the inventory levels.”

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, smiller@vaildaily.com and @scottnmiller.