Vail Valley real estate perks up with sales in June
Transactions, dollar volume so far in 2019 still running behind 2018's figures
- 8%: Increase from June of 2018 in Eagle County real estate dollar volume.
- 2%: Decline from June of 2018 in real estate transactions.
- 10%: Decline from 2018 in dollar volume through the first half of 2019.
- 13%: Decline from 2018 in number of transactions through the first half of 2019.
- Source: Land Title Guarantee Company.
EAGLE COUNTY — A dip in local real estate sales reversed a bit in June, but 2019’s transactions and dollar volume haven’t yet pulled even with 2018’s numbers.
Land Title Guarantee Co. tracks information filed through the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The company’s latest data tracks the market through the end of June. According to that data, June’s dollar volume — what was paid for real estate — is 8% above the same period in 2018. Transactions were down but only by 2%.
For the first half of the year, dollar volume is off about 10%, with transactions 13% lower.
There are several possible causes for the dip.
First, there’s been a decline in sales of high-end real estate.
Mike Budd, a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, said the overall numbers can be a little misleading.
“If we take out sales of $5 million and up … the rest of the market is up,” Budd said.
That segment of the market accounts for very few transactions — 3% of the total through the end of June — but a disproportionate share of the overall dollar volume. Through the first half of the year, sales of $5 million or more accounted for 20% of the dollar volume.
That’s just below the percentage of the county’s dollar volume for sales of between $500,000 and $1 million. That’s the largest segment of transactions.
About those transactions
For the first half of the year, sales of between $500,000 and $1 million accounted for 39% of all transactions. That’s a change from previous years, when sales of $500,000 or less made up the largest share of transactions.
In fact the percentage of sales between $500,000 and $1 million is growing.
Rick Beveridge of Vail Valley Realty said that’s due in large part to inventory. Beveridge said it’s unusual to find a single-family home in the town of Eagle for $500,000 or less.
And, Budd said, a combination of lack of inventory and still-attractive mortgage interest rates have people moving up in price in order to find a home.
Budd said that part of the market is made up of mostly primary residences, meaning people are buying for need.
Dan Fitchett, managing broker of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in the Vail Valley, said people buying for need are also looking for homes to fit growing families. Most of those homes are in the western part of the valley.
At the upper end of the market — $3 million and more — Fitchett said people are buying but only if the home is the right combination of modernity, location and price.
Fitchett said his firm recently closed a deal for a $5 million home that was on the market for only two days. That home was “well situated and well maintained,” Fitchett said. “That kind of inventory sells,” he added.
Sales at the upper end of the market may also be affected by broader forces outside the valley — including talk of possible trade wars.
Despite the current instability in the nation’s financial markets, local brokers said local market fundamentals remain good. Budd noted that lodging occupancy numbers have also dipped this summer. That’s something that reverberates through the resort economy. Still, he said, most segments of the local real estate market remain solid.
Beveridge agreed. Beyond Vail and Beaver Creek, Beveridge said the Frost Creek development south of Eagle has seen a number of lot sales in the past couple of years, and homes are being built in that area.
Fitchett said the local market’s fundamentals are “good.”
“It’s a great place, with good transportation … and we’ve got a couple of pretty high-class ski mountains,” Fitchett said.
Beyond that, Fitchett said the Vail Valley has a good supply of “social infrastructure,” from events to opportunities to contribute to the community.
“We’re sort of in balance now,” Fitchett said, adding that with financial market uncertainty and other current events, “buyers are naturally going to be a little cautious.”
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.