Vail Valley real estate sales, volume now ahead of 2018

There were 18 September transactions in Beaver Creek; there were 19 that month in Eagle

This ranch near Leadville is among a number of high-end properties listed in the area.
Jack Affleck Photography
By the numbers
  • 11%: Increase in Eagle County real estate sales volume over the same period in 2018.*
  • 6%: Increase in real estate transactions over the same period in 2018.*
  • 18: September transactions in Beaver Creek.
  • $1.3 million: Average Beaver Creek transaction price in September.
  • *Figures are for 2019 Eagle County real estate activity through Sept. 30.
  • Source: Land Title Guarantee Company.

EAGLE COUNTY — This could be Beaver Creek’s time to shine.

Strong sales in August and September have put Eagle County’s 2019 real estate market ahead of the pace set in 2018. A number of those sales — 18 — came in Beaver Creek. How significant is that? There were 19 sales in the town of Eagle in September.

Dan Fitchett is the vice president managing broker of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Beaver Creek. Fitchett said resort-area inventory in the rest of the valley is either more expensive or low on inventory. That has potential buyers taking another look at Beaver Creek, he said.

Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate Managing Broker John Pfeiffer agreed, saying that the combination of views, setting and other amenities in Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch offer a lot for buyers.

“They recognize the value of these homes,” Pfeiffer said.

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Beaver Creek real estate has moved more slowly than homes in Vail for a while now. Pfeiffer said buyers are now taking a hard look at Beaver Creek.

‘Beaver Creek’s turn’

“If you look at any slow market, it always finds its feet,” Pfeiffer said, citing turnarounds the past few years in Eagle Ranch and Cordillera.

“It’s Beaver Creek’s turn,” he said.

Longtime area broker Ron Byrne agreed that buyers are finding value in Beaver Creek right now.

“There’s value in Vail, too, but there’s such a scarcity of new high-end (units),” Byrne said. “If someone wants a three-bedroom (luxury) unit in Vail, there are very few available,” Byrne said.

While Beaver Creek’s sales nearly matched those in Eagle, that’s not the case for the entire year to date — which you’d expect, since Eagle has many more homes. Through the first nine months of the year, there were 91 sales in Beaver Creek, compared to 197 in Eagle.

Local market shows strength

After spending most of the year trending behind 2018 in both transactions and dollar volume — the value of those sales — sales in August and September finally put this year ahead of the previous year.

Pfeiffer said in the summer he believed that late summer and early fall sales would “reflect a big change in the market.” That seems to have happened.

“Everyone was so focused on the national news, and we said, ‘Let’s see (what happens),’” Pfeiffer said, adding that the valley has an “incredibly healthy market.”

Byrne, who’s been in the local real estate business for decades, said he believes the market will stay strong into 2020.

But, he added, the market is closely tied to snow.

“Early snow… affects our market more than global markets,” Byrne said.

And, he added, 2020 promises to put more luxury product in Vail into the market. The Altus project, formerly known as Mountain View Phase II, is just east of the Vail Village parking structure and is now under construction. That project will bring 15 condominiums, 20 accessory units and 15 workforce housing apartments to the housing mix in Vail Village.

Byrne, the listing broker for the project, said Altus will bring about $90 million worth of new construction to the area. Byrne added that there have been recent sales at Solaris.

Those units will probably goose the 2020 number of units priced at $5 million or more.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at or 970-748-2930.

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