Vail Valley real estate sees a rebound in August
After lagging behind 2018's transaction and volume numbers through July, those numbers now slightly exceed last year's pace
- 40: August sales in Eagle and Gypsum.
- 39: August sales in Edwards (Arrowhead to Cordillera).
- $20.75 million: Largest single sale in August, in Vail.
- 34: Eagle County home sales of $4.5 million or more through Aug. 31.
- Source: Land Title Guarantee Company.
EAGLE COUNTY — August was a good month for real estate in Eagle County.
Through the end of July, both the number of transactions and sales volume — the price of those transactions — lagged behind 2018’s numbers by about 10%. According to the most recent data from Land Title Guarantee Company, that situation changed in August.
For the month, there were 200 transactions, with $243 million in dollar volume. Through the end of August — the last month for which Land Title has data — both dollar volume and transactions are now slightly ahead of 2018’s numbers for the same period.
As usual, Eagle and Gypsum accounted for the biggest piece of the transaction pie, with 40 total sales. But the Edwards area — Arrowhead to Cordillera — accounted for 39 sales in the month.
Edwards usually doesn’t match the western valley community in transaction numbers.
For the year to date, there have been 349 sales in Eagle and Gypsum, with 248 in the Edwards area.
Inventory part of the equation
Mike Budd, an Edwards-based broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Mountain Properties, said August’s strength in Edwards could be a function of inventory. Homes in the Edwards area tend to be higher-priced, but there are more available.
Brokers have said for some time that the valley’s for-sale inventory is low. That leaves few options in the area.
In a report Budd prepared for the Colorado Association of Realtors, he noted that there’s a roughly 5.2-month supply of townhomes and condos. The single-family/duplex market has roughly 7.7 months of inventory.
“Both categories are at historically low levels,” Budd wrote in his report.
But overall numbers tell only part of the story. The Vail Valley has a broad range of neighborhoods and price points. The segment below $500,000 for years accounted for the biggest share of the county’s transactions. That’s changed in the past couple of years. Homes priced between $500,000 and $1 million now make up the biggest slice of the transaction pie chart.
While the market remains stable year over year, homes sales of $5 million or more are lagging behind the pace set in 2015.
There were 51 such sales in 2018. Through the end of August, 24 of those properties had been sold.
Few sales, much impact
Those very large sales have an outsized impact on sales volume numbers.
Still, Budd said, he expects 2019’s transaction and volume numbers to finish about even with 2018, which was a good year for the market.
John Pfeiffer, managing broker at Slifer Smith & Frampton, said that’s indicative of a “healthy” local market.
Both buyers and sellers, in general, are being “very collaborative,” Pfeiffer said.
“Sellers recognize they have a real buyer, and they’re working with those buyers,” Pfeiffer said. That results in negotiations that end in satisfactory results for both parties.
Pfeiffer said August’s sales in Edwards are in part a sign of that area being a “home run” as a community.
And, while it can be a bit of a drive from Cordillera to Edwards’ commercial core, Pfeiffer noted that it takes 15 or 20 minutes to get just about anywhere in that part of the valley.
“Our walkability scores (aren’t great),” he said.
Pfeiffer said August’s numbers are about what he’d expected to see in July. Still, he said, he’s pleased.
“It really sent a message to our team,” Pfeiffer said. “Buyers are still here, sellers are willing… it’s a stable market.”
That’s good news for everyone in a community, Pfeiffer added.
“If I see millionaires and billionaires putting cash into this market, that makes me feel pretty good,” he said.