Vail Valley real estate transactions, volume are nearly identical to 2017 | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley real estate transactions, volume are nearly identical to 2017

The West Vail Mall — shown here in a photo from November, 2017 — is for sale. Town officials say that lends some urgency to creating a new master plan for the West Vail area.
Chris Dillmann | Daily File Photo

By the numbers:

1,790: Completed Eagle County real estate transactions through Oct. 31, 2017.

1,791: Completed transactions for the same period in 2018.

$1.83 billion: Value of sales through Oct. 31, 2017.

$1.69 billion: Value of sales for the same period in 2018.

147: Commercial transactions of all types through Oct. 31, 2018.

Source: Land Title Guarantee Company.

EAGLE COUNTY — Through the first 10 months of this year, numbers from Eagle County’s real estate market are a virtual mirror image of the ones posted in 2017.

Through Oct. 31, there were 1,791 completed real estate transactions filed through Eagle County’s records. That’s just one more than the number of transactions for the same period in 2017.

There’s a little more difference in value of those transactions, but 2018’s dollar volume through Oct. 31 is just 1 percent lower than the number posted for the same period in 2017.

So what’s different so far this year?

Onie Bolduc, a longtime broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, said he’s seen some property spending a bit more time from listing to sale this year. That could be due to a “balancing” in the market, he said.

There are some “overly aggressive” sellers who have priced their units higher than market rates, Bolduc said. Those properties take a little longer to sell, he said.

In addition, buyers are becoming “a little more patient,” Bolduc added, due in large part to slowly increasing mortgage interest rates.

But, he said, the Federal Reserve board has backed off its slow, but steady increase in its rates. Bolduc called that move another way the market is balancing.

Still, the high-end of the market continues to perform well, he said. There have been several recent sales of condos in Vail priced between $7 and $8 million.

A boost coming?

And, while the numbers through the year’s first three quarters show the market holding steady, another longtime broker said 2018’s numbers will soon see a significant boost.

Ron Byrne, owner of the real estate firm that bears his name and has long specialized in high-end sales in the valley, said two sales in Vail will add nearly $40 million to the county’s dollar volume numbers this month.

“I think the end of the year rally will surprise people with those two sales alone,” Byrne said.

Overall, he added, this has been one of his firm’s best years.

On the high-end of the market, Byrne said some nervousness about the nation’s financial markets seems to have eased. There’s also been a return of buyers from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Strength in commercial

The county’s commercial market isn’t nearly as large as its residential market, but there’s strength there, too.

Erich Schmidt, of NAI Mountain Brokers, said commercial vacancy rates have been stable — and low — for some time. But, he added, there have been some significant recent deals in that market.

The West Vail Mall recently sold to an undisclosed buyer for $14 million. In addition, the two parts of the Northstar building in Edwards have both recently sold for a total of about $14 million.

Northstar A, the south portion of the building, had been in the same ownership since 1997, Schmidt said.

On the commercial condo side, Schmidt said there’s been continued interest in owner-occupied units.

Schmidt added that lenders are also showing continued interest in commercial property. That’s especially true in Eagle County, where there isn’t much room for more commercial building.

“The appetite to lend is still there,” he said.

While the market for retail space remains a shifting landscape, Schmidt said “it’s been a good year, with a lot of activity.”

With sales in the county, particularly on the residential side, there’s a factor that statistics don’t track: Snow.

“It’s white gold,” Byrne said. “We haven’t seen it this good for several years. That affects the market, and it will be very important going forward.”

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