When will the Vail real estate market see its first home sale of $30M or more?
By the numbers
$28.7 million: Highest residential price paid in August.
58 percent: August home sales of $1 million or less.
28 percent: August sales volume accounted for by the top five sales.
1: Month in 2017 of sales volume of less than $100 million.
Source: Land Title Guarantee Co.
EAGLE COUNTY — Some records last a long time — Roger Maris’ 61 home runs in 1961 was a record that stood for 37 years.
Some records fall more quickly.
In January, the $23 million sale of a home on Vail’s Rockledge Road was touted as a new residential record sale for the town. In August, a home on Mill Creek Circle sold for $28.7 million. That’s believed to be a new record for the town, but the record may not stand for long.
A handful of homes in Vail’s ultra-exclusive slopeside areas — Forest Road, Rockledge Road, Beaver Dam Road and a few others — are listed for $30 million or more.
A home on Beaver Dam Road is listed at $34 million, as is a home on Forest Road, and a pair of new homes on Vail Road are listed at $30 million each.
Big, quiet sales
Ron Byrne and Associates Real Estate in Vail has the listing on Forest Road. Company founder Ron Byrne said he believes it won’t be long until one of those homes sets yet another high-sale record.
When one of those sales does happen, Byrne said he expects it to happen quickly, and relatively quietly.
Many of the most expensive homes for sale in Vail aren’t listed in the local Multiple Listing Service, Byrne said. Instead, they’re marketed more discretely. It can take some time for the right buyer to sign a contract on a very expensive home, but once that contract is signed, the deal closes quickly.
Byrne said the August sale on Mill Creek Circle closed quickly, and the buyer paid cash. The sale wasn’t reported in the Multiple Listing Service. While seeking the right person for one of these homes, Byrne said he’s shown homes to several potential buyers.
“I’d say it’s a quiet but strong market,” Byrne said.
As is the case in many businesses, the prices in Vail’s top-end neighborhoods are a matter of supply and demand.
“These are very rare, exclusive sites,” Byrne said. Buyers, he added, are people who see Vail itself as a “very rare” place.
Supply and demand are also contributing to strength at the other end of the market.
While those few, high-dollar sales put a lot into the overall sales volume for any given month — the top five August sales accounted for $67 million of the month’s $240.4 million overall volume — the bulk of sales are transactions of $1 million or less. A bit more than one-third of the month’s 226 sales were for $500,000 or less.
Action down valley
Fortius Realty handles the listings for Aspen Ridge in Gypsum and Two Rivers Village in Dotsero — homes priced at $500,000 or less.
Chad Cremonese, of Fortius Realty, said inventory is low across that end of the market, and prices are rising. It’s a trend seen in much of the country, Cremonese said.
But that run-up may be ready to slow.
“I’m hearing sentiment among buyers that we have to be nearing the top of the market — I fight that objection a lot,” Cremonese said.
While there aren’t many new homes coming to market — there were 13 new-home sales in August — Cremonese said many first-time buyers are seeing value in that part of the market.
Two Rivers is aimed squarely at first-time buyers. Cremonese said many residents there are buying in the face of an ultra-tight rental market. Those buyers also find homes at Two Rivers an alternative to rentals. With the neighborhood now served by Eagle County’s ECO Transit, a number of people believe commuting and owning is a viable alternative to renting closer to work.
And more new construction is in the pipeline. That might take some time, though. Cremonese said at the current pace of construction, both Aspen Ridge and Two Rivers have between two and three years before they’re built out.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org or @scottnmiller.
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