Ask a Broker: Looking back, looking ahead
Ask a Broker
Happy New Year.
As we begin another year with a few feet of fresh snow and the postcard perfect holiday season that made Vail’s resorts the world-renowned destination it is today, the real estate market remains incredibly strong.
The simple economic factors of limited supply and increasing demand continue to drive numbers to record-breaking heights in many of our state’s mountain resort communities — but it’s especially true here in the Vail Valley.
The Vail Valley is a premier mountain community, and the lifestyle that comes along with property ownership has a broad appeal to buyers. Our clients want to put down roots and spend more time here, as evidenced by the robust absorption across all property types.
For example, at the start of 2021 there was a 4.3-month supply of inventory, and in December the absorption yielded a 1.4 month supply of inventory. And despite low standing inventory, 2021 sold dollar volume will likely exceed 2020’s record number.
Pandemic trends continue to drive people away from urban centers and to mountain communities like the Vail Valley. We’ve seen second homes turn into primary residences and people moving to our valley semi full-time. Now that we’ve moved from the office boardroom to the virtual meeting room, people are leaving their metropolitan lifestyles for mountain town living, a place where they can spend time enjoying our mountain valleys.
As one of our brokers Tina Vardaman has often talked about, “The pandemic has crystalized people’s desire to balance their professional and family lives in a healthy and safe environment. Ski resort towns have felt the migration of these new owners who were motivated to make the move.”
As we look ahead, what’s in store for our Vail Valley and the real estate market? We expect to see a strong 2022. As “location neutral” professionals spend more time in Eagle County, the trend of semi full-time residency will continue.
Likewise, low inventory and high demand will remain strong in the new year. We anticipate new single family home construction as well as a very robust presale market for luxury condominiums, such as Legacy at Vail Square as well as One Riverfront Condominiums in Avon that is proposed to be launching in 2022 by Slifer Smith & Frampton’s Development Sales Division.
And while the Vail Valley was originally designed to be a resort destination, it’s clearly maturing into a vibrant mountain community where locals are becoming more involved with shaping the future. With that, we’ll continue to see new shops, fine dining and year-round amenities open up from Vail to Gypsum.
As broker Dana Correia reflects, the million-dollar question in 2022 is if “now” is a good time to buy and will prices continue to rise. Prices may moderate at some level, but truly unique properties will continue to be in demand and command those big listing prices.
“As it relates to price, people need to be clear about their long-term goals,” Correia said. “If it’s a lifestyle buy and you find a home you want to settle in, then it’s worth grabbing. You might be paying a higher price now but with interest rates being as low as they currently are — the cost evens out in the end. Taking advantage of getting into the market now will pay off in the future. If it’s an investment buy, then also recognize that the home is an investment in lifestyle and that will never lose value. Historically, no matter what the real estate market does, Vail will always be a desirable place to own a home. You can’t see the views from your stock portfolio.”
Development will continue to evolve downvalley. Similarly, in desirable and established upvalley communities with incredibly limited inventory, remodels and renovations will be on the rise.
For example, Vardaman and her team just listed a three-bedroom condominium in an exclusive building in Vail Village that was maintained by its original owner for nearly 40 years.
“While it needs a remodel to bring it up to modern standards and style, the home has an A+ ‘beachfront’ location just steps from the Gondola as well as the town’s world-class shops and restaurants,” she said. “We already have a lot of interest, and most of the potential buyers view it as a rare opportunity to acquire a legacy residence for their family,”
As these unprecedented times continue to create opportunities and unexpected trends, one thing remains the same: Slifer Smith & Frampton was born in the Vail Valley and is woven into the fabric of this community.
Over 60 years ago, Rod Slifer — Vail’s first real estate broker — saw the potential of our valley. And as we celebrate 60 years in operation for our firm in 2022, it will be that same vision, foresight and innovation that will help guide SSF and the Vail Valley for the next 60 years.
Matt Fitzgerald is SSF’s Vail Valley president and employing broker. Over the course of his 20+ year career in the Vail Valley, Fitzgerald has been directly involved in the marketing and sale of a number of Vail’s premiere properties. He was a member of the sales teams for Vail’s New Dawn in the redevelopment of Lionshead commencing in 2004 with Gore Creek Place, The Arrabelle at Vail Square and the Ritz Carlton Residences. Most recently, Fitzgerald was the listing broker of The Lion. He has received the prestigious Golden Eagle award for closed business in the top 10 of all Slifer Smith & Frampton brokers and was a long time Top Producer for the Lionshead office. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.