What are housing trends like? | VailDaily.com

What are housing trends like?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I keep hearing conflicting stories about how our local real estate market is doing. I read the paper, listen to hearsay and, of course, talk to various Realtors in the valley and I seem to get different information from each source.

I am trying to make some decisions on investment properties that I own and on some that I am thinking of acquiring. Is there any source I can visit that will give me a good feel of what is happening and what the trends are for the future?

Dear Market Confused,

If you figure out a fool-proof system for predicting the future of real estate in this valley, then please call right away and we will both be billionaires. I am not trying to diminish the importance of your question. What you have discovered is the rest of the old adage that “the price of real estate is about three things — location, location and location.” The rest of that saying is that real estate prices and demand are very specific to each local area.

Although we are one small valley with a relatively small population, we have many different markets within our sphere. Therefore, the confusion comes with the fact that probably everything you heard was true, to a different degree, depending on the location about which the entity spoke.

For instance, the Vail Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service provides us with information showing trends that can be narrowed down to specific areas and specific price ranges.

For the sake of brevity, I will use price ranges to provide an example. If you compare January through March for 2015 to January through March for 2016 for all homes in all price ranges, we have slightly less inventory for sale (-0.2 percent) but we have 10.5 percent more completed sales and 22.6 percent more homes under contract than the year before.

So one could say the market is getting better for sellers. Now if you look at homes in the whole valley for more than $1 million, then there are 7.8 percent more homes available now than the first quarter of last year and 26.5 percent less sold this year than last year.

Most Realtors understand that some of the homes priced at more than $1 million have languished on the market. However, if you look further, then you can see that the homes that are currently under contract, waiting to close, are up 17 percent in the over $1 million price range. That is great news for a lot of sellers and Realtors.

And briefly, homes under $500,000 are holding steady on availability and have increased 39.7 percent in sales and 37.2 percent in under contract this year.

From this information, I would say the market here, in general, is trending up. As far as predicting the future, whether or not this trend will continue and for how long … I have no concrete evidence of the direction. I have my own opinions, based on the information I study and compile, but it is far from fact.

I hope this helps you understand the situation a little better. I would suggest you contact your local, knowledgeable Realtor to help you sort through the facts to make the best calculated decisions and predictions for the future. Best of luck to you.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 and http://www.SkiAndTeeHomes.com.

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