June sets real estate record in Steamboat despite COVID-19, bringing more primary homeowners to community | SteamboatToday.com
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June sets real estate record in Steamboat despite COVID-19, bringing more primary homeowners to community

This June and July have mostly been banner months for people from all parts of the country checking out Steamboat’s offerings and buying properties, according to Darrin Fryer, an associate/broker with Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty. And it’s not just second homeowners coming into the community.
Tom Ross

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on the local real estate market may have been short-lived, according to local real estate experts.

The last six to seven weeks have brought a major boon to real estate in Steamboat Springs, bringing in buyers from around the country. It’s made up for a couple of stagnant months due to the pandemic.

Steamboat’s housing inventory remains low — a problem for buyers since well before the onset of COVID-19 — and prices continue to increase as properties receive multiple offers.

According to Colorado Group Realty, 132 properties on the market went pending in June, compared to just 38 in April when in-person showings were banned. The largest rise was in single-family home contracts, which were up 50% versus multi-family home contracts that were up 6.8%.

Through June, there have been a total of 414 transactions in Steamboat, totaling $273 million, compared to 543 sales for $329 million during the same period in 2019.

But it was June that really had an impact.

“In June, more properties went under contract than in any previous month in recent history,” said Marci Valicenti, an owner/broker with Colorado Group Realty in Steamboat.

Valicenti, who has been in the real estate business for about 30 years, said this June was the most active she’s seen. She witnessed a similar market reaction following the events of 9/11, which she said caused a fear-based recession.

“The same thing is happening, again,” she said.

At the same time, inventory has remained tight. COVID-19 has delayed some sellers from moving this year, and that has impacted new listings, which were down 30% for homes and 6.6% for condos from last year.

This June and July have mostly been banner months for people from all parts of the country checking out Steamboat’s offerings and buying properties, according to Darrin Fryer, an associate/broker with Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty. And it’s not just second homeowners coming into the community.

“I don’t think it’s overstated,” Fryer said. “I’ve never seen anything like it since since I started here in 2002-03. It has been quite remarkable.”

Part of the surge has been because so many more people now have the ability to work remotely, Fryer said.

Another reason is that many people had been mulling the idea of relocating to the mountains, he added, and they’ve decided now is the time. Having to be hunkered down and in quarantine due to the pandemic has led to more time for people to consider their housing options.

In late March, when the pandemic was beginning to make its way around the U.S., real estate agents were uncertain of what the real estate market would look like heading into the summer.

Market conditions were mostly stagnant at the start of the pandemic with not much moving until about June.

Then, all of a sudden, “it went from completely dead to the opposite,” Fryer said. “There were a lot of people looking online; search numbers were up in the company.”

That ultimately turned into people buying, he said.

“People are going to where they feel safe,” Valicenti said. “If they’re not going to travel, they’re buying second homes.”

People began buying up homes in the mid- to high-end range, according to Fryer. Most weren’t second homeowners, either, Fryer said. And many of them had school-age children, he added.

“It just takes a small percentage of people to want to move to a small ski town like Steamboat to change its market,” Fryer said. “Overall, it’s a continuation of a trend that we’ve had — it just took three levels in one step.”

If the current activity continues through the remainder of the year, this year’s market could outpace 2019.

“We could, with the prices, meet or surpass (2019),” Valicenti said, but noted the number of transactions is expected to be less. “The market is surprising us.”

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.


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