Low inventory of single-family homes a challenge in Steamboat
Steamboat Springs — Real estate sales in Routt County were up in March, when an emerging trend saw the scarcity of desirable single-family homes in some price ranges and neighborhoods may have led prospective buyers to purchase a building lot in anticipation of building a new home.
“March was a good month for us, with $41.8 in gross sales (up 4.8 percent from last year) and 109 transactions (up 17 percent from last year),” Melissa Gibson, of Land Title Guarantee Company, wrote in her monthly report. “While this was not enough to put us ahead year-to-date, it is a big step in the right direction.”
Gibson may have been alluding to a turnaround from Feb. 15, typically one of the slowest months of the real estate year. February saw gross dollar volume plunge 58 percent, and unit volume was down 50 percent to 49 percent sold. So, it was encouraging to see unit volume rebound by rising 17 percent to 109 sales.
High-end sales helped to boost March dollar volume, in particular, three sales of luxury condominiums at One Steamboat Place on the edge of the ski slopes. They ranged from $1.625 to $1.85 million, and all three sold for more than $700 per square foot. But the real eye opener was a six-bedroom, 2,204-square-foot single-family home built in 1987 on Burgess Creek Road that sold for $2.3 million, or $1,043 per square foot.
Ulrich Salzgeber, a realtor working out of the downtown office of Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty on Ninth Street, said a relative scarcity of single-family homes on the market is spurring a modest rebound in sales of building lots.
“Inventory in single-family homes right now is our biggest challenge,” Salzgeber said. “A by-product of that is we’re starting to see some land sales. I think we’ve almost hit that crossroads where the price per square foot for single family homes makes it more attractive to look at land and build.”
Gibson reported 14 sales of vacant land totaling $7.3 million, with some of those, presumably, larger rural tracts.
Among the 10 homes listed for sale in Old Town Steamboat proper (north of Lincoln Avenue), the least expensive is a small home on a choice .36-acre overlooking downtown from Thornburg Street. Realistically, its real value may be in the lot. Priced at $610,000, the studio with one bath comprises 820 square feet, 300 feet of those unfinished.
Salzgeber described a more traditional single-family home on Merritt Street which is listed at $797,000. The price for the two-plus bedroom, two-bath 1,701 square-foot home built in 1947 and remodeled in 2003, works out to $468 per square foot.
“We are an anomaly when it comes to ski areas,” Salzgeber said. “Downtown Steamboat is still as, if not more, attractive than homes around the base of the ski area.”
Gibson reported that there were 25 sales of single-family homes in March totaling $12.44 million. Another 38 multi-family units sold for an aggregate $16.6 million.
Of the 63 homes sold, just four were new units and three of those were luxury condos at the ski area all built prior to 2010. The fourth was a home built in Hayden’s Lake Village Subdivision in 2014. Details of square-footage and numbers of bedrooms were not available for the home that sold for $249,500.
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