Real estate prices up, inventory down in 2015, according to forecast |

Real estate prices up, inventory down in 2015, according to forecast

— The real estate market may see a dramatic increase in purchase prices and a supply that continues to shrink in 2015, according to real estate broker Doug Labor.

The veteran Steamboat Springs broker has released his 2014 market review and 2015 forecast, presenting the information during a recent chamber business outlook breakfast and to the Economic Development Council for consideration.

“Supply is the most concerning aspect of the market,” Labor stated in the report. “Back in the 2000s, new projects were coming out of the ground, and a single condominium project could add 50 or so units to the market instantly. Nothing is coming out of the ground in the immediate future to meet demand.”

Labor analyzed a number of trends in the market over the last 15 or more years, paying close attention to changes caused by the economic downturn and the more recent, slow and steady market recovery.

Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Economic Development Director Jane Blackstone said the report provides useful information for the ongoing discussion about affordable housing, as well as valuable insight for local residents, property owners and anyone interested in the real estate market.

Labor found that prices in the most affordable 15 percent of the market have increased by a sizeable percentage between 2011 and 2013, an increase of 47 percent in price for condos, 34 percent for townhomes and 26 percent for single-family homes.

“In that bottom, introductory market, the tide has risen quite a bit there,” Labor said.

Blackstone said data concerning the most affordable properties was most troubling, when considering available housing for the local employment force.

“Housing prices and availability impact employee retention,” Blackstone said.

The chamber is planning a survey of local businesses on a variety of topics, including how access to housing might impact employee recruitment and retention in Steamboat Springs.

Labor’s predictions for 2015 and beyond indicate a continued increase in home prices, which rose 19 percent in 2014, in part because of the reduction in foreclosure properties on the market.

“Regarding prices, lower inventories and a steady increase in demand will keep prices increasing, perhaps at a more dramatic rate than what we saw in 2014,” Labor said.

He also predicts that demand will go up, while inventory goes down, provided there isn’t an immediate surge in development.

“The wildcard is inventory and how we are going to address that in the future,” Labor said. “A shortage will cause prices to bump up.”

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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