Real estate sales bounce back in October on $43M in sales |

Real estate sales bounce back in October on $43M in sales

— After taking a disconcerting dive in September, the Routt County real estate market made up for it in October, putting up numbers that were the best the 10th month of the year has seen since 2008.

Last month saw $43 million in dollar volume on 119 transactions, putting both metrics in the plus territory over October 2011 and also better than 2009 and 2010.

Year over year, October dollar volume was up 37.4 percent after September's numbers were off nearly 27 percent from the same period in 2011, according to Stan Urban, of Land Title Guarantee Co.

Reacting to Urban's monthly report, Realtor Jon Wade, of Colorado Group Realty, wrote that the recovery of the real estate markets along Colorado's Front Range is supporting the Steamboat market.

"It is not a recovery yet given sales are up 4 percent and transactions are down 16 percent year to date in 2012 but it sure beats when things were going down with no indication of a bottom," Wade wrote in his blog Wednesday. "That said, recovery is in process in more parts of the Steamboat market, distressed inventory continues to go down and buyer sentiment is improving as the markets they come from recover and get stronger."

The last time Routt County saw more than $40 million in October real estate dollars was in 2008, when it crested $49,600, according to Urban's records. October 2011 totaled $31.6 million compared to $41.3 million in 2010 and $39.1 million in 2009.

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Year-to-date dollar volume is at $377.8 million in 2012 as of the end of October.

Wade pointed out that out-of-town buyers living in top-20 national markets are critical to Steamboat's resort market and all of those cities are ahead of the Yampa Valley in terms of the pace of the market recovery. In particular, about half of Steamboat's out-of-town buyers come from the Front Range, where home prices in Denver are up 14 percent in 2012, Wade wrote, putting them back in the range of 2006 market conditions.

One factor affecting gross dollar volume is the downward trend in the average prices being paid for single-family homes this year. Urban's research reveals that the average price of a single-family home in the Steamboat Mountain area through October was down to $839,000 from $1.08 million a year ago. A similar trend revealed itself in a different price category in West Steamboat, where average prices were down from $431,292 to $333,474. Downtown Steamboat bucked the trend — the average price of a home in Old Town was up 9 percent to $554,833.

Sales of distressed property also are pulling down gross volume. October saw 15 banks sales for a combined $4.8 million, or an average of $322,653. Those banks sales accounted for 12.6 percent of overall transactions.

Year-to-date bank sales at the end of October totaled 153 at an average selling price of $284,069 on $43.4 million in volume, Urban reported.

Previously, 2011 topped out at $450.5 million, and 2010 saw $512 million in sales.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email