Record-low listings, spiking prices in Summit County real estate market in 2017 |

Record-low listings, spiking prices in Summit County real estate market in 2017

Eli Pace/Summit Daily
This single-family home at 36 Iron Mask Road in Breckenridge sold for $6.1 million in December, making it the highest-priced real estate transaction in Summit County for 2017, according to records at the Summit County Assessor’s Office.
Eli Pace/Summit Daily


Below are figures provided by the Land Title Guarantee Company via the Summit County Assessor’s Office.

2017 volume of sales: $1,659,150,308

2016 volume of sales: $1,408,666,800

2017 number of transactions: 2,607

2016 number of transactions: 2,486

Most expensive sale of 2017: $6,100,000

Most expensive sale of 2016: $5,675,000

The most expensive home sold in Summit County in 2017 went for $6.1 million. Closing in December, the sale was a fitting bookend for a year that’s been described as an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sell a home.

On the flip side, 2017 also left many homebuyers in situations where they had to act and act fast to get the property they wanted. Likely, they also had to pay top dollar.

“It’s all driven by supply and demand,” said Jason Smith, president of the Summit Association of Realtors, a nonprofit group with 580 members.

“I would say buyers are seeing the value in Summit County real estate like they haven’t seen it before,” he continued, explaining that more people are wanting to own “a piece of Summit County” and it surprises him that more sellers didn’t throw their homes into the ring last year.

With the U.S. economy expanding, more people have expendable income and are looking for ways to invest their money and raise their quality of life at the same time, Smith said.

Additionally, he thinks many people who have that extra money want to be in the mountains, and in addition to being the first real stop for skiing west of Denver, Summit County still offers great value compared to what’s available in other Colorado resort towns, like Aspen or Vail.

“You can spend less money on different areas,” he said, “but they’re impossible to get to.”

More than the numbers, Smith said the growing desire to own property here, coupled with rising scarcity, is the real story of the 2017 real estate market.


LIV Sotheby’s International Reality has 20-plus brokers and handles all spectrums of the real estate market — excluding time-shares — in Summit and Park counties and, to a lesser extent, Chaffee County, said Jack Wolfe, associate broker.

How would he describe the market here on the whole last year?

“I would say 2017 was a once-in-a-generation type of year,” he said, adding that, by almost every measure, 2017 was “a very strong year” and he sees no signs of the market slowing down anytime soon.

To support his assessment, Wolfe pointed to three major indicators he uses to keep tabs on the local real estate market: Breckenridge’s real estate transfer tax, number of days on the market and price appreciation.

Wolfe said that Breckenridge accounts for roughly 40 percent of the county’s total sales volume, and as a result, he believes watching the town’s real estate transfer tax is a great way to keep tabs.

According to the town’s latest financial figures, the real estate transfer tax finished 18 percent ahead of 2016’s total and surpassed the amount it was budgeted for in 2017 by over $1.8 million.

A more subtle indicator, Wolfe also highlighted the average days a home spent on the market last year — reduced by almost one-fifth compared to 2016. He said that’s one of the most surprising figures to come out of last year.

“Real estate is selling quicker,” Wolfe said. “That’s across all properties,” including residential housing, luxury homes and commercial properties.

This remains true despite the number of available listings being at a record low, which many industry experts believe is responsible, at least in part, for spiking prices seen throughout 2017.


The Land Title Guarantee Company of Summit County follows transactions recorded by the Summit County Assessor’s Office; and with $1.65 billion worth of combined real estate transactions last year, the gross monetary volume was the highest that the company’s director of sales and marketing has ever seen it.

Brooke Roberts also hasn’t ever seen the inventory of available listings this low before. According to stats compiled by the title company as of Jan. 16, there were only 308 active residential listings and 170 for vacant land.

According to statistics prepared by another real estate agency, Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate, that’s down considerably from the more than 2,500 active listings in August 2010.

Also, the gross monetary volume of all real estate transactions was up almost 25 percent in December, and the actual number of transactions was up 13 percent for the month compared to December 2016, Roberts said. This helped Summit County finish the year with the total monetary volume for all real estate sales up 18 percent, while the overall number of transactions increased by 5 percent.

For a snapshot of the residential market, Roberts noted that the price of the average single-family home rose 16 percent compared to last year, but the average price of vacant land was actually down about 8 percent.

As for who’s buying the properties, Roberts said that 28 percent last year were locals, about 40 percent came from the Front Range and 32 percent were from out of state. Only 0.4 percent were international.

Slifer Smith and Frampton also noted that sellers received, on average, 98 percent of their listing price, a figure that has been trending upward since 2010 when sellers, on average, were getting about 86 percent of their asking prices.


Luxury homes are defined as sales at or over $1 million, and the luxury housing market in Summit County saw huge gains in 2017.

Based on the title company’s figures, the number of luxury homes sold last year jumped from 225 in 2016 to 342 in 2017. That spike was even more dramatic considering only 198 luxury homes sold in all of 2015.

The most expensive house sold in 2017 was a single-family home on 1.2 acres in the Shock Hill neighborhood in Breckenridge.

David Karoly, broker associate with Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate, closed the deal in December for $6.1 million, which was almost half a million dollars more than the most expensive house of 2016.

“It was really incredible,” Karoly said of the deal, explaining that the luxury home was first posted in July and they received the offer in November. “It definitely was a highlight for my real estate career. I’ve been in real estate for 15-plus years and even getting the listing was exciting for me. I didn’t think it was going to sell that fast.”

Additionally, LIV Sotheby’s has noticed upticks in the total sales volume, number of listings sold, average price and days on the market for luxury homes in Summit County.

“There’s no mistaking that we’re in a market that most people haven’t ever seen,” Wolfe said.

Asked to make a prediction for 2018, Smith said he doesn’t expect the federal tax overhaul to have much of an impact on the local market and 2018 should likely be another strong year.

There could be marginally fewer transactions, he said, due to scarcity, but he thinks the overall value of the sales is in for another jump.

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