Steamboat real estate brokers reflect on 2015 market so far
July 18, 2015
Steamboat Springs — Local brokers studying the Routt County real estate market have noticed high demand, increased land sales and decreased property supply during the first half of 2015.
While demand for Steamboat properties has remained steady, supply hasn't kept up, and the scarce options for entry-level properties have led single-family home buyers to the more affordable outlying communities of Stagecoach and Hayden, according to Doug Labor, associate broker and the general manager of Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty's downtown office.
Scarce options have also lowered the number of single-family home transactions, despite the demand, Labor said.
"It's kind of throwing the supply and demand theory out the window," Labor said. "There's more and more demand, and we're in need of new product to come to the market."
A lack of product is leading more buyers to purchase land and build new, Labor said.
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The number of single-family home sales has declined 12 percent overall, from 142 sales in the first half of 2014 to 125 sales during the first two quarters of 2015 across the county. The sales are down most significantly in Steamboat and the south valley, while they’re up in Stagecoach and in and around Hayden.
Meanwhile, land transactions are up, from 52 during the first half of 2014 to 76 so far in 2015, an increase of 46 percent.
The number of condominium and townhome transactions remained relatively flat between 2014 and 2015.
"From a single-family home standpoint, I was surprised that the number of single-family homes (sold) has dropped, particularly in Steamboat and south valley areas," Labor said.
Broker Chris Paoli said he expects a busy summer selling season this year, and noticed that, by early June, there were a high of about 180 properties under contract in Routt County at a given time, a level typically not reached until peak selling season in August.
"What I see is that we're definitely a lot more active than last year earlier in the selling season," said Paoli, a broker with Colorado Group Realty.
While properties under contract appear seasonally high, active listings are currently down compared with July numbers for the past three years, Paoli said.
"All of these stats point toward a market where prices are rising," he said.
That prediction has already proved true in the condominium market, where sale prices in 2015 were 18 percent higher than the first half of 2014, with a median average condominium sale price of $290,000 this year, compared to $245,000 last year.
Single-family home prices have so far been 26 percent lower in 2015 than 2014, dropping from a median average sale price of $528,750 during the first half of last year to just $390,000 in 2015.
Median average townhome sale price dropped 17 percent from $443,000 in 2014 to $367,250 in 2015, while land sale prices rose 4 percent.
Another aspect of the active real estate market is a renewed interest in high-end homes, evidenced by a pending sale of a $4.5 million home in the Sanctuary subdivision.
Paoli said he wasn't aware of a sale of that magnitude within city limits since 2010.
"That's a sign that the ice is thawing on a market that's been really quiet," Paoli said.