EAGLE COUNTY - The Eagle County real estate market seems to be gaining momentum - albeit slowly - as 2012 comes to a close.
Land Title Guarantee Co. last week released a year-to-date summary of real estate in a six-county region that includes Eagle County and shows that through the first three quarters of the year, sales were up 18 percent over the same period in 2011. With the exception of Pitkin and Routt counties, that's true of the other counties in the region - Summit, Grand and Garfield.
The number of sales continues to be bolstered by sales of bank-owned property, which are increasing in all the region's counties except Pitkin and Summit.
Sales volume - the amount paid for property - is either flat from last year or growing slightly from the first three quarters of last year. Sales prices of single-family homes are largely flat in the region, although they've increased slightly in Eagle and Routt counties, and prices for condos and townhomes are either flat or declining.
There's even a bit of new construction in the region, although the only increases from last year have come from Garfield and Grand counties.
In addition to Land Title's numbers, longtime Vail real estate broker Larry Agneberg of Prudential Colorado Properties recently emailed his own report. That report, generated by the Vail Board of Realtors, compares information about residential real estate listings and property currently under contract.
That graph - which gives a quick glimpse at supply and demand in the real estate market - may be the most stark indicator of the state of that market over the last several years.
The lines on the graph were nearly touching in the spring of 2006, when there were 585 units under contract and 778 units listed on the Multiple Listing Service.
That was right after the high-water mark for real estate transactions in the valley, in 2005.
Since that point, though, the lines on the graph diverged. In October 2009, the depth of the market slump, there were 1,807 units listed for sale and just 196 units under contract.
Since then, the under-contract line on the graph hasn't passed 300 units. But the number of units for sale has generally come down. As of Sept. 30, the spread between units under contract and units listed was 740. The last time the gap was that close was early 2008.