Summit County real estate roundup: October sales slow down for winter season
December 1, 2016
October by the numbers 2016
264: Total real estate sales
286: Total real estate sales (2015)
$141 million: Total value of sales
$151.45 million: Total value of sales (2015)
$2.63 million: Most expensive sale
$3.5 million: Most expensive sale (2015)
27: Sales of at least $1 million
Source: Summit County Assessor
Editor's note: Real Estate Roundup is an ongoing series offering a monthly glimpse at the local real estate market with transactions, historical comparisons and analysis from a rotating corps of High Country brokers. The series tackles commercial and residential sales for a bird's-eye view of the ever-changing alpine real estate market — and how Summit County compares to neighboring alpine communities.
Real estate sales slowed in October due to the upcoming winter and holiday season.
The numbers continued close on the heels of last year, with less than a 10 percent difference in the number of recorded sales. In October this year, the total sales for the month were at 264 compared to 286 sales made during the same time last year. Sales also lagged in total value compared to October last year. The month's sales fell more than $10 million behind. The only thing to remain the same was the number of sales over $1 million. Both this year and October of 2015 had 27 sales in the million-dollar range.
"It's typical for the number of sales to be reduced at this time of the year," said Dennis Clauer, broker and owner of Real Estate of the Summit, Inc.
Heading into the winter season, those who haven't already sold their homes tend to take them off the market. Clauer said that people also prefer to concentrate more on their families and the upcoming holidays rather than investing in real estate.
Clauer said that year-to-date numbers within Summit have also remained at the same pace as last year.
"Condo sales are very consistent with last year," Clauer said. "The discrepancies in our market this year, year-to-date, are really in the luxury market, which would be over $2 million for single-family homes."
Clauer added that luxury houses have spent more time on the market this year. The average time a luxury home may spend on the market has increased by 50 percent.
Land has also taken a hit in sales, with Clauer saying that year-to-date sales have gone down 18 percent. While some of this is due to a lack of land to develop on, Clauer said that some buyers are intimidated by the long process of buying land, then finding a builder and constructing a house. But, as houses within the non-luxury market have become shorter and shorter in supply, he thinks this will change.
"I believe that the raw land sales will pick up and you'll see people wanting to buy and build something because they can't find what they would like with the existing inventory that we have," Clauer said.
Short supply has also caused single-family homes to move more rapidly through the market.
"We're seeing that homes are selling more quickly," said Kathy Maybury, a data analyst with the Summit County Assessor's office. "Things don't stay on the market very long as a general rule of thumb."
Eddie O'Brien, from O'Brien & Associates Real Estate Inc., said that the traffic from people looking to buy may have seen a slight bump at his firm, but it was pretty similar to 2015.
Locals are opting to buy homes in the $450-750,000 range, he added.
But spikes in traffic don't help your business when there are fewer options on the market.
"We still have trouble because we don't have enough inventory," O'Brien said.
He added that Summit has not been seeing as many condo or mixed-use developments, and that the latter is in high demand for some of the towns in Summit. The residential developments that do exist sell quickly, often before construction is finished, and in some cases before it's even started. O'Brien said that the demand is there, places just aren't going up fast enough.
For Clauer, the demand has a lot to do with the growing population within the state.
"The other big push is just the sheer volume of people that live in Colorado and the demand that they're creating," he said. "We have over 50 percent of the owners in Summit County, if you look at tax records, are from Colorado, and as Colorado grows and the wealth effect in Colorado continues to expand, those people have an appetite for real estate in resort areas."
TOP FIVE: OCTOBER
1. $2,635,000 — Breckenridge, Highlands at Breckenridge Lot 75 (residential home)
2. $2,450,000 — Keystone, Dercum's Dash Lot 9 (residential home)
3. $2,285,000 — Breckenridge, Swan River Valley Lot 6, Block C (residential home)
4. $1,950,000 — Breckenridge, Snider L2 Sub Lot 2B (residential home)
5. $1,900,000 — Breckenridge, Highlands at Breckenridge Lot 111 (residential plot)