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Breckenridge places 5th among US cities experiencing real estate booms during pandemic

Real estate properties, like condos in Crystal Peak Lodge, in Breckenridge are selling quick, agents say.
Photo from Aniela Wasmanski / LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

BRECKENRIDGE — While most industries have suffered during the novel coronavirus pandemic, real estate has been busier than ever. 

In mountain communities like Summit County, the market is even more active as people flock to vacation destinations while they work remotely. Breckenridge specifically has gathered national attention for its uptick in home sales. 

In a ranking published by Insurify, Breckenridge placed fifth in a list of the 20 U.S. cities with the greatest boom in real estate sales. According to the list — which was complied by analyzing a housing market data report from Redfin, a national real estate brokerage — the average rate of homes on the market sold month to month in Breckenridge during the pandemic is 51.45%. The U.S. national average for the same period is 14.89%.

Summit Realtors President Dana Cottrell said the list is in line with data the local organization has seen. 

“It has been an extraordinary market,” she said. “People want to be here, so the people who are selling are able to sell very quickly.”

According to the multiple listing service, total real estate sales in Summit County were up 45% in August 2020 compared with August 2019. 

A busy market at the end of summer is nothing new, Cottrell said, but what real estate agencies are seeing this year was far from expected. 

“Right through September is usually a busy time, but it’s even busier,” Cottrell said. 

Aniela Wasmanski, a broker with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Breckenridge, said she’s seeing more and more clients choose Breckenridge over other resort towns because of accessibility and cost. 

“(It has) proximity to the airport,” she said. “There are people coming from other states, and they may need to go to Denver for a meeting or be accessible for work.”

By the numbers

Total real estate sales: 

  • August 2019: 244
  • August 2020: 353
  • Percent change: 44.7%

Sales at or above $1 million:

  • August 2019: 59
  • August 2020: 96
  • Percent change: 62.7%

Total sales volume: 

  • August 2019: $207,208,083
  • August 2020: $293,241,646
  • Percent change: 41.5%

Source: Summit Realtors

Cottrell said there’s a variety of reasons for why people are choosing to come to the mountains. For some, it’s an opportunity to buy a second home for an escape from the busy city life while others are making the permanent move. 

“They’re home with their families, they want to be able to work from home, but they also want that beautiful option for their entire family,” she said. 

The boom in activity has created a drop in inventory across the county, as well. Jack Wolfe, a broker with LIV Sotheby’s, said there’s just a little more than a month’s supply of properties available. 

“That’s a recipe for putting pressure on prices,” he said. 

In the past five years, inventory has dropped somewhat dramatically, Cottrell said. Summit County had 26% fewer listings in August 2020 than it did in August 2015, she said. 

“Right now, I hit the search for Frisco, and there are 15 listings,” she said. “In Dillon, there’s 20 listings. ”

The low inventory combined with high buyer interest means housing prices shouldn’t go down anytime soon. While that may disappoint people who were hoping for a drop in prices during the pandemic, buyers are still taking advantage of record-low interest rates on mortgage loans. 

According to reporting by Freddie Mac, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is at 2.87%. 

“People have learned from this pandemic that they could work remotely,” Wolfe said. “Now, companies really almost mandate working remotely. So why not work in a place where you’ve dreamed of living like Breckenridge?”


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