Q1 real estate sales up more than 60% compared to last year
Local brokers attribute the increase in volume to trends stemming from the pandemic
It’s no secret that the real estate market is experiencing a boom.
According to Land Title Guarantee Co.’s most recent real estate report, real estate sales are up nearly 61% for this year’s first quarter compared with 2020. According to Jack Wolfe, broker at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Breckenridge, it’s this statistic that stands out the most.
“That’s significant,” Wolfe said. “That’s probably one of the biggest bullet points or things that stand out to me because of how significant real estate sales are doing.”
March alone was up 127% in sales compared with 2020, which is on trend for the first few months of the year. February was up 23% compared with last year, and January was up 32%. This includes residential, commercial and timeshare sales.
According to Leah Canfield, broker associate at Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, this means 2021 is on track to be an even bigger year in sales than last year. Canfield noted that the language surrounding inventory is that there’s nothing available, but she said that’s not true.
“I’m flipping the script a little bit because I’ve been telling my clients there’s no inventory, and everyone’s hearing that there’s no inventory, but that’s actually really not true,” she said. “There is inventory, it’s just it’s getting absorbed. It’s getting snatched up by buyers so quickly, but there’s a lot of new listings coming on and there’s a lot of sales volume … so I’m going to stop saying there’s no inventory. There is inventory, but it’s going under contract and selling really quickly.”
Because the market is so strong, Canfield noted that she’s seeing a lot of homeowners deciding to sell their properties now rather than wait. She also said the market is spurring more development in new construction.
“This market is driving sellers to sell when they otherwise wouldn’t,” Canfield said. “They maybe bought a few years ago and they love the place and they’re getting good rental income and they’re using it, but they’re also looking around thinking, ‘Wait, what could we get for our house?’ and so this strong of a market is driving more sellers to consider selling versus holding.”
Wolfe attributes this big boom in sales to a number of reasons, some of which stem from the pandemic. He said the momentum the county is seeing in its residential sales started during the past seven months of 2020 and has carried over into this year.
“We already had a really good market heading into the pandemic, and what’s added to that is the amount of people who are moving here as their primary home because they can work remotely,” Wolfe said. “It used to be that it was a privilege with your company to be able to work remotely and not be in the office and now it’s being mandated. That, to me, is layered on top of what our normal, second-home market already was. Now we have people moving here who are calling Summit County a primary home.”
Besides just the sheer volume of sales, Wolfe noted another trend is the number of homes whose values are moving into the $2 million-plus category. According to Land Title’s report, 25% of the transactions in March were in this category. About 21% of transactions were between $1 million and $2 million.
The average price of a newly constructed single-family home in March 2021 was about $2.2 million. For a resale single-family home, the average price was a little over $1.5 million.
According to a chart in Land Title’s report, the prices of single-family homes have been climbing since 2013. During that year, the price of a single-family home was $751,240. Each year, the average price steadily increased, until 2017 when it jumped $153,730 in one year.
“The whole market is moving up in price,” Wolfe said. In years past, Wolfe said there would hardly be any properties valued above $2 million. Now more homes are being sold at this valuation.
Though the market is moving quickly, Wolfe notes that it’s not always playing out nicely. Inventory gets bought quickly and real estate properties are appreciating quickly, which can lead to strained deals at times.
“It’s a crazy market right now,” Wolfe said. “On several of our deals, the sellers still think they are underselling their properties and the buyers still think they are overpaying for properties and that leads to a lot of tension on real estate deals these days.”
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