Summit County Realtors worry short-term rental regulations will lead to fewer sales | SummitDaily.com
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Summit County Realtors worry short-term rental regulations will lead to fewer sales

The driveways of condominiums at Winterpoint Townhomes are pictured Friday, Feb. 18, in Breckenridge. Since short-term rental regulations went into place in November, some real estate agents say they’ve seen interest from buyers in Breckenridge slow.
Michael Yearout/For the Summit Daily News

As town and county governments regulate short-term rentals, some Summit County Realtors worry about what the future has in store.

In November, the Breckenridge Town Council’s ordinance that established a cap of 2,200 non-exempt short-term rental licenses went into effect. The move effectively placed a moratorium on the addition of short-term rental properties in the town because that cap was already exceeded.

Summit County government shortly followed suit by implementing new short-term rental regulations for areas that in unincorporated areas of the county. The county’s regulations placed rentals in one of two zones: resort or neighborhood. Properties in the neighborhood zones are unable to rent for more than 135 nights per year.



County and town officials passed the regulations as an attempt to prevent long-term rental properties from turning into short-term rentals and taking away housing from the county’s workforce. But some Realtors worry the regulations are rife with unintended consequences.

Leah Canfield, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, said she’s seen interest from buyers in Breckenridge slow since the regulations went into place.



“A lot of our buyers are calling, looking for a property that they can enjoy, but they don’t want it to just sit empty for the rest of the year,” Canfield said. “In an area like Breckenridge, that’s their only option for the moment unless they want to buy in a very limited number of exempt properties.”

Canfield said around two-thirds of her buyers are people looking for a second home that they intend to rent out while they aren’t there. Most of those buyers have either reconsidered purchasing in Summit County or set their sites on other areas like Keystone, where the Summit County capacity restrictions don’t apply because they are in a resort zone.

Condominiums at Mountaineer Townhomes are pictured Friday, Feb. 18, in Breckenridge. Since short-term rental regulations went into place in November, some real estate agents say they’ve seen interest from buyers in Breckenridge slow.
Michael Yearout/For the Summit Daily News

Steve Fisher, board president of the Summit Association of Realtors, said it’s too early to tell how exactly the new rules will impact sales. However, he has heard from Realtors like Canfield, who are struggling to sell in Breckenridge.

Fisher said the issue is compounded with Summit’s extremely low inventory and high demand. The regulations are leading buyers and sellers to be wary as things remain uncertain.

“Until there are some actual answers from Town Council and some definitive data they can show that supports the short-term rental caps will achieve what they see as goals, I think we’ll see an impasse for a while,” Fisher said.

Both Fisher and Canfield felt there is little data to show that the regulations will ultimately support the county’s workforce.

“The simple solution isn’t always the most effective solution,” Canfield said. “It has disproportionately negatively affected certain areas of our community, without providing any positive impact for the locals.”

Canfield said she’d like to see Breckenridge town leaders invest in affordable housing throughout the county rather than trying to manufacture affordable solutions in the most expensive place to live.

The Summit Association of Realtors is working to analyze data from other resort areas, like Lake Tahoe, California, and Park City, Utah, that have implemented similar regulations to see how those rules have impacted the workforce housing issue.

“We’re really, as the Summit Association of Realtors, working super hard to try and collect data that the local governments don’t seem to be doing themselves,” Fisher said. “That way we can hopefully come up with a solution that makes sense for everybody.”

Condominiums at Tyra Summit are pictured Friday, Feb. 18, in Breckenridge. Since short-term rental regulations went into place in November, some real estate agents say they’ve seen interest from buyers in Breckenridge slow.
Michael Yearout/For the Summit Daily News

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