Though July sales volume has dipped, Summit County agents say the market is still strong |

Though July sales volume has dipped, Summit County agents say the market is still strong

Local experts point to the price per square foot and cost of land as indicators of a strong market

A "for sale" sign is posted outside a real estate office in Frisco on March 25.
Photo by Liz Copan/For the Summit Daily News

The first six months of 2021 real estate reports produced by Land Title Guarantee Company had a lot to say about Summit County’s market: The average price for single family homes remains well over $1 million and real estate agents reported that inventory was being snatched up in the blink of an eye.

But after months of an unprecedented market, by June, some agents were singing a slightly different tune. Though all qualified that the market was still strong and favoring sellers, early signs indicated that it could be stabilizing.

At first glance, Land Title’s latest report for July shows the same thing. According to the report, the July 2021 market was up 32% in total gross volume compared to July 2020. While an impressive swing, this is down from the month before, which was up 176% compared to June 2020, and down even further from May 2021, which was up 304% compared to May 2020.

While this may be a sign that the market is changing, some real estate agents aren’t so sure, mostly because July is a historically slow month for sales when second homeowners and buyers are wrapping up vacations and preparing for fall.

“We’re coming toward what is soon to be the closing of summer with Labor Day weekend upon us,” said Chris Lankhorst, market president of the Summit County region of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate. “People are in back-to-school mode. They’re getting ready to move out of that realm of vacation. It has steadied a little bit. Prices are seemingly holding and transactions are continuing to go at a pretty good eclipse.”

What’s more telling, Lankhorst said, was that the average residential price per square foot is $640 and that luxury homes, which used to hover around the $1 million mark, are now considered to be in the $2 and $3 million mark.

Dana Cottrell, real estate broker for Summit Resort Group, agreed that though she’s seeing slight deviations from months previously, the market is still hardy. Cottrell pointed out that the average and median prices for single family homes are up 15% so far this year compared to last year. Not only that, but Cottrell said the numbers around land sales are also showing a strong market. The report states that the average price for vacant land is up 18% compared to last year and that the median price is up 26%.

It’s worth noting that recently, Day Palazola Group sold 288 acres on Bald Mountain for $15 million.

Though these are good signs for the health of the market, Cottrell said, as of late, she’s seeing more price reductions for listings, but isn’t sure whether or not that’s a testament to the local industry.

“There’s signs that people are dropping their prices but I think part of that is the difficulty in brokers gauging the correct list price,” she said. “I am seeing more price drops than I have in the past but again, it’s hard to evaluate. When you’re a broker representing the seller, you really want to get them the best price you can get them, and get their property sold in a timely manner. We’re adjusting quickly. If someone doesn’t sell in two or three weeks, we’re adjusting down.”

In general, the market does appear to be performing well. According to the latest report, monetary volume for July was up 32% compared to the same month last year. Transactions were also up 6%.

As for who is buying these homes, these trends are much the same. About 25% of locals purchased available inventory during July, 43% of buyers were from the Front Range and 31% were from out of state.

A graphic shows transactions and gross volume for sales comparing July 2020 and 2021.
Graphic by Nicole Miller/Summit Daily News

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