Market Insights: Local market gaining stability |

Market Insights: Local market gaining stability

Special to the Daily/Bob BlochThis is an example of a home in Breckenridge that sold just before Thanksgiving 2010 at an early-2006 price.

The market is stable… that is what I said, stable. After two years of price declines this statement is significant and one that I have been waiting months to make.

Isn’t stability in the real estate market what so many of us have been waiting for? I know I have been waiting to see it. I hope, at this stage, you are asking yourself, “Stable in what way?” There are three fundamental aspects of the market for us to review in this Market Insights article.

This is a bold statement that everyone may not agree with. As a full time real estate broker and practitioner I am putting my neck on the line putting this statement in print. In Summit County there are so many custom homes and condos that many believe making this statement is not possible. “Hog wash,” is my answer. I watch the market with an eagle eye. Over and over again in the past four to five months I have seen properties consistently selling at the same prices they sold at in late-2005 to mid-2006. Want detailed proof? Contact me.

For the market overall in Summit County (and just over Hoosier Pass in Park County) the number of properties going under contract each week has been +/- 22 (low of 17 and a high of 28). Historically this time of the year the volume of sales is low. Having consistent sales is comforting for the real estate industry as a whole.

If anything makes the real estate broker community (that includes banks, brokers, appraisers…) feel warm and fuzzy it is seeing the number of properties for sale nice and stable. Massive swings in this area gives practitioners the jitters. This year the number has varied in a minute band of just 30 with the average being 2,587. What we don’t like are huge swings in either direction.

There is nothing above that predicts, suggests or implies that prices are going to rise. No way, no how. You know me well enough – I never predict the future. Don’t get excited. Just because prices have been stable for a few months does not mean this is the bottom of the market; far from it. Sure there is more confidence around town; with the Dow Jones above 12,000, buyers and sellers are feeling good. Big deal. What if next week there is a major policy shift that makes borrowing money in resorts even more difficult? Or there is a huge corruption scandal in the banking industry? Or the Dow drops 1,000 points? Thirty years ago a business mentor said to me, “Always temper your optimism with reality.”

Note: data provided thanks to the Summit Association of Realtors.

Daniel Webster Johnson is a broker associate at Resort Brokers Real Estate. He can be reached at (970) 393-3300 or at

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