Real estate boom reaches Rifle, continues to rise
GLENWOOD SPRINGS The housing market in Garfield County is a perfect storm.A shortage of housing and increasing demand countywide, especially in the western region, has created a pocket of high-priced real estate that contradicts national trends.Garfield County broke the $1 billion mark in total real estate sales revenue in 2006, and Realtors in Rifle took note. Wayne Pollard of Pollard Team Realtors expects things to keep on booming.”The number of transactions won’t slow down,” Pollard said. “Inventory will continue to be tight. New construction will be available, too, but the number of transactions should be similar to last year.”Pollard estimated that 90 percent of his company’s transactions last year, from New Castle to Parachute, were in Rifle. He anticipates the real estate activity to continue to rise in the coming years.”There will be some really neat projects coming to Rifle in the next three to five years,” Pollard said. “This year (2006) the number of transactions in Rifle was overwhelming.”Pollard said last year’s actual number of transactions in Rifle was down from 2005, but the revenues had increased significantly.Martha Brooks of Land Title Guarantee Co. reported in the Jan. 26 edition of Home Focus that the median home price for all residential homes in Rifle had increased 40 percent since 2003. And the median single-family home price last year was $253,200, a 36 percent increase from 2003.According to Land Title Guarantee’s market analysis report for 2006, Garfield County had a record 2,856 total real estate transactions last year. Though Rifle contributed its fair share with 495, that’s still behind Carbondale’s 618 transactions and Glenwood Springs’ 764. New Castle and Silt had 317 and 283 total transactions, respectively, and Parachute and Battlement Mesa followed with 349 together. DeBeque and rural real estate transactions make up the remaining 30 sales.Where all of the revenue is coming from is evident as well.Glenwood and Carbondale collectively contributed nearly $643 million in sales revenue to the $1.04 billion total sales for the county last year. Rifle, Silt and New Castle collectively contributed approximately $320 million in sales.Even with Rifle still behind Glenwood and Carbondale in number of transactions, Brooks said Rifle has seen a 70 percent increase in number of available units over the past three years. But she said that increase is expected to slow down in 2007.”At this point it seems as though the number of transactions will continue to increase,” Brooks said. “But the number of units won’t increase as much as the revenue.”
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