Summit County real estate market remains hot |

Summit County real estate market remains hot

The Skinner Team with Keller Williams Realty was having an open house for this 603 square-foot, one-bedroom apartment at 805 S. 5th Ave. H-212 in Frisco, listed for $339,000, on Wednesday. A lack of inventory continues to drive up prices across Summit County, according to county assessor Beverly Breakstone, who added that nowhere in the county is housing scarcer than it is in Frisco.
Eli Pace / |

Summit County’s real estate market continues to show strength reminiscent of the boom in 2007 and 2008 before the recession.

According to the county assessor’s office and local real estate agents, the current market is defined by climbing prices across the county and an overall lack of inventory. As a result, demand is exceeding supply, sellers are closing at or above asking prices in many cases, and local real estate agents are reporting record numbers.

“When sellers start to get more than they’re asking, it indicates there’s a higher demand for the properties available,” said Summit County Assessor Beverly Breakstone. “It’s a positive thing … but it has the impact of pushing up sale prices so we may see again another two-year period where we have a pretty respectable increase.”

Speaking over the phone Wednesday, Breakstone and her chief appraiser, Jim Roath, both said they have both noticed growth in the average sale price and, less dramatic, the overall number of sales.

That’s accompanied by decreases in the number of properties available and the amount of time they average home sits on the market, Roath said, adding that he is also seeing an increasing percentage of the average listing price compared to the final closing price.

“What you’re asking compared to what you finally get, there’s definitely an uptick in that too,” he explained.

According to his market research, Roath said, sellers are getting 97 percent of their listed asking prices on average. However, in some areas of Summit County, especially the neighborhoods with more moderately priced homes, properties are now “selling over the listed price.”

“We saw that in 2007 and 2008 on a regular basis,” recalled Breakstone, noting that nowhere in Summit County is housing scarcer than it is right now in Frisco.

For example, she noticed a lakeside home that was appraised at $1.5 million two years ago, and sold for $1.6 million in May 2015, went for almost $2.5 million this June. “That’s like a 45 percent increase over our appraised value,” she said.

The assessor’s office tracks real estate figures for very different reasons than many local real estate agents do. Rather than focusing on regular market analyses, the assessor is watching sales in specific neighborhoods with a keen eye on how those prices compare with the county’s appraisals.

The assessor’s office just wrapped up its lengthy annual endeavor for this year and has already turned its attention to next summer’s appraisal process.

While their motives are not identical, Ned Walley of the Colorado Real Estate Company came to many of the same conclusions that the assessor’s office did, calling Breakstone’s comments about sale prices matching or exceeding asking prices “interesting,” as it’s proven true based on his experience.

“I’ve already done significantly more this year than I did last year in total,” Walley said of his overall volume of sales, adding that he’s already had four listings sell at or above asking prices in 2017 and he’s never seen that happen before.

“It’s a sign of how quickly values are increasing,” he suggested.

Walley said two of those four real estate deals were for two condos in the Wildernest neighborhood outside Silverthorne and for two townhomes in Silverthorne.

“Personally, this is going to be a super year from an income standpoint,” he said, later referencing jumps in the average price of a home by 25 percent in Summit Cove, 29 percent at Keystone and 41 percent in the Blue River neighborhood.

Not only is the number of luxury homes sold for $1 million or more up by 13 percent compared to the same month last year, the total volume of sales in 2017 to date is almost $10 million more than it was last year through June, which is a roughly 40-percent increase.

Also noteworthy, Walley said, is that 29 homes have sold from more than $2 million so far this year, and the average single-family home in Summit County is going for just over $1.3 million.

Walley said that is up significantly from last year, but it’s more telling to compare those figures to the average price of a Summit County home during the peak in 2008, when it was 30 percent below what it is today.

“It’s a sign of how quickly values are increasing,” Walley said. “I’ve already done significantly more (business) this year than I did last year in total.”

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