Summit County’s housing market continues to see transactions slow down as prices remain high |

Summit County’s housing market continues to see transactions slow down as prices remain high

February data shows record-high home values even as sales decrease, a trend that has held since last year

A "for sale" sign is posted outside a real estate office in Frisco. Since 2022, home transactions have decreased in Summit County while prices have risen to record heights.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

The number of homes sold in Summit County is continuing to decrease each month, a trend that has held since last year. But home prices are remaining record high, according to February real estate data. 

The findings come as brokers have been predicting a slight shift in the housing market, eyeing a tilt toward buyers who they say may be more empowered to negotiate home prices amid a post-COVID market boom. But sellers are still nearly reaping their full asking price. 

“There were 19.3% fewer sales than a year prior, but that number is about 18% better than we did last month,” stated Dana Cottrell, a Summit County broker and spokesperson for the Colorado Association of Realtors, in a recent report. “The median sales price is up 20.4% over the same time last year. Another federal reserve rate hike could flatten our market again, but as for now, even with this upward trend, sellers are receiving about 97% of their list price.”

The average home transaction in February for both single- and multi-family housing, not including deed-restricted homes, was $1,484,891, according to Cottrell, who called it “our highest average ever.”

Recently released February data from Land Title, a Colorado-based real estate group, shows similar figures. The organization reported an average transaction of $1,320,990, though that includes deed-restricted homes, which are price-capped and aimed at the community’s workforce. 

The average sale price of a single-family home continues to climb, with Land Title reporting a $2,177,991 average sale — a 6% increase from 2022’s average. The price of multi-family housing, such as townhomes and condos, also rose slightly from $899,464 to $924,937 — a 3% increase.

Cottrell’s report found single-family homes, not including deed-restricted units, sold for an average of $2,776,800 in February. 

“Out of 92 sales in February, the lowest was a condo in Silverthorne for $340,000 and the highest was a single-family home in Breckenridge for $6 million,” Cottrell stated.

Still, Cottrell anticipates an uptick in buyer activity though when that may happen remains unclear. A key force that may be making some potential buyers hesitant is interest rates, which affect payments on mortgages, credit cards and car loans. 

The U.S. Federal Reserve, in an attempt to curb consumer spending and reduce inflation, has consistently increased rates since last year — rising from just between 0.25% and 0.50% at the start to 2022 to 4.5% and 4.75% as of last month. And rates may increase again, possibly to between 5.5% and 6%, some economists say. 

This has led to larger payments on mortgages for newer homeowners while those who bought their homes prior to the interest rate hikes may remain locked in at a lower payment. Summit County real estate experts, such as Broker associate for Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties Leah Canfield, have warned that could hamper movement in the housing market.

“There are certain sellers saying, ‘I have to hold onto my home,” Canfield said in a previous interview with the Summit Daily News. “Prices haven’t really changed as much as people thought they might … the new normal is going to be less sales volume.”

Statewide, those sentiments also ring true.

“Home sellers are reluctant to sell, choosing instead to ‘shelter in place’ and enjoy their 3% existing mortgage rates and maybe do some remodeling and redecorating to make do with what they have,” said Fort Collins-based broker Chris Hardy in a March 10 statement from the Colorado Association of Realtors.

“The reality of all of this is we are seeing a ‘normalization’ of the market,” Hardy continued. “Buyer demand for housing hasn’t decreased. The need for additional housing is at an all-time high. Buyer ability to buy is squelched by high interest rates relative to current list prices. This is a time of recalibration.”

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