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Welcome Home: Land sales signaling market’s return

Butch Elich
Special to the Daily

In a recent article, Aspen broker Tim Estin stated “When vacant land sales start to turn, it is typically a marker for a bottom and indicative of a significant market change.” According to Tim, land sales year-to-date are up 144 percent over last year; and if one includes tear-down properties purchased only for lot values, that number jumps to 200 percent.

These number are real eye openers, however some resort communities are just beginning to see this kind of activity. The percentages above are based on 22 and 27 lots respectively.

I had an opportunity to talk with Cynthia Kruse, owner of REMAX Vail Valley, she mentioned Eagle County is experiencing a similar trend as their previous year, with 34 lot sales year-to-date, just four over last year, year-to-date, finishing the year with a total of 103 lot sales.



On another note, the dollar volume is up this year with lots prices averaging just over $300,000, as opposed to last years average at around $185,000. Keep in mind these averages can be skewed a bit by a few high-dollar sales.

Also, she was happy to report on home starts in the area, as activity has been down for some time, so this is great.



Here in Summit County, I spoke with REMAX managing partner Jeff Angell, and he mentioned that land sales are up slightly to 44 units year-to-date versus 38 at this time last year. Last year ended with a total of 82 lots sales.

“This increase in land sales is a positive trend for our market” commented Jeff.

Personally I believe it represents the steady growth that gives buyers confidence in our market.

So you have the land, now what? How easy is it to get a construction loan these days? Give your local bank a call and go over your building plans with them before you get started. It is my understanding that they still seem to be lending to qualified buyers with economically sound plans.

Lot prices are better than they have been in years. In Frisco a single-family lot just sold for $165,000, unheard of in days gone by. A lot backing the national forest is available for as little as $299,900.

Sellers are beginning to realize that in order to get sold today, one must align themselves with the current market conditions.

In many cases, sellers/owner that have been around for a while are still in a profitable position. It’s just been hard for owners to get over that feeling of what they might have sold for a few years back.

Sound interesting? Call your Realtor today and schedule to get out and kick some dirt. You may just find that special property you have always been looking for just waiting for you.

Welcome home is produced by TheTeam@Elich.com. Butch Elich a Realtor with RE/MAX properties of the Summit with over 20 years of experience to share with buyers and sellers from around world. Visit him at http://www.Elich.com or call (800) 806-9518 with any real estate or mountain community questions.


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