Summit Recovery Continues… Most neighborhoods show price increases

After seven years in the wilderness, the Summit County real estate market is just now approaching “normal”.
This year the number of closings will return to the 20-year average and the average sale price will be near the historic peak.
After a relatively slow July when sales only equaled the average number for July and fell short of the number sold in July 2014, it appeared outside forces might derail our best year since 2007.  It’s still not clear if that will happen, but as of October 1, activity has not dropped off very much.  If the tea party doesn’t shut down the US government again and the stock market only swings 1000 points per week, we may get out of this year in fair shape. sales thru3qtrs
Through the first 3 Quarters of 2015, 15 percent more properties had sold than in 2014 to date.  August alone brought 11 percent more sales than last August. The market is on pace to sell 2200 properties this year, about 150 more properties than the 20-year average. That would be the first time it has reached or exceeded the average since 2007.
Make no mistake, about 700 more properties must close in the 4th Quarter and if the market stops cold, that won’t happen.  With about 300 properties under contract waiting to close, however, a big part of the job is done.
Prices have been recovering as well and the average price is now over $530,000 for the first time since 2010.  The average of $535,000 is only about $34,000, or 6 percent, lower than the peak average of $568,971 that came in 2008.Avgpricebyarea
More generous appraisals and many cash sales have allowed prices to rise faster beginning in the 3rd Quarter.  Cash sales create higher priced comparable sales than a lender would allow if an appraisal were required.  Once a property, in a complex of town homes for instance, sells for a significantly higher price than previous sales, the entire complex has a comparable sale to point to for the appraisal that might be needed.
Lenders are slowly returning to the mortgage market as interest rates increase.  When we ask why they are just now getting back into the mortgage business, it’s been a hoot to hear them protest that they never left!
Residential properties are selling for an average of 96.6 percent of list price and taking an average of 175 days to sell, about 8 percent faster than last year.  The last time we saw sales this close to list price was about eight years ago.
Breckenridge averaged the highest price per square foot in Summit County at $421.  Wildernest/Silverthorne averaged the lowest at 267 psf.
Properties sold fastest in Dillon taking an average 123 days while Copper averaged the most days on market at 397.
Frisco prices averaged 97.6 percent of list, the highest in the County while Copper Mtn. averaged the lowest at 93.9 percent.
Overall, Breckenridge average prices were the highest in the County at $734,000, Copper Mountain averaged the lowest at $357,400.  Frisco was the second highest, Wildernest/Silverthorne the third highest beating out Keystone at number four and Dillon finished at number five.
Keystone showed the greatest appreciation rate increasing by over 30 percent from 2014, after having the lowest average price in the County in 2014. Frisco came in second with a gain of about 20 percent after about five flat years.
The most interesting development is an inventory that continues to decline from already historically low levels.
At the beginning of October, just over 1100 properties were on the market.  A normal number is more like 1700.
Owners who bought in 2008 or so are continuing to wait for a return to the prices they paid for their properties… plus some profit.  That means about 5000 owners who would normally be getting ready to sell after the typical number of years are holding off.
Others who want to move up to another property won’t sell before they find a replacement.  With nothing for sale, that is difficult.  Hence a log jam of pent-up seller activity.
As prices increase, this situation will sort itself out.  The long slow climb back to normalcy continues.  

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