Summit County real estate still soft but stable

Date: Jul. 3rd, 2010
Contact: Robert Allen Phone: 970-668-4628

Local real estate prices across the county are slightly lower than they were at this time in 2009, and the number of transactions has increased — but the situation remains a far cry from 2007.

“Cash sales are higher than last year due to financing challenges,” said Brooke Roberts, sales and marketing director with Land Title Guarantee Company. “The banks just aren't loaning money.”

She said monetary volume of local transactions is “pretty flat” because of the price reductions.

For January through May, Summit County shows a 4 percent increase in monetary volume and a 20 percent increase in the number of transactions relative to the same period in 2009, Roberts said.

Chris Johnson, Realtor with RE/MAX Properties of the Summit said there have been fewer sales in Frisco than this time last year.

“Our biggest issue is our enormous inventory right now that's not being absorbed,” he said. “So I don't see prices changing or going up right now, because of our enormous supply.”

He said that while the federal government extended the first-time homebuyer credit three months to expire Sept. 30, that won't effect the sales volume. The legislation only affects people who were under contract to purchase a home by April 30 and haven't closed.

In Breckenridge, real estate transfers through mid-June were pacing well above 2009 or the town's 2010 budget on transfer tax revenues. Part of this is because the timeshare sales at the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 went through in January, helping bump the revenues at that time to 248 percent of budget that month.

By taking timeshares and sales of One Ski Hill Place units out of the picture, the transfer tax revenue is actually lower than 2009. But Johnson said the overall picture is “pretty darn close to last year.”

“It feels stable, that's for sure,” he said.

Breckenridge transfer tax data — including timeshares — show a 24 percent decrease from 2007, when sales were at their peak.

Rodney Allen, Exclusive Mountain Retreats Real Estate, recently attended the Western Mountain Resort Alliance and National Association of Realtors' Resort and Second Home Symposium in Lake Tahoe. The meeting included real estate agents from resort areas including Steamboat, Park City, Tahoe and more.

“In general, every market is recovering well,” Allen said in an e-mail. “California leads the charge, and many of their markets are seeing the number of transactions very close to the amount recorded at the peak of their market in 2006.”

Summit County's real estate transactions didn't begin to slow until well into 2008.

Eight-home development announced in Breckenridge
Johnson is the broker on an eight-home project — in four duplex buildings — recently announced on the south side of Breckenridge in Warrior's Mark. It's one of the first non-deed-restricted (affordable housing) residential projects to begin in the past couple years, he said.

“It's exciting. We've had new developments in Frisco but nothing in Breckenridge for some time,” Johnson said. “Is this an indication the market might be changing? I don't know. But it's great to see local people committing ... to this process.”

Units are expected to be priced in the mid to high $800,000s. They are to be energy-efficient and include a target size of three bedrooms per unit at less than 2,000 square feet.

Wolfe and Company and Rockridge Building Company are working together on the development. Ground breaking is expected this fall, with units available by July 4, 2011.