NEWS

Summit weathers real estate slump with some big transactions

Date: Feb. 8th, 2010
Contact: Robert Allen Phone: (970) 668-4628

SUMMIT COUNTY — The local real estate market in 2009 took a hit similar to nearby counties, but a few large transactions helped to soften the blow.


The $107 million sale of Copper Mountain and the record-breaking $8.3 million home that sold in Breckenridge were among highlights in a year when transactions overall were down 32 percent.

“We've all suffered a pretty drastic decline compared with previous years when people had all that disposable income that they wanted to spend,” said Brooke Roberts, marketing director with Land Title Guarantee Company in Summit County.

She said transactions are taking four to six weeks to get closed, which is about twice as long as in previous years, because of increased complications in getting loans.

There were 136 transactions of more than $1 million in 2009 — a decline from 177 in 2008 and 208 in 2007.

But 2009 also had eight transactions of more than $3 million, which is more than the preceding two years.

While most real estate data showed a decline, the average price of a single family home in Summit was up to $905,030 in 2009 from $835,803 in 2008.

Eagle and Garfield counties both fared worse than Summit last year. Eagle's volume of transactions for 2009, $898 million, was down 60 percent from 2008 — and it was the first time the volume fell below $1 billion since 1996.

Garfield County had a decrease in monetary volume of 67 percent, and the number of its transactions were down 60 percent to 631 in 2009.

Pitkin County was least affected by the economy relative to the other three mountain communities. It had a volume of $1.072 billion last year, down only 21 percent from 2008.

Pitkin's median transaction was $713,885.

In Summit, the median transaction was $396,250 — lower than Eagle, which was $502,500 but higher than Garfield, which was $299,000.

Cash transactions in Summit have been averaging about 40 percent, which Roberts said is well above normal.