Archive for the ‘Market Conditions’ Category

Summit County Colorado Real Estate in Q1 2015

Friday, May 8th, 2015

The Summit County Colorado real estate market is well along the road to recovery having just had the strongest first quarter in seven years. This year, 2015, is the first to start out with total sales volume and the number of residential real estate transactions taking place near levels not seen since 2008. The year 2008 was when the Summit County real estate market took a significant downturn following the collapse of Bear Stearns at the end of March.

During the first quarter of 2015, Summit County Colorado had 269 residential real estate sales with a total sales volume of just over $150 Million. This is approaching the 286 residential transactions which took place during the same time period in 2008, and well above the 124 sales seen during Q1 of 2009. The year 2009 saw the fewest number of transactions in Q1, and the year as a whole, during the most recent downturn of the Summit County real estate market.

Average sales prices are coming back as well with the Q1 2015 average sale being almost $558K compared to just over $513K during the first quarter of 2011. The year 2011 had the lowest average sales prices for both the first quarter and the year as a whole during the most recent downturn in the Summit County real estate market.

All of this portends well for a bustling Summit County real estate market during the remainder of 2015.

In Summit County Colorado, the first quarter of the year is by far the least active for real estate sales when compared to the remaining three quarters. This is because during the first three months of the year, many people are visiting the area on ski/snowboard vacations and do not want to take time away from the slopes to look at properties for sale. Also, many of the properties that potential investment property Buyers might like to see are not available for showings because they are rented by other visitors on ski/snowboard vacations themselves. And finally, the possibility of winter storm weather conditions make the comfort and convenience of driving around to look at homes for sale in the high country a hit-or-miss proposition during the months of January through March.

As a result, most Summit County Colorado property Sellers wait to list their properties for sale until after the ski resorts of Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper Mountain have closed for the season. This happens by the end of April. May and June typically see the greatest increase in available inventory of Summit County real estate listings for sale with peak inventory for the year happening around the Fourth of July.

On May 01, 2015 there were 733 active residential listings for sale in Summit County Colorado with another 306 under contract and 411 sales Year-to-Date. On May 01, 2011 there were about twice the number of active residential listings for sale and half the number of listings under contract when compared to 2015. This is just one more indicator of a rebounding real estate market in 2015.

Yet despite all of the improvements in the Summit County real estate market, there is still plenty of room to the upside as sales prices, total sales volume, and number of sales taking place are all still well below the highs seen many years ago.

Copyright 2015 – All rights reserved.

Notice: Publishers are free to republish this article on an ezine or website provided the article is reprinted in its entirety including copyright and author information, and all links remain intact and active.

Breckenridge Colorado Investment Real Estate Under $600K

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Breckenridge Colorado is one of the most popular destination ski resorts in the world attracting over 1.5 million skier visits per year. And with a wide variety of film, music, theatre, and arts and crafts related events as well as all of the outdoor activities that the Rocky Mountains have to offer besides skiing, Breckenridge is a true four seasons destination resort. As a resort market, many considering the purchase of Breckenridge real estate do so with potential rental income as their primary criterion while shopping for property.

Individuals considering the purchase of a Breckenridge single family home as a rental investment property should determine if they prefer to rent the home to visiting tourists for short stays or to rent the home on an annual or seasonal lease basis. Potential Breckenridge house buyers should also consider whether they would like to use the services of a rental management company or to rent the home directly themselves. This is because Breckenridge homes which may not be of interest to local rental management companies for the purposes of short term tourist bookings may still have fairly good rental potential on a longer term lease basis or as a Breckenridge "by owner" vacation rental property.

Sleeping capacity is one of the main criteria that rental management companies will look at when considering a single family home in the Breckenridge Colorado area for short term rental purposes. All else being equal, larger homes with greater sleeping capacity are typically more appealing to Breckenridge rental management companies than smaller homes. Other criteria to be considered include proximity to the Breckenridge Ski Resort and the town of Breckenridge and whether or not the property is on one of the free public shuttle routes. Age and overall quality of an individual home and its amenities such as hot tubs, home entertainment centers, pool tables, etc. also attract the attention of rental management companies and help generate repeat visits by guests regardless of whether or not the property is being managed by a local booking company or being rented on a "by owner" vacation rental basis.

All of these same criteria apply when rental management companies consider a multi-family residence (i.e. condo, town house, triplex, etc.) except for sleeping capacity. In fact, studio condos are one of the most popular lodging options for Breckenridge rental management companies, visiting guests, and therefore Breckenridge investment property buyers alike.

Most rental management companies in Breckenridge Colorado focus on short term tourist rentals and will not accept into their rental management inventories most single family homes in Breckenridge that would sell for less than $600K. This is because such homes are typically smaller and older than the average Breckenridge home and are not located within walking distance of the Breckenridge Ski Resort chair-lifts or town of Breckenridge downtown area. Even Breckenridge homes on one of the the free public shuttle routes within this price range are few and far between.

But, there could be exceptions to this $600K rule, especially when it comes to homes located north of Breckenridge, between Breckenridge and Frisco. If a home with a value of less than $600K in this area has great mountain views, a private hot tub, easy winter access, and is of good overall quality, it could be of interest to Breckenridge rental management companies for the purposes of short term rentals (i.e. tourist bookings). One would have inquire with the property management companies in Breckenridge to see which might be interested in taking such a home into their inventory and what they would estimate its rental potential to be.

Also, many Breckenridge homes that are not of interest to local rental management companies can still generate rental income on "by owner" vacation rental web sites and/or they can be rented on a longer term annual or seasonal lease basis.

With all of this said, if rental income is the primary criterion for someone considering the purchase of Breckenridge real estate for less than $600K, a condo or townhome is at the very least worth considering as the revenue generated from such a property will often be greater than that of a comparably priced single family home.

As a general statement, sale prices of Breckenridge homes and condos have been effected by the market downturn of recent years in a similar manner.  However, to be more specific:

1) Larger, and therefore more expensive, single family homes have been somewhat more effected by the market downturn than smaller and less expensive homes. As of May 06, 2011 there were 218 single family homes on the market in the Breckenridge area. Of these, only 44 were priced under $600K. Within the previous year, there had been 171 single family home sales in the Breckenridge area and 53 of them sold for $600K or less. This means that within the under $600K price range, the supply of available homes and the demand for them is fairly well balanced with less than a one year supply currently on the market. In the over $600K price range, the market is over supplied which has more of a downward pressure on price.

2) Looking at the multi-family residence (i.e. condo, town house, triplex, etc.) market in a similar manner, as of May 06, 2011 there were 364 multi-family residences for sale in the Breckenridge area with 282 having sold in the previous 12 months. Within the under $600K price range, there were 227 active listings and 182 sales in the previous 12 months. Therefore, there is well over a 12 month supply of available listings in both the over and under $600K price ranges.

To summarize, the under $600K single family home segment of the Breckenridge residential real estate market is the strongest segment of the market when analyzed in the above supply vs. demand manner. It is also the segment of the Breckenridge real estate market with the least potential for short term rental income generated through Breckenridge based rental management companies.

It is also worth noting that the Breckenridge multi-family residence market has experiencing something of a resurgence in demand with sales up threefold from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2011. If this trend continues through the rest of 2011, Breckenridge condos, town homes, and other multi-family residences could lead the price recovery of the Breckenridge real estate market. And potential appreciation is always a consideration for any Breckenridge investment property buyer.

Copyright 2011 – All rights reserved by Ted Amenta

Notice: Publishers are free to republish this article on an ezine or website provided the article is reprinted in its entirety including copyright and author information, and all links remain intact and active.

Living in Breckenridge Colorado since 1992 and a Breckenridge Real Estate Broker since 1998, Ted Amenta is the Broker/Owner of Amenta Real Estate specializing in Breckenridge investment property as well as 2nd home and vacation real estate throughout Summit County Colorado. Summit County Colorado is home to the ski areas of Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain as well as the nearby towns of Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, Blue River, Wildernest, and Heeney.

Summit County Colorado Real Estate Market Analysis – Q1 2011

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Summit County Colorado is located about 60 miles to the west of Denver and is home to the Vail Resorts, Inc. owned and operated ski resorts of Keystone and Breckenridge as well as two other popular ski areas, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain. Lakes, rivers, hiking trails, and biking paths are only the beginning of the spring, summer, and fall attractions which also draw tourism from outdoor enthusiasts. As a result, Summit County Colorado is a true four seasons destination resort real estate market with a significant portion of rental investment properties. And it is Summit County investment property which is leading the Summit County real estate market resurgence from the 2009 market lows.

The Summit County real estate market had more sales in the first quarter of 2011 of both single family homes and multi-family residences (i.e. duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and condominiums) than there were in the first quarter of 2010. Vacant land sales during the first quarter were the same between the two years. And the first quarter sales of both 2011 and 2010 were considerably more numerous than those of 2009 for all three property types.

The segment of the Summit County Colorado real estate market which has experienced the greatest increase in the number of transactions during recent years is that of multi-family residences (i.e. duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and condominiums). During the first quarter of 2011, Summit County had 136 multi-family residence sales as compared to 108 and 84 such sales during Q1 of 2010 and Q1 of 2009 respectively. Most of the increases in Summit County multi-family residence sales during these years occurred in the Breckenridge area where investment property is often purchased for rental income purposes. During the first quarter of 2011, Breckenridge Colorado had 57 multi-residence sales as compared to 33 and 19 such sales during Q1 of 2010 and Q1 of 2009 respectively. Therefore, as Summit County as a whole experienced an increase of 24 multi-family residences sold between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010, Breckenridge alone experienced an increase of 14 such transactions with the remaining 10 transactions of the total county increase distributed elsewhere in Summit County which also consists of Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, Copper Mountain and Keystone. And as Summit County experienced and increase of 28 multi-family residence sales between Q1 2010 and Q1 2011, Breckenridge alone experienced and increase of 24 such transactions.

Summit County single family homes experienced increases in the number of transactions during the first quarter of 2011 when compared to Q1 of 2010 and 2009 as well. During Q1 of 2011, Summit County had 53 single family home sales compared to 51 and 40 such sales during the first quarters of 2010 and 2009 respectively. The majority of these home sales took place in the Breckenridge area. During the first quarter of 2011, Breckenridge Colorado had 33 home sales compared to 30 and 27 such sales during the first quarters of 2010 and 2009 respectively.

Vacant lot sales in Summit County during the first quarters of 2011 and 2010 were flat at 16 each year with both years being up from 10 land sales in Summit County during Q1 2009. Once again, the majority of these lot sales took place in the Breckenridge area. During the first quarter of 2011, Breckenridge Colorado had 10 lot sales as compared to 12 and 6 such sales during the first quarters of 2010 and 2009 respectively.

Although the number of Summit County real estate transactions have been up during the past couple of years, they are considerably below what they had been during 2005 and 2006 for all three property types. Q1 multi-family residence sales reached a high of 321 during 2006, almost two and a half times the 136 duplex/triplex/townhouse/condominiums sold in the first quarter of 2011. Q1 single family homes sales reached a high of 99 during 2005, almost double the 53 homes sold in the first quarter of 2011. And Q1 lot sales reached a high of 109 during 2005, almost seven times the 16 land transactions during the first quarter of 2011.

Summit County real estate sales prices in during the past few years have reflected the number of transactions taking place and vice versa. During 2009, many Sellers were unrealistic about what prices their properties could command and a large portion of Buyers were nervous about what the future might hold for the Summit County real estate market. The result was the fewest number of Summit County real estate sales in over a decade. During 2010, Seller expectations and Buyer confidence began to come more into alignment and the number of transactions increased. Residential real estate sales in Summit County for the year of 2010 were up about 10% over those of 2009, or 1012 vs 918 transactions. And during early 2011, this trend seems to be continuing. In general, real estate values have been down about a third from their highs for residential property and even more for land.

While the number of Summit County real estate transactions is up so far in 2011, the number of available properties for sale is down. On May 01, 2010 there were 1,589 active residential real estate listings and 390 active vacant land listings in Summit County Colorado. On May 01, 2011, there were 1,348 active residential real estate listings (241 or 15% fewer) and 369 vacant land listings (21 or 5% fewer).

With the number of Summit County real estate sales trending upward and the number of active Summit County real estate listings trending downward, as compared to previous years, there could be market fundamentals to support a pricing bottom. In fact, there have already been some sales this year which indicate prices moving up from previous lows. With the traditionally busy summer selling season around the corner, the next couple of quarters will determine if this is a continuing trend in the Summit County real estate market.

Copyright 2011 – All rights reserved by Ted Amenta

Notice: Publishers are free to republish this article on an ezine or website provided the article is reprinted in its entirety including copyright and author information, and all links remain intact and active.

Living in Breckenridge Colorado since 1992 and a Summit County Real Estate Broker since 1998, Ted Amenta is the Broker/Owner of Amenta Real Estate specializing in Summit County investment property as well as 2nd home and vacation real estate throughout Summit County Colorado. Summit County Colorado is home to the ski areas of Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain as well as the nearby towns of Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, Blue River, Wildernest, and Heeney.

Breckenridge Colorado Resort Real Estate Market Analysis – Q1 2011

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

The Breckenridge real estate market is continuing to make a comeback from the market lows of 2009 and this comeback is being lead by Breckenridge investment property sales. The number of first quarter single family home sales are also up for the second year in a row. Vacant land continues to be the weakest segment of the Breckenridge real estate market. But even vacant lot sales have seen an increase during the first quarter of 2011 over those of Q1 2009.

The strongest segment of the Breckenridge Colorado real estate market is that of investment property. Located in Summit County Colorado, Breckenridge is one of the world’s premier ski resort destinations. In fact, the ski area has recently been the most popular ski resort destination in North America with well over 1.5 million skier visits. Breckenridge, Keystone (also located in Summit County Colorado), and Vail are often the top three ski resort destinations in the U.S. as measured in terms of skier visits. Summit County Colorado also offers a wide variety of non-ski related activities including hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, sailing, music and film festivals, performance arts, wine tastings, mining tours, art shows and competitions, and other community and privately sponsored events.

With all of these activities and attractions bringing tourists into the Summit County Colorado region, Breckenridge investment property (purchased and held for the purpose generating short term rental income) is a major segment of its real estate market. And while single family homes can be rented to visiting tourists as well, most Breckenridge investment property consists of multi-family residences (i.e. condos, town homes, etc.). During the first quarter of 2011, three times (300%) the number of multi-family residences sold as did during Q1 2009. This number for Q1 2011 was also nearly twice that of Q1 2010. The first quarter numbers of Breckenridge multi-family residence sales in 2009, 2010, and 2011 were 19, 33, and 57 respectively. It is also worth noting that there were two sales during Q1 2011 of multi-family residences which sold for prices in excess of $1.5 Million. These were the first sales of such properties in this price range since 2008.

Breckenridge single family home sales have also seen an increase during Q1 2011 when compared to the first quarters of 2009 and 2010. The first quarter numbers of single family home sales in 2009, 2010, and 2011 were 27, 30, and 33 respectively. This represents about a 10% increase in Q1 home sales over the previous year during each of the past two years.

Vacant land continues to be the softest segment of the Breckenridge real estate market. But even when it comes to vacant land, there are some signs of improvement in the market. The number of first quarter vacant lot sales in 2009, 2010, and 2011 were 6, 12, and 10 respectively. Therefore, during Q1 2010 there was a 100% increase in the number of vacant lots sold over Q1 2009. And while the first quarter of 2011 saw a couple fewer lots sold than Q1 2010, the number of sales was still well above Q1 2009.

It is worth noting that despite the recent increases of Breckenridge real estate sales, these sales numbers are still well off of their highs. First quarter multi-family residence sales peaked at 130 in 2006, more than twice the 57 condo/town home/duplex sales during Q1 2011. First quarter single family home sales peaked at 61 in 2005, nearly twice the 33 house sales during Q1 2011. And first quarter vacant land sales peaked at 84 in 2006, more than eight times the 10 lot sales during Q1 2011.

It is also worth noting that the increase in Breckenridge real estate sales across the three main property types (i.e. single family, multi-family, and vacant land) over the past two years can be attributed to a variety of factors with the decline of real estate prices being significant among them. Sale prices for residential real estate have been down approximately 33% and vacant land prices have been down approximately 40% from the market highs.

So far in 2011, the inventory of available Breckenridge real estate listings for sale among the various property types and within various price ranges is comparable to or below inventories during the same time last year. And in 2010, there was a federal tax incentive for prospective buyers to purchase real estate during the first half of the year which did not apply to the second half of the year. This had the effect of shifting purchasing demand from the second half of the year to the first half. Despite the lack of this federal tax incentive in 2011, demand for Breckenridge real estate during the first quarter of this year has exceeded that of 2010. And with a similar number or fewer available real estate listings on the market, prices may well stabilize or even experience some increases during the next three quarters of 2011. Only time can tell.

Copyright 2011 – All rights reserved by Ted Amenta

Notice: Publishers are free to republish this article on an ezine or website provided the article is reprinted in its entirety including copyright and author information, and all links remain intact and active.

Living in Summit County Colorado since 1992, Ted Amenta is a Breckenridge Real Estate Broker/Owner specializing in Breckenridge investment property as well as investment real estate throughout Summit County Colorado. Summit County includes the ski resorts of Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper Mountain as well as the nearby towns of Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, Blue River, Wildernest, and Heeney.

Breckenridge investment real estate Q&A 10/18/10

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The Breckenridge Ski Area is scheduled to open in 25 days and this means that those considering the purchase of Breckenridge investment property are beginning to do their homework once again in order to get their purchases made by the beginning of the peak rental season.

The following is an example of some recent correspondence with more to follow:

Question: How is real estate in Breckenridge these days? Prices? Rental income?

Answer (and a long one):

Breckenridge real estate sales volume, prices and rental income are all off of their highs, reflecting the economic downturn, and the ratio between prices and income has remained fairly consistent.

I have general market data posted here:

Summit County Real Estate Market Data

The Land Title Summit County Gross Real Estate Volume chart shows 2010 sales volume similar to that of 2009. I also track active listings, under contracts, and sales at the bottom of the page here:

Summit County Active Listing / Under Contract / Sold YTD tables

Highlights of the 10/15/10 data are as follows:

1) There are about 300 fewer residential properties on the market in Summit County now as compared to the inventory peak of 07/15/10. In Breckenridge, this number is 137.

2) For the county as a whole, there have been 200 fewer sales residential sales YTD than there were in all of 2009 with 219 currently under contract. In Breckenridge, there have been 69 fewer sales YTD as compared to all of 2009 with 100 currently under contract.

3) Summit County land sales YTD is only 1 shy of the 2009 total. In Breckenridge there have already been 3 more land sales than in all of 2009.

Inventory is down across the board when compared to the summer months and you can see the current inventory and pricing here:

Summit County Real Estate Search

I posted the following info in mid-August and it will give you an idea of how prices have moved off of their highs:

Beaver Run Building #4 Sales

A few more examples are as follows:

1) I recently closed on a Lodge at Riverbend condo for $370K which could have sold for as much as $495K at the peak of the market.

2) This summer, I saw Treehouse condos selling in the $160K range which had been selling in the $200K to $220K range at the market highs.

3) I currently have a lot listed for $325K which could have sold for $500K to $525K at the market peak.

Breckenridge Land Sales Still Down

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

The Breckenridge Colorado real estate market is feeling the effects of the Great Recession. Breckenridge homes, condos and land have all seen an increase in the available inventory and a reduction in the number of sales when compared to the market highs during the 2005-2007 time frame. This has lead to a reduction in sale prices for all three property types.

Breckenridge land sales have been especially hard hit. In 2006 there were 260 vacant lots sold in Breckenridge. In 2009 there were only 40. And about half-way through 2010, it would appear that this year is going to be about the same as last.

The decline in land values that have resulted from the reduction in the number of transaction has been dramatic. The following are just a few examples of Breckenridge Colorado land sales during the past year showing the magnitude of the losses that vacant lot Sellers are experiencing:

1. LOT 146 HIGHLANDS AT BRECKECKENRIDGE (835 GOLD RUN ROAD) : The Seller had paid $550,000 for this land on 05/31/07 and sold it for $403,000 on 08/14/09.

2. LOT 200 HIGHLANDS AT BRECKENRIDGE (834 PRESTON WAY) : The previous owner of this land had paid $427,500 for it on 07/24/07. Now the bank has it under Contract after having listed it for a price of $297,900.

3. LOT 109 HIGHLANDS AT BRECKENRIDGE (517 HAMILTON COURT) : The previous owner of this vacant lot bought it for $435,000 on 10/01/07. Now the bank has it listed for $265,500.

The above are just a few examples. There are many more like these in Breckenridge and all throughout Summit County Colorado. And land value loss paints only part of the picture when it comes to the Breckenridge Colorado land market. Another important aspect of this market is the relation of available land inventory to the number of vacant lot transactions taking place.

As of this writing, there are 283 vacant lots for sale in Breckenridge Colorado. This is more than has ever sold in a single year and is about 6.5 times more than has sold in the previous 12 months. This concept can be further broken down by price range:

  • Between $250K and $400K, there are currently 51 active vacant lot listings with 8 closings in this price range during the previous 12 months. This equates to about a 6.5 year available inventory.
  • Below $250K there are currently 111 active vacant lot listings with 21 sales in this price range during the previous 12 months. This equates to about a 5.25 year available inventory.
  • Above $400K there are currently 124 active vacant lot listings with 15 sales in this price range during the previous 12 months. This equates to about a 8.25 year available inventory.

By comparison, there is about a 2 year inventory of single family homes for sale in Breckenridge and about a 2.25 year inventory of multi-family properties (i.e. condos, townhomes, duplexes, etc.).

Of course all of this is bad news for those who have Breckenridge Colorado real estate for sale. But it could be great news for those looking to buy Breckenridge real estate, especially when it comes to those interested in purchasing vacant land.

If you would like to learn more about the Breckenridge land market, contact Ted Amenta – Breckenridge Colorado Real Estate Broker at (970) 453-8025 or visit http://www.amenta.com/ for listing details and photos of all active Summit County Colorado real estate listings.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by Ted Amenta
Notice: Publishers are free to republish this article on an ezine or website provided the article is reprinted in its entirety including copyright and author information, and all links remain intact and active.

Summit County real estate and the Recession

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Summit County Colorado Real Estate market is feeling the full force of the recession. In fact, market data shows that the market decline began about the same time that Bear Sterns collapsed. Prior to that time, Summit County had been fairly immune to the problems facing much of the rest of the real estate industry throughout the US. There are many reasons for this, among them:

  1. Compared to the rest of the country, Summit County has a fairly low percentage of sub-prime borrowers and the loan defaults that plagued other markets was not much of a factor in Summit County.
  2. Summit County did not experience the speculative bubble that occurred in some other markets. Being a four sessions destination resort market, most Summit County real estate Buyers purchase for the purpose of personal use and/or tourist rental income, not with the intent to sell in the short term.
  3. In the absence of the speculative bubble, and being surrounded by mountains and National Forest, over development in Summit County did not take off as it did in other markets.

Of course, there are counter-examples to each of the above points which are included only as a comparison to other markets and to give a general overview of the real estate market in Summit County leading into the first quarter of 2008. To a large extent, the Summit County real estate market had been, and continues to be, defined by the overall US economy and not necessarily the trends within the real estate industry as a whole.

And with the exception of a hand full of talking heads and Wall Street bail-out recipients, most of the rest of us know that the economy is not doing well.

The recession has resulted in a decline of Summit County real estate sales prices, number of sales, and overall sales volume. Meanwhile new listings continue to come on the market resulting in an abundance of inventory.

One of the hardest hit sectors of the Summit County real estate market has been vacant land as the following chart will show:

Market Snapshot for Summit County Colorado Land Listings and Sales:
             
Active Listings
(Jan 16, 2010)
Sales 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
             
372 Summit County 68 137 313 394 437
244 _Breckenridge 40 79 190 260 282
47 County $400K-$500K 12 19 37 27 30
27 _Breck $400K-$500K 5 10 27 20 24

To investigate the above table further, the following will examine the lots that sold in Breckenridge Colorado during 2009 in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range:

  • The first was a resale of a lot in the Highlands at Breckenridge for $403,000 on 08/14/09. In this case, the Seller had paid $550,000 for the land on 05/31/07 when the market was it its peak.
  • The second was a sale by the developer of Western Sky Ranch in Breckenridge of a 4.98 acre lot for $499,000 on 09/22/09. Being a developer sale, there is no previous sales information for this property. But, the closest comparable sale within Western Sky Ranch for the adjoining lot of 3.58 acres which sold for $725,000 on 01/04/08, also prior to the market contraction.
  • The third was another resale in the Highlands at Breckenridge on 11/03/2009 for $465,000 which was originally listed for $599,000 on 06/16/2009. The Seller of this property purchased it in 1996 for $165,000.
  • The fourth was a sale in the Warriors Preserve subdivision which was originally listed for $595,000 on 01/03/2008 and which sold for $415,000 on 12/11/2009. The Seller’s purchase information is not available.
  • The fifth was a lot in the Warrior’s Mark West subdivision for $420,000 which was originally listed for $550,000 on 06/16/2009. Once again, The Seller’s purchase information is not available.

Five sales in a narrow price range do not define the entire Breckenridge real estate market for vacant land. Breckenridge does not define Summit County as a whole. And the market for vacant land does not directly translate to that of residential property. But the most generalized Summit County Colorado market data also shows inventory up, transactions down, and prices reflecting these facts.

There are also some positive signs for what the future of the Summit County real estate market may hold:

  • Interest rates are down. As of this writing, the interest rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage is about 5%. A year ago it was about 6%. This means a lower monthly payment of about $63 per $100,000 borrowed. Alternatively, a $1,000 a monthly payment a year ago would cover a mortgage of about $167,000. Today, this same payment would cover a mortgage of about $186,000.
  • In anticipation of inflation, money is moving toward hard assets. The recent record high prices of gold reflect this. Real estate is also a historic hedge against inflation and the discrepancy between the price of gold and the price of real estate is near the highest in US history. In other words, it now takes fewer ounces of gold to buy an average home than almost ever before. And with bullion and numismatic gold becoming increasingly difficult to find, and the inventory of available real estate on the rise, how long can this trend last?
  • Colorado is one of the states projected to be the least impacted by the recession. Unemployment in Colorado is lower than the national average, personal income is higher, and the Colorado economy has significant high-tech, natural resource, and alternative energy sectors.
  • Bloomberg recently reported that Vail Resorts Inc., which owns both Breckenridge and Keystone, is projecting skier visits and overall bookings to be up this ski season over last and one component of the Summit County real estate market is rental income generated from renting homes and condos to tourists.

With inventory up and prices and interest rates down, this may be the ideal time to invest in Summit County real estate. For more information, contact Ted Amenta – Summit County real estate agent.

Breckenridge Real Estate Market – $250K to $300K condos

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

The following conversation involves a specific Breckenridge condo in the $250K to $300K price range as well as the general Breckenridge real estate market conditions:

Client> Where do you see the market going this Spring?  Any stronger?

I hope that the market strengthens this spring and summer.  So far, I have seen little evidence of this happening.  Summit County real estate sales volume in January ’09 was down about 60% from what it was in January of ’08.  We started seeing the market contract in the spring of last year.  Sales data comes out about one month after the end of the month.  This gives time to get the public records updated.

My office seems to have had a good February but people I know in other offices are not telling me that they are seeing an increase in activity so this may just be a statistical anomaly for us.

Looking forward, I anticipate an excess of inventory.  In fact we are already there.  In the past 12 months, there were 432 sales of properties in the Breckenridge area priced over $100K.  At the moment, there are 771 such properties on the market.  This would be a slightly high number of active listings in July and is very high for us now.  I expect to see 1000+ such properties on the market this summer.

More specific to this particular property, there are currently 34 Breckenridge condos for sale priced between $250K and $300K.  There were 10 sales in the past 12 months in this price range.

Beaver Run & Liftside rental condos

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The following is a copy of some of my recent correspondence that might be of interest to others considering the purchase of investment property in Summit County Colorado.

This correspondence refers to Beaver Run Condo and Liftside Condo.  Both are good ski-in / ski-out rental investment properties in Breckenridge.

Buyer> Thanks! I’m surprised that the studio did hardly better than the townhouse. My knee jerk reaction would be that the smaller the place is the better it would do.

It is often the case that studios will out perform larger condos at the same property on a rental basis.  The two bedroom I selected on this page is particularly attractive in terms of price / quality / rental numbers.  This is the reason I choose it.  Had I picked any other two
bedroom condo on the market at Beaver Run at the time, the net income as a percentage of list price would have lower.

Buyer> How are prices doing? I know ski country inflated later than other areas in the US but is finally being hit in some places (like Park City, UT). Is Breckenridge seeing any downward pressure?

We are seeing downward pressure on prices in that Buyers are making low offers and then walking away when the Sellers refuse to accept a price that is not at least close to a recent sale of comparable property.  This is causing overall sales volume to be down but prices are remaining mostly flat.  For us, flat is a shift in the market having seen fairly modest but steady appreciation for the last decade or more.  I saw similar market conditions for a few months after 9/11.  We are now about year into this market.

Sellers have been willing to keep their properties based on their past experiences with renting them.  Bookings are down this ski season due to the economy and I expect that we might see real estate prices reflect this soon.  The only hesitation I have with this notion is the current state of the financial markets.  Sellers consider their properties worth at least what they were when the DOW was approaching 14,000.  Today the DOW closed at 7,552 and I do not see many bullish financial analysts out there.  Many investment property owners are reluctant to come off their price without an attractive alternative investment to put their money into.

Liftside Condo offers a good case study into the above points.  There were two sales at Liftside in ’08.  One for $329,000 and the other for $330,000.  The last sale was on 02/27/08 yet there are currently only 7 such properties on the market.  At first, this may seem like a lot with nothing selling there in almost a year.  But there are 120 Liftside Condos in the building.  I remember other times when there were 20+ listings at Liftside and they were selling.