Summit County Colorado Real Estate Market Analysis – Q1 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

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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.

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