This just in from the Summit Daily...
Like a towering point guard, Summit County real estate is on the rebound.
Before the year began, local and national brokers predicted that real estate markets across the U.S. were in for a major turnaround, just as ESPN commentators use stats and gut feelings to predict who will win the Super Bowl (remember when it was the Broncos?), or parse out what's going through Kobe Bryant's sidelined head.
Optimistic real estate brokers already look like geniuses, at least in the first month of 2015. ESPN, not so much.
"We're off to a strong start," says Joan Moats, a broker with the Slifer Smith and Frampton office at 117 Main St. in Breckenridge. "I always like to go back to, 'When we were strong...' when I talk about transactions, and we're almost there, back to the 2008 levels."
Let's start with the big-money transactions. January saw 10 sales of at least $1 million, the majority of which were pre-built residences in traditionally popular Breckenridge neighborhoods. A home in Shock Hill topped the sales list at $2.799 million, easily the most expensive private real estate purchase since a $3.59 million Shock Hill plot was sold in early November. A bit closer to Peak 8 (as if Shock Hill isn't close enough), a 1,240-square-foot condo at One Ski Hill place sold in late January for $1.5 million. That's about $1,208 per square foot, which is roughly enough to buy a 13-inch MacBook Air (plus some), or maybe decent seats at the NBA Finals.
But the jaw-dropping price per square foot is more than an anomaly. Moats often looks at that metric to gauge market interest and the numbers are trending upwards: The three-month moving average for Breckenridge residential properties is $351 per square foot this January, already up roughly $20 from December, Moats says. She expects the average to continue rising for the foreseeable future.
Despite the high average, sales across the county are returning to pre-Recession levels. In the residential sector, January saw 84 transactions totaling $52.9 million - about $20.8 million more than just a year ago. It's the best showing for a January since 2008, back when there were a low, low 736 residential properties on the market. This year, there are 715, what Moats sees as yet another indicator of a real estate recovery.
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND...
But the upward trend isn't confined to cozy homes. If the residential market is the aforementioned point guard, then the commercial market is a power forward waiting for an alley-oop.
On the land development side, properties are moving at a steady clip. There were no massive land grabs like the $7.25 million purchase last January, when Baymont Inn and Suites was bought by an Aurora lodging company, but for Moats, empty plot sales can be more promising for the market months and even years into the future.
"To me, when land is moving, that means we're going to see more permits and more new builds," Moats says. "Since we're seeing it in January, I think that means people are expecting prices to jump a bit and want to get better pricing before construction season begins."
This January, 15 of a total 132 transactions were land purchases, more than double the total from last year. It's far outpacing dismal 2009, when just one plot was sold, and it's even outpacing good-ol' 2008, when land accounted for 11 purchases.
TOP FIVE: JANUARY
1. $2,799,000 - Breckenridge, Shock Hill subdivision no. 3 (residential plot)
2. $2,575,000 - Breckenridge, American subdivision (residential home)
3. $1,600,000 - Breckenridge, Warriors Mark subdivision (condo)
4. $1,580,000 - Breckenridge, Penn Lode subdivision (residential home)
5. $1,526,500 - Breckenridge, Highlands at Breckenridge (residential home)
Copyright Lindeman, Phil, "Summit County real estate sales top $61.7 million in January" Summit Daily News. February 10, 2015.