Fourth-graders from Strawberry Park Elementary School quizzed downtown developer Jim Cook of Colorado Group Realty on Wednesday about their changing community. Under the direction of teachers Diane Maltby and Barb Gregoire, the students are using a grant from the Legacy Foundation to create a multimedia documentary on the subject.

Photo by Tom Ross

Fourth-graders from Strawberry Park Elementary School quizzed downtown developer Jim Cook of Colorado Group Realty on Wednesday about their changing community. Under the direction of teachers Diane Maltby and Barb Gregoire, the students are using a grant from the Legacy Foundation to create a multimedia documentary on the subject.

Average prices grow despite volume downturn

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— The number of sales of single-family homes, condos, townhomes and building lots are significantly down in the first four months of 2008. However, average price per sale is up substantially in all three categories.

Bart Kounovsky, chief operating officer for Colorado Group Realty, reported that the number of single-family home sales in the first four months of 2008 dropped to 15 from 42 in the same period in 2007. Yet, the average sales price rose from $1.175 million to $1.544 million. The price per square foot also rose from $355 to an average of $485.

"Inventory is up and sales volume is off, but there's still enough momentum for the average price to grow," said Randall Hannaway, one of Kounovsky's colleagues at Colorado Group. "The inventory gives buyers the opportunity to take their time and find the property that is just right for them. We are starting to see some discounting, but it's very minimal, particularly in the high end. For condos priced between $500,000 and $1 million, we're seeing more correction than in other markets."

Kounovsky's figures show that the number of condos and townhomes that sold during the first third of 2008 dropped to 108 from 183 in 2007. At the same time, the average sales price grew from $488,000 to $575,000. The price per square foot grew from $341 to $409. That's a rate of about 20 percent.

There were just 22 sales in condos and townhomes priced less than $300,000 in January through April. That compares to 57 during the first four months of 2007.

There were 16 sales of building lots in the city of Steamboat Springs during the first four months of 2008 - just more than half of the 30 that sold during the same time period in 2007.

The average sales price of a lot increased by 9 percent to $672,000 in 2008.

- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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