September dollar volume lowest in 44 months

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Routt County real estate dollar volume slumped to $37.36 million in September, the lowest monthly total of the year and the lowest monthly total since January 2005.

Bruce Carta, of Land Title Guarantee Co., said last month's sales represented 28 percent of those recorded in September 2007 when 189 transactions accounted for $132.58 million. There were 64 transactions recorded at the Routt County Courthouse last month, Carta said.

His research reflects all of the real estate sales in Routt County, a number that typically exceeds those handled through the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service.

There was slightly more encouraging news in terms of closing and pending contracts for the week of Oct. 13 through 19.

Realtor Eliese Pivarnik, of Colorado Group, reported on her blog at http://steamboathomesales.com that when properties in Craig are taken into consideration, seven whole ownership properties and one fractional ownership property went under contract. In addition, the sales of six properties closed that week for a total of $10.79 million.

The dollar volume was bolstered by the $7.6 million sale of a ranch on the Elk River, plus the sale of two homes fronting the Yampa River on Routt County Road 14, one for $985,000 and one for $1.3 million.

Realtor Ray Wright, of Steamboat Village Brokers, completed his workup of third quarter statistics for his firm this week and noted that although volume was down in all categories of real estate during the three months that ended Sept. 30, average sale prices were up.

Third quarter volume within the MLS totaled $308.8 million compared with $606.5 in 2007, according to Wright's research.

"I've decided that because the sales of large homes are skewing these numbers, median price might be a better way to track the market," Wright said.

Wright said 203 condos sold during the third quarter for an average price of $659,000. That compares to 515 sales, averaging $539,00, in Q3 2007.

Just 81 single-family homes sold last quarter, but the average price was $1.6 million, up sharply from Q3 2007, when 227 homes sold for an average price of $1.05 million.

Wright said he's aware of potential buyers for modest homes who cannot take action because they are waiting for their existing property to sell first. Frequently, buyers of homes in the higher range are cash buyers who do not face that same challenge, he said.

The average price of building lots was up more than 20 percent year over year, from $408,000 to nearly $500,000.

Among the more modest transactions noted by Pivarnik last week was a three-bedroom condo at Timber Run that was listed for $525,000 and sold for $500,000.

Contracts written last week include a single-family home on First Street in Oak Creek that was listed for $265,000 and a three-bedroom home on U.S. Highway 40 in Hayden that was listed for $775,000. Close to the ski mountain in Steamboat, a three-plus bedroom townhome on Hunters Drive that was listed for $799,000 also is under contract.

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