On the Market
Tom Ross' On the Market column appears Sundays in the Real Estate section of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Contact him at 871-4205 or e-mail tross@SteamboatToday.com
Scott Condon, of The Aspen Times, reports that the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority is forcing an Aspen doctor to put his deed-restricted home on the market because he no longer meets residency requirements. It could be yours for $1.45 million. It’s appraised for taxes at $1.36 million.
Dr. Kenton Bruice and his wife, Donna, placed a yellow “For Sale” sign in front of their residence, Condon wrote.
Condon wrote that the housing authority board of directors ordered Dr. Bruice to list the North 40 house after it determined in a hearing that he doesn’t spend enough time in Aspen to meet residency requirements for deed-restricted housing. Homes in the North 40 neighborhood must be resident-occupied, meaning that owners must live in Aspen at least 275 days per year and meet requirements for the amount of time worked. Bruice said he met the qualification, despite practicing some of the time in Denver. The housing authority board found he violated the residency requirement and voted, 3-1, on April 21 to make him try to sell, Condon reported.
Westin Riverwalk Resort scores 14 sales in Avon
Scott N. Miller, of the Vail Daily, wrote that Land Title Guarantee Co. reported 2010 first-quarter real estate sales in the Vail Valley reached $318.7 million, doubling last year’s number. However, dollar volume during the first quarter of 2008 was almost $560 million.
The dollar volume in March was the highest single-month figure in more than a year, and the number of units sold — 102 — was the highest since October of last year, Miller wrote.
Of the total sales, 14 were at the Westin Riverwalk Resort & Spa in Avon. At the top end of the market — sales of $5 million or more — nine properties sold. The high-end properties boosted the average sales price in Eagle County to nearly $1.3 million.
Of all the residential transactions, 49 were for $1 million or less, and most of the sales were in condo and townhome complexes. For March, 17 bank-owned properties sold for a total of $13.5 million, Miller reported.
March pending sales up, but 1st-time credits end
The National Association of Realtors reported that the number of homes waiting to close increased on a national basis in March.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, increased to 102.9 from 97.7 in February, and is 21.1 percent above March 2009 when it was 85; this follows an 8.3 percent increase in February. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, tempered the optimism associated with the pending sales when he observed that the industry expects sales to taper until the second half of the year. Yun said favorable affordability conditions have been working with the tax credit.
“Clearly, the home buyer tax credit has helped stabilize the market. In the months immediately following the expiration of the tax credit, we expect measurably lower sales,” he said. “Later in the second half of the year, and into 2011, home sales will likely become self-sustaining if the economy can add jobs at a respectable pace, and from a return of buyer demand as they see home values stabilizing.”
The PHSI in the Northeast declined 3.3 percent to 75.1 in March but remains 27.2 percent higher than March 2009. In the Midwest, the index increased 1.2 percent to 98.9 and is 18.5 percent higher than a year ago. Pending home sales in the South jumped 12.7 percent to an index of 121.2, which is 28.3 percent higher than March 2009. In the West, the index rose 1.9 percent to 99.9 and is 8.8 percent higher than a year ago.
“Another encouraging sign is the improvement in the availability for jumbo and second-home mortgages,” Yun said. “As bank balance sheets strengthen, it is just a matter of time before lending of non-government-backed mortgages steadily opens up.”