On the Market: Real estate sales volume up 14.6 percent in Routt County

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— The number of real estate sales in Routt County in March grew by more than 14 percent during a relatively strong March 2010 to 142 transactions, according to research by Land Title Guarantee Co.

The transaction volume in March, highest of the year thus far, helped the first quarter uptick reach nearly 23 percent. In 2010, transaction volume woke from a winter slumber in May with 190 sales, but then retreated to 167 in June before bouncing above 200 in July, August and September. The biggest month for transactions in 2010 was August with 271.

The unit volume as reported by Land Title includes 74 timeshare and interval sales. The Steamboat Villas did $1.26 million in timeshare business on 44 sales in March. The Village at Steamboat sold 26 timeshares at an aggregate value of $1.38 million.

In spite of the growth in transactions, dollar volume declined 24 percent in the first quarter to $95.1 million compared to $125.7 million in the first quarter of 2010. This year’s first quarter dollar volume still was substantially above the 2009 Q1 volume of just $55.7 million.

Hayden sales average $379,575 in March

Hayden and the surrounding area saw eight transactions totaling $3.03 million in March, for an average sales price of $379,575. The average residential price was $556,300 and the median was $225,000.

Oak Creek and Phippsburg saw just four sales in March for a total of $1.01 million.

Senior housing market picks up in 1st quarter

The occupancy rate for senior housing rose in the first quarter of 2011, and the pace of year-over-year rent growth also has risen, according to the data and analysis service of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry. In addition, the data shows that absorption continues to rise and construction activity remains tempered.

“Although there’s not complete evidence of a bounce back, almost every indicator points toward the positive,” Michael Hargrave, vice president, NIC MAP reported.

The average occupancy rate for seniors housing properties in first-quarter 2011 was 87.9 percent, which is 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous quarter and a 0.6 percentage point increase over its cyclical bottom of 87.3 percent in first-quarter 2010. This is the fourth consecutive quarter that the occupancy rate has improved.

“Although the improvement in the occupancy rate during the previous four quarters has been nominal, it is clear that occupancy has moved past its cyclical bottom of the first quarter of 2010 and we now are one year into recovery,” said Charles Harry, research director for NIC.

In terms of the two property types that comprise seniors housing, the first quarter occupancy rate for assisted living properties was unchanged from the previous quarter at 88.4 percent, while independent living properties increased from 87.3 percent to 87.7 percent in the same time period.

Construction activity for seniors housing remains unchanged from the previous quarter at 1.8 percent of existing inventory. Although it has been trending between 1.8 percent and 2.1 percent during the past year, the number of units under construction as of the first quarter this year is down 57 percent from its cyclical peak in the first quarter of 2008.

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