Local Realtors make more 2011 sales gains that statistics reveal

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— Local Realtors have been making more sales in 2011 than a statistical analysis of gross transactions for Routt County would suggest at first glance.

Stan Urban, of Land Title Guarantee Co., released a report this week that shows that, at least based on transaction volume completed by local Realtors through the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service, it’s clear that Realtors were completing more deals through the third quarter of 2011 than they did in the same time period of 2010.

Although Routt County’s gross real estate dollar volume and transaction volume are down in 2011 from 2010, the number of MLS transactions this year was either flat or up in condos, townhomes, single-family homes and acreage, Urban said.

Condos were up from 120 sales to 130; townhomes stayed flat at 65 transactions; single-family homes were at nearly 161 percent of 2010 (115 to 185); and acreage volume grew from 50 to 54.

Local Realtors also sold 34 fractional properties — largely higher-end properties that invited broker participation, Urban said.

That adds up to 468 transactions (through September), still not a large number to be shared among 329 active Realtors as of Dec. 20, as reported by the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors.

Urban said the inclusion of timeshare transactions in monthly real estate statistics issued by his office are partly responsible for obscuring how the local real estate community is doing.

“I knew it was taking place, but when I actually did the research, I was pretty surprised at the influence of timeshares,” Urban said this week.

When fractional sales are subtracted from the gross number, Urban said, this year’s overall dollar volume (including transactions that did not involve a Realtor) is trending at 98.5 percent of 2010 numbers, and 2011 unit volume jumps dramatically from 70.7 percent of 2010 numbers to almost 114 percent.

Urban has reported real estate transactions through November, but for purposes of this analysis, he looked only at transactions that took place through the end of the third quarter in September. He won’t report final 2011 numbers until the third week in January.

A big part of the reason subtracting interval-ownership condos from the stats this year makes such a difference in the appearance of Routt County’s year-over-year market performance is a steep decline in the sale of timeshares here from the boom of 2010. The local market saw 979 timeshare sales for $84 million through the third quarter of 2010. In 2011, that number had shrunk to 481 units and $30.7 million.

By the end of 2010, the local market had seen 1,123 timeshare sales for $94.35 million, according to Land Title, and one project, The Village at Steamboat, had accounted for 978 of the transactions. Wyndham Vacation Resorts, which markets The Village at Steamboat, inflated those numbers as regards to the Routt County market, Urban said, by attributing vacation membership sales made in sales centers in other places to the Village at Steamboat.

Urban used an algorithm in his spreadsheet to project real estate trends in 2012, and he was encouraged to find that — at least statically — the market should be flat next year compared to 2011. The signal that the local market won’t go down next year is good news in Urban’s book.

“I think this will be good for us because I think we’ve found our market,” Urban said. “I’m hearing Realtors are encountering some pent-up demand. We could be pulling out of this.”

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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