The Victoria, after going months without the sale of a residential condominium, saw one during the summer and another last week with a third reportedly under contract.

Photo by Tom Ross

The Victoria, after going months without the sale of a residential condominium, saw one during the summer and another last week with a third reportedly under contract.

Steamboat real estate market see late autumn surge

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— It would be premature to label this week’s burst of million-dollar-home sales a trend, Realtors agree. For lack of a better term, call it the Great Pumpkin Effect.

Six high-end properties sold Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, effectively marking a bewitching trend or a spooky coincidence. Of the six, five were in the low $1 million range, and the sixth, a rural home on 42 acres, sold for $870,000. Another notable sale was recorded Oct. 28.

“There’s some coincidence to it,” said Realtor Colleen de Jong, of Prudential Steamboat Realty. “I know of two where the buyers sought a quick close. I think that’s part of it. We’re seeing more buyers this fall who are relocating and eager to get in before winter. I can’t say it’s a trend.”

The transactions include the 34.8-acre horse ranch on the north edge of Steamboat to which de Jong brought the buyers. The property was jointly listed by her colleagues and Prudential co-owners Pam Vanatta and Cam Boyd, and sold for $1 million.

“My clients got an excellent deal for that kind of property with all the improvements it has (the purchase included an immaculate horse barn). They plan to move their horses here from Wyoming. It was the kind of deal where the buyers are going to use it the way the sellers intended, which makes everyone happy.”

The other sales include a home on Aspen Leaf Way in The Sanctuary that sold for $1.36 million. It was another of Vanatta’s listings. Ted and Kristi Hoffman, of High Mountain Sotheby’s Real Estate, brought the buyers.

Ted Hoffman said his clients spent a month during the summer in Steamboat to escape the heat in Oklahoma. They had put a home in short sale under contract but became frustrated with that process and turned to a good value in The Sanctuary.

“The Sanctuary has always been a great neighborhood,” Hoffman said. “This sale was for a little more than $400 per square foot. It would have been higher, but it had 1,400 square feet of unfinished space that my clients intend to finish. It was definitely a multigenerational purchase. They intend for their children and grandchildren to use the home.”

Hoffman said he has observed that there’s almost always a burst of million-dollar-home sales in October pegged to people who want to relocate before winter sets in.

A look back at 2010 statistics researched by Land Title Guarantee Co. reflects that there were six million-dollar-home closings in Routt County in September of that year and another 10 in October. September 2011 saw four.

Through the end of September, 56 homes, or about 14 percent of the 411 residential sales, had sold in Routt County for more than $1 million. Their aggregate value of $106 million was nearly half the total $222.6 million value of residential sales.

The numbers were more robust in 2010. By the end of the third quarter last year, there had been 78 sales of homes valued at more than $1 million for an aggregate value of $137 million.

Coleman Cook had a sale Oct. 28 that closed for significantly less than $1 million, and that was part of the story.

After spending an intense two days of showing property to young bachelor brothers from the Chicago area, he put a three-bedroom condo in The Victoria in downtown Steamboat Springs under contract for $700,000. The original asking price for the 1,917-square-foot condo was $995,000, and the asking price this fall was $839,800.

“This was a case of a referral from our friends T.D. Smith and Chris Sommers at Telluride Real Estate,” Cook said. “After our first communications, they were most interested in a ski-in, ski-out property. We looked at 20 properties the first day, which is beyond my normal

limit, and they quickly realized that within their price range, either the product was dated or was new and not ski-in, ski-out,” Cook said.

He said his clients talked about how much they enjoyed après ski and dining in downtown, and he steered them in that direction. The dark wood interior finishes at The Victoria reminded them of a men’s club, and the presence of a large deck overlooking Lincoln Avenue struck them as ideal for a hot tub, he said.

“They realized if we could get the price down to about $360 a square foot, it was a no-brainer,” Cook said. “They look at it as an investment and will definitely put it on the nightly rental market. They liked the fact that there’s a relatively small supply of condos in the downtown compared to the density of the mountain.”

Cook credits colleague Chris Paoli for setting a new low comparable for a Victoria unit in a sale during the summer. Cook and Paoli’s sales combined with a third that just went under contract last week present the prospect that just two residential condos would remain unsold.

Other notable sales within the past week include:

■ A four-bedroom condo at One Steamboat Place listed by Debbie Edgerton, of Timbers Real Estate Co., and sold by Beverly Glenn, of Lincoln Avenue Realty, for $1.5 million.

■ A 3,023-square-foot house on Tree Haus Drive listed by Chuck Armbruster, of Steamboat Village Brokers, and sold by Michelle Garner, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, for $1.075 million. Notable because it sold for substantially more than the $750,000 it sold for Nov. 1, 2006.

■ A 2,272-square-foot Antlers at Christie Base condo that sold for $1.25 million, the same amount it sold for in 2002.

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

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