21 of 52 sales in March were bank-owned homes

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— Stan Urban, of Land Title Guarantee Co., reported this week that 52 homes were sold in Routt County in March, a month that he said showed signs of continuing stability.

“We had 99 transactions in March for a total of $38 million in sales,” Urban wrote in an email. “Volume is up over last year while the number of transactions are still off — culminating in quite a bit of green, which is starting to translate into signs of pricing stability.”

The highest price paid for a home here in March was the

$4 million spent for a six-bedroom home on more than 35 acres in Strawberry Park just outside the city’s northern limits.

The highest price paid per square foot was $834 for a 3,625-square-foot condominium in One Steamboat Place. The purchase price was $2.7 million.

There were three other sales of million-dollar homes in March, the five buyers of which came from Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, Houston and Batavia, Ill.

Still, of the 52 homes that sold, 21 were bank owned, and 14 of the 21 were owned by either of two federally sponsored mortgage backers, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The 21 bank-owned homes that sold had a combined value of $4.1 million with the most expensive selling for $900,000 and the least expensive, a home in Oak Creek, selling for $35,400.

Coincidentally, the number of new foreclosure filings that have entered the process in April is 21. Not all of those homes will be sold back to the banks that hold the notes on them.

Urban told a local audience during a Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association economic forum at Steamboat Smokehouse last week that financing remains an impediment for people trying to buy property here, especially if a potential buyer’s income does not come from employment.

However, financing was not necessarily a problem for more than half of the people who bought property in Routt County through the first three quarters of 2011, Urban said. Nearly half of those transactions closed on a cash basis.

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

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