On the Market: University of Colorado students scope out town

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— Forty-two MBA students from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business were in Steamboat Springs on Friday to check out some of Steamboat’s most recent real estate developments and topped their visit off with a panel discussion by four local real state professionals and a lively cocktail hour (or two) at Carl’s Tavern.

Cam Boyd, co-owner of Prudential Steamboat Realty; Paul Brinkman, president and co-founder of Brinkman Partners; Mark Scully, principal at Ski Town Lifestyle Properties; and Jeff Temple, CEO of Due West Land, hosted the group along with Tom Thibodeau, academic director of the CU Real Estate Center.

CU Law School graduate and real estate developer Eli Feldman and MBA student Tyler Field said during the cocktail hour they were impressed with the sustainable aspects of Temple’s Marabou development west of Steamboat.

“It’s a lifestyle. It’s a way of life,” Field said.

He and Feldman recently collaborated on a project that involved retro-fitting an existing apartment complex in Westminster with solar panels.

Feldman said the return on investment comes in multiple forms but notably from substantial grants from Excel Energy and government. Installation of the solar panels immediately increased the value of the asset, Feldman said, and provides a competitive advantage on the leasing front by legitimizing the apartment buildings as a sustainable project.

Feldman, who previously worked as an attorney specializing in water law, is president of a real estate development company called Conscience Bay that is doing infrastructure work on a 600-acre parcel in Strawberry Park preparatory to future development.

The mission statement for Conscience Bay includes the statement: “We equate property ownership with responsibility, and produce profits while practicing good stewardship.”

That’s reassuring if they intend someday to develop in Strawberry Park.

Price drops in mountain homes in Routt County

Sales data released this week by Land Title Guarantee Co. show that the average price per square foot of a single-family home in Routt County declined further in 2011 than in nearby Summit County.

Routt and Summit counties’ real estate markets were comparable at the peak in 2007 with Routt logging

$1.58 billion in sales and Summit, which has multiple ski areas, reaching $1.63 billion.

In 2011, Summit County produced $684.2 million in dollar volume while Routt dropped to $450.6 million

According to Land Title, the average price per square foot of a single-family home in Summit dropped from $269 in 2010 to $252.68 in 2011. Routt County finished 2010 with an average price per square foot of $279, but fell more precipitously in 2011, to $229.35.

The contrast between the two markets was more pronounced in terms of the average price of a single-family home. The number for Routt County in 2010 was $816,893, but the price dropped to $631,224 in 2011.

The average price of a single-family home in Summit County slipped more modestly from $770,797 in 2010 to $734,262 in 2011.

NAR praises President Obama’s housing policy

The National Association of Realtors President Moe Veissi praised President Obama this week for his remarks in support of homeowners and the struggling housing market during his State of the Union address.

“Realtors stand ready to help Congress and the administration implement Obama’s proposal to significantly reduce monthly mortgage payments by streamlining the refinancing process.

“But beyond that, we must make housing a national public policy priority. Realtors believe that more must be done to stem the rising inventory of foreclosed homes and address the lack of available and affordable mortgage financing, which is inhibiting a meaningful housing market recovery,” Veissi said.

He added that keeping people in their homes and reducing foreclosures will help minimize the negative impact of distressed properties on home values.

“While we are beginning to see early signs of stabilization in the housing market, NAR calls on Congress and the Obama administration to come together and make housing a priority issue. In this vein, we urge the White House to host a national housing summit to encourage a broad discussion among stakeholders to help formulate and advance policies that move the country toward a real housing and economic recovery,” Veissi concluded.

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