Steamboat condo market continues to shift

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— The condo market in Steamboat Springs has undergone several shifts since the boom times of 2007.

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In 2007, condo sales outpaced single-family home sales in Steamboat Springs, but since then, more single-family homes have sold each year through 2013.

In 2013, according to Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service data compiled by Realtor Doug Labor, single-family homes sales made up more than 30 percent of the market while condo sales accounted for less than 25 percent.

Labor said that the lag in condo sales following the real estate crash could be attributed to depressed prices attracting new buyers and condo owners looking to move upmarket.

“Move-up buyers have actually done very well in this market,” Labor said about the past few years.

What’s less certain is if single-family homes continue to lead condos in 2014.

“Because of reduced supply, the prices of single-family homes will increase at a faster pace than the condo market,” Labor said.

More interest from second-home owners also could help strengthen the condo market, he said. Overall, the condo market slipped from 2012 to 2013, with slight drops in transactions, dollar volume and average price. Median price was the only metric to improve in 2013.

Condo sales also have seen a shift in the concentration by price range during the past six years.

Not a single condo less than $100,000 was sold from 2006 through 2009, according to MLS data. There were two sub-$100,000 condo sales in 2010, and then the number jumped to more than 20 each in 2011 and 2012. There were 14 such sales in 2013. As of Wednesday afternoon, only seven sub-$100,000 condos were listed on the MLS.

“The sub-$100,000 market is pretty much drying up again,” Labor said.

Where properties less than $100,000 made up more than 10 percent of the condo market in 2012, that segment only accounted for about 5 percent of the condo market in 2013.

This past year saw an increase in condo sales between $200,000 and $300,000, which accounted for almost 35 percent of the condo market.

The $200,000-to-$300,000 price range has been the most popular by sales volume for a number of years, but 2013 reached the highest market share since 2010 while seeing a drop in lower and higher-end sales.

The distressed sales that drove the lower price range are becoming rarer, and the inventory for high-end condos at properties such as One Steamboat Place and Edgemont is being depleted.

The end of the slinky is retreating back in, Labor said, as the $200,000-to-$300,000 price range likely will consolidate market share.

Another possible constraint on the inventory of introductory condos going forward is the number of owners who purchased at the height of the boom and have continued making their payments but might not be able to pay off their outstanding principal and closing costs at current prices even if they were motivated to sell.

“That’s where the zero-down buyers are really going to be hurt,” Labor said. “Those that put 20 to 30 percent down they should be able to come out” even.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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