Real estate market gets off to a slower start than usual in 2014

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— Routt County real estate sales got off to a sluggish start in January and a partial report on February dollar volume suggests the early slump is continuing. Most of the decline appears to be attributable to fewer sales of single-family homes and townhomes.

Melissa Gibson, of Land Title Guarantee Company, reported Friday that gross dollar volume in January was down 40.58 percent to $20.47 million. January 2013 saw $34.45 million in gross volume, and that number was down 19 percent over the $42.6 million that sold in January 2012.

January 2014 transaction volume (the number of sales) was off 31.68 percent, Gibson reported.

January and February are typically the slowest months of the year in terms of real estate sales, but one has to look back through the Land Title spreadsheet to February and March 2009 to find monthly dollar volumes lower than the numbers for January 2014.

Yet, there are also reasons for optimism in the market.

Peter and Kim Kreissig, of K&K Builders, just reported the sale of a Rocky Peak Village townhome for $495,000 and two more units are under construction. And a new $1 million single-family spec home is reported to be under contract in the Graystone on the Green subdivision near Rollingstone Golf Course.

Doug Labor, of Buyer’s Resource Real Estate, looked at both January and February to date and observed that those two months in 2013 produced 36 single-family home sales compared to 24 as of Feb. 27 this year. It’s important to note that Labor only searches transactions through the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service while Gibson includes all transactions including those that did not involve a Realtor.

When Labor looked at sales of townhomes through the MLS, he noted that the first two months of 2013 saw 15 sales, but in 2014, just six have closed over the same two months.

The first two months of 2013 and 2014 produced identical numbers of condominium sales: 32.

Gibson’s research showed that even as the median value of multi-family homes sold in January dropped 41 percent compared to the same month in 2013, the median price of single-family homes rose 15 percent and vacant land values climbed 95 percent. With such a small sample of January transactions, however, those numbers may not represent a trend, Labor said.

Gibson reported that 24 residential properties priced at $500,000 that sold in January combined for $5.23 million in valuation, with a dozen homes priced below $200,000 accounting for $1.57 million of that total.

At the other end of the price spectrum, four residential properties priced between $900,000 and $2 million accounted for $4.8 million in volume.

In all of 2013, 722 residential properties sold in Routt County compared to 686 in all of 2012.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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