Steamboat bucks vacation home trends |

Steamboat bucks vacation home trends

Research shows condominiums make up larger part of market here than nationally

Condominium transaction volume has hung onto 25 percent of the local market for the past five years, and that trend continues in 2010 despite slow sales, particularly between $500,000 and $700,000.

— When it comes to vacation home sales in Steamboat Springs, condos are at the crux of the matter as the local market moves through the second quarter.

The National Association of Realtors released a national survey of vacation property sales in March reporting that detached single-family homes represent 71 percent of vacation property sales, with condos in buildings with five or more units accounting for just 11 percent of the sales. In Steamboat, Realtor Doug Labor, of Buyer's Resource Real Estate, said overall, single-family homes and condos have been on equal footing for five years, with 25 percent of transaction volume each.

However, during the first quarter of the year, condo sales were slowed by the double whammy of a recessionary economy and the unwillingness of mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy mortgages for resort condominiums.

The first quarter is always the slowest of the year, Labor said, but of 433 condos listed for sale on the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service, just 37 have sold to date.

"It's a shame to think of all the transactions that have been lost in our market because of the difficulty of financing," Labor said.

His colleague Ulrich Salzge­ber said he has several clients who want to buy condos in the $300,000 to $500,000 range but can't obtain financing.

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"They're well qualified and are able to put 25 to 30 percent down, but they can't get financed," Salzgeber said. "There's a lot of inventory in that price range."

The hot price point in Steamboat condos this year is the same $200,000 to $300,000 range that has dominated transaction volume for the past five years. Condo sales in that range have accounted for 40 percent of the deals year to date, compared with about 33 percent in five years, Labor said.

If there's a Bermuda Triangle of Steamboat condo sales right now, it's in the range between $500,000 and $700,000. Labor's research shows there have been almost no sales in that range. Mid-range transactions this year include one condo at The Ranch for $460,000, another at Trailhead Lodge for $595,000 and a third at Trappeur's Cros­sing for $775,000.

Entry-level condos are selling for substantially less — as much as 38 to 43 percent less — on a per-square-foot basis than they did in the past four years. That trend flattens abruptly above $500,000, where high-end sales contracted before the bubble burst have helped stabilize the average per-square-foot prices.

Steamboat condo prices per square foot

Dollar range — 4-year average — 2010 year to date — Change in buying power

$100,000 to $200,000 — $301 — $219 — 137 percent

$200,001 to $300,000 — $291 — $244 — 119 percent

$300,001 to $400,000 — $328 — $264 — 124 percent

$400,001 to $500,000 — $403 — $282 — 143 percent

$500,001 to $600,000 — $472 — $835 — 57 percent

$600,001 to $700,000 — $553 — NA — 0 percent

$700,001 to $800,000 — $497 — $501 — 99 percent

$800,001 to $900,000 — $580 — $562 — 103 percent

$900,001 to $1 million — $600 — $671 — 89 percent

$1 million-plus — $693 — $692 — 100 percent

Source: Doug Labor, Buyer’s Resource Real Estate

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