It’s a seller’s market, but one of the most unpredictable
August 11, 2017
Buying a home in Grand County comes with its own unique challenges but not surprisingly many of those issues mirror those renters encounter, albeit on a larger scale.
The housing issues facing Grand County are the worst ever seen, according to Lance Gutersohn, broker and owner of RE/MAX Peak to Peak in Winter Park. Gutersohn is one of the county's busiest realtors and has worked in southeastern Grand County for decades.
"This is the most unpredictable market I have ever seen," Gutersohn explained. "Prices are really starting to move and inventory is short. Sellers are starting to get a seller's attitude and I don't see any solution for it any time soon."
Gutersohn explained the issue in terms of housing stock and expressed his belief that the county needs more housing developed to accommodate the needs of both local workers and folks looking to purchase residences in the valley.
"Until we see some new product that softens the market we will continue to see a very tight market," Gutersohn said. "Prices are escalating."
Kristie DeLay, broker and owner of the new NextHome Choice realty office in Granby echoed Gutersohn's sentiments.
"I would say lack of inventory is the biggest obstacle," DeLay said. "Specifically for the Granby area, a lack of inventory under $300,000 is problematic."
DeLay added she often encounters prospective buyers with credit related issues that can hinder their ability to obtain home loans. She explained many homes in the Granby area are manufactured homes, which do not typically qualify for low or no money down home loan programs. As such, many entry-level home buyers have no options within their price range.
DeLay's realty business focuses on the Granby and Grand Lake areas, which are distinctly different markets than the Fraser Valley, largely due to the individuals looking to buy in the two respective areas. Still, Gutersohn and DeLay both noted the same systemic challenges facing both regions, specifically lack of inventory.
For the Winter Park and Fraser areas, Gutersohn noted more million-dollar properties have sold in the last six months than he has seen sold over the last three to five years combined.
"I would say most of the marketplace, except properties over $1 million, are back close to, or even exceeding, our highs from 2007 and 2008." Gutersohn said. "Buyers are looking at anything they can get their hands on."
According to Gutersohn, the basement price range for housing in the Winter Park and Fraser areas is about $400,000.
"There is hardly anything, be it a condo, home or town home, under $400,000," he said.
For the Granby area, the basement price is around $210,000, and almost all in that range are manufactured homes.
"We are definitely [seeing folks priced out]," DeLay said. "Granby is one of the more affordable areas and for sure some folks are getting priced out."
Both Gutersohn and DeLay said the majority of homebuyers they encounter are looking to relocate to Grand County and not relocate within Grand County.
"We have more people moving out of the city and the Front Range than I have seen or can remember in my career of thirty some odd years," Gutersohn said.
Both realtors said most of the homebuyers they encounter are looking to move to Grand County full-time though both work with investor buyers looking to establish short-term rental properties, in the Winter Park and Fraser area, and long-term rentals, in the Granby area.