With fewer properties on the market, housing prices remain high
Unlike other markets that have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic, Grand County’s realtors report an active housing and real estate market this summer.
Whether in Kremmling, Granby or Winter Park, the local market is seeing huge demand from buyers looking for both vacation and primary properties. Carrie George, realtor for Keller Williams Realty, said this year she’s had the busiest summer in her 16 years selling property.
Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, George suggested that low interest rates and changing work environments are enough to keep demand high.
“Buyers are driven by the desire to get out of the urban areas, so we are seeing a lot of that happening,” George said. “So many people worked from home this spring … and I think a lot of buyers felt that if they’re going to work from home then maybe they want to live someplace else.”
Earlier in the year, George noted that the pandemic hadn’t flipped the market in buyers’ favor, but that wasn’t stopping the demand. It seems that trend has remained steady throughout the summer.
Nicola Dixon, realtor for Keller Williams Advantage Realty, said Granby and Grand Lake are also seeing a fair amount of buyers. Another thing Dixon has noticed so far this summer is an uptick in land sales.
According to data from the Grand County Board of Realtors, July saw an 80% jump in pending sales on single family houses and an increase in sold listings compared to last year. Both condos and single family homes are selling quicker in July this year compared to last.
“The minute we opened up, it just ran,” Dixon said of the demand following the Safer at Home phase of the pandemic response. “After the COVID (shutdown), suddenly people were calling for land.”
One possible reason for more land sales is the lack of inventory in the county. Both Dixon and George report not seeing enough new listings to meet the buyers’ demand.
In July, GCBOR reported a 35% decrease in all active listings as compared to the year before.
With the low level of listings, prices remain high and continue to increase.
“We’re seeing a severe lack of inventory,” George said. “We’re starting to see our locals get priced out of these homes.”
Dixon noted that high building costs also contribute to a market of costly homes. July’s average home sold for $717,812, while the average sales price on a condo was $413,834.
In line with rising prices, the county has seen more than double the number of properties over $1 million sold so far this year. In 2019, 15 properties in the $1 million to $2 million range had sold by July. So far this year, 32 properties ranging from $1 million to almost $10 million have sold.
“We don’t have the supply and demand is going up so prices are following,” Dixon said. “We’re struggling to have people building normal priced homes because we’ve got a lot of wealthy people coming in who can afford the $1 million and up homes.”
George predicts this market will continue for a little bit before slowing in the winter, when people are less interested in making big moves.
“As the weather starts to cool and buyers didn’t find what they were looking for over the summer, their level of motivation has maybe even increased,” she explained.
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When the Braidwood Condominiums in Winter Park were built in the 1980s, the building lacked hallways wide enough for wheelchairs, walls between units were slim and the fire suppression system couldn’t compare to modern requirements.