Vale Valley Real Estate Market Enters Record New Year

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This Cordillera home is currently listed by Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate. Having set records in 2020, the Valley real estate market will hit a new record in 2021.
Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate / Daily Special

After Eagle County set a new record for real estate sales in 2020, many thought there couldn’t be two record years in a row. It might just happen.

According to the latest figures from the Land Title Guarantee Company, property sales in Eagle County totaled nearly $ 1.8 billion in the first six months of this year. This income was generated through 1,352 transactions.

Both of these figures are far superior to the first six months of 2020, when the local real estate market was virtually closed in the second quarter of the year.



But the current half-year numbers are also well ahead of pre-pandemic 2019, when the market ended the year with more than $ 2.2 billion in value.

What’s the matter?

This happens during a period of low stocks and rising prices. What is behind the continued growth in sales?



Steffen Meert, head of the Vail Valley Keller Williams Mountain Properties group, said the answer starts with one fact: “People are full of cash,” Meert said. “Probably a third of the offers we get is all cash.”

Eagle County President Matt Fitzgerald, President of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, said part of the ongoing activity is that buyers are ready to act when a suitable home is available.

“Our brokers have trained their clients to meet with creditors in advance (if necessary),” Fitzgerald said.

In the upper strata of the market, buyers often do not need a mortgage and are willing to buy a suitable home.

Fitzgerald said his company data showed strong market activity in July. This year, there were 40 sales worth $ 5 million, which is in line with the full year from 2019.

Barbara Scrivens, broker for LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, said Eagle County remains a desirable place to live.

“People found they could work remotely,” said Scrivens. Those who have the opportunity to live either in the metropolis, or in Vail, or both, do just that.

“People are realizing that they can be just as productive and have two homes,” said Scrivens.

Sales to out-of-state buyers account for 32% of all transactions this year. Sales to local residents, who have long held more than half of the market, fell to 46% of all transactions.

Buying many lots

Vacant land sales are also growing.

In the first half of this year, 184 vacant land plots were sold. These sales represent more than $ 71 million of the county’s dollar volume.

Fitzgerald said he has seen a large number of deals to build sites in the Upper Valley. Sales are high in the Cordillera and at Red Sky Ranch south of Walcott. These areas have been selling slowly, but this has changed over the past year.

Fitzgerald said that in the current market, buying a plot and building a home makes more sense than in the past few years.

Menert noted that in the Cordilleras, where there were many plots a year ago, only a few plots remain.

Meert added that package sales are even starting to pick up in the long-endangered Brightwater area south of Gypsum. Some of the lots there, which were valued at $ 50,000 or less just a year ago, are now worth $ 100,000 or more, he said.

Scrivens currently represents sellers in two lots: one in the Cordilleras and the last building plot in Pilgrim Downs, near Lake Creek Road.

Scrivens said she has interest from both potential homeowners and developers in the Cordillera site.

“It’s great to see the developers back in the game,” said Scrivens. The $ 2.5 million Pilgrim Downs site will almost certainly be sold to whoever builds a house there.

Fitzgerald noted that for a number of years, buying a site and building on it made no sense compared to buying an existing site. Given the current market, even with high construction costs and long wait times, this move makes more sense.

“You have higher prices and people can’t find (homes) in the Cordillera and Red Sky,” Fitzgerald said. “And it’s beautiful there.”

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