Summit Real Estate Pros, County’s Chief Appraiser See No Signs of a Local Market Downturn

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The chief appraiser at the Summit County Assessor’s Office has been keeping an eye out for signs of a slowing local real estate market. And so far, nothing.

Colorado’s real estate market might be cooling down in some places across the state, but based on what Tom Coolidge, president of the Summit Association of Realtors, has noticed, those indicators have not yet materialized in Summit County.

“We’re definitely seeing a slowdown in the Front Range and Denver,” Coolidge said, adding those areas recently hit their highest inventories in the last seven years. However, Summit County’s still “holding its own.”

Like Coolidge the county’s chief appraiser, Jim Roath, has been keeping a lookout for signs of a slump in local real estate, but he hasn’t seen anything to suggest the market’s ready for an adjustment.

“For the most part, things are on the same track as they have been,” Roath said. “I’m looking for any slowdowns that have occurred since June of 2018, and I’m not seeing it. Things are still selling for pretty good prices.”

February’s real estate sales are usually fairly modest compared to the summertime activity. Still, records on file at the assessor’s office show how good the prices are currently.

 February’s Top 5 Housing Sales

Below are the five most-expensive housing sales listed on the monthly sales reports produced by the Summit County Assessor’s Office.

1. $3.99 million, single-family home at 120 Glenwood Circle, Highlands at Breckenridge

2. $3.6 million, single-family home at 445 Long Ridge Drive, Highlands at Breckenridge

3. $2.8 million, single-family home at 173 Glen Eagle Loop, Fairways at Breckenridge, Breckenridge

4. $2.65 million, single-family home at 531 Highlands Drive, Highlands at Breckenridge

5. $2.65 million, single-family home at 103 N. Pine St., Breckenridge


Below are real estate market statistics from Summit County for February and February 2018 that were produced by the Summit Association of Realtors from MLS data.

116: Total real estate sales

104: Total real estate sales (2018)

$88 million: Total volume of sales

$70 million: Total volume of sales (2018)

24: Number of sales at or above $1 million

14: Number of sales at or above $1 million (2018)

In February, the top housing sale of the month was for a five-bedroom, single-family home in Breckenridge’s Highlands with almost 6,000 square feeet and a price tag a hair shy of $4 million. Four other homes in Breckenridge rounded out February’s top five housing sales in the county, but that’s not to say any one of them was the biggest news of the month.

Previously in the headlines, details of the mega-deal weren’t announced when Keystone Resort revealed in early February it was selling the Hunki Dori parking lot to developers who are planning to build a hotel, commercial space and condos on the lot. Records now show the property went for $5 million.

In Frisco, another parking lot slated for development also changed ownership in February, this time to the tune of $3 million.

At Granite Street and Seventh Avenue, the vacant lot just off Summit Boulevard has been used for overflow parking when major events come to Frisco in the past, but it retains its developable density, Roath said, and is scheduled to become part of the Watertower Placeproject.

On the project, the Summit Combined Housing Authority notes there are two phases, the first of which was recently finished. Upon completion of the second, the Watertower Place condos will have a combination of housing units, pedestrian plazas, landscaped berms and gardens.

Commercial space in Breckenridge is notoriously hard to find. However, the vacant and commericially zone lot at 1730 Airport Road between Airport Road Auto Repair and the Family Intercultural Resource Center sold for $1.3 million in February.

Another deal for undeveloped land, now in Dillon, also landed in February’s sales reports at the assessor’s office. The transaction was backdated to late January and actually completes a multi-property sale of four adjoining parcels at Dillon Ridge that’s expected to become a new urgent care and orthopedic surgery center.

With the four plots, the buyer paid $5.8 million combined for the adjoining properties, which occupy vacant land by the corner of Highway 6 and North Dillon Dam Road, where the Skyline Cinema 8 movie theater’s sign sits.

Looking at current real estate activity, Dennis Clauer, owner and broker at Real Estate of the Summit, said that the county continues to see “a nice, healthy housing market,” fueled by gains in the stock market, as well as lowered mortgage interest rates.

Clauer said that corporate relocations from the West Coast to Colorado, and the accompanying high-paying positions that come with them, are also playing a role in Summit’s housing sales, especially with second homes.

“Simply, they want a piece of the Rockies,” he said.

But scarcity remains a decisive factor, too, as Clauer noted the available inventory has dropped from 4,872 listings in August 2010 to 1,718 last month. Like so many other local real estate pros have said previously, housing prices are a reflection of limited supply competing with a growing demand.

This also appears to be true in Summit’s luxury housing market, for which Clauer cited statistics from the first two months of 2011, when 11 homes priced over $1 million sold for an average of $ 1.28 million.

He then compared that to the 43 homes that sold this January and February for an average price of $ 1.8 million, a 41 percent increase in average sale price and a 290 percent spike in the overall number of homes sold over $ 1 million. Typically, a home sold at or over $1 million is considered a luxury home.

Clauer said that Summit County’s close proximity to the Front Range, along with season ski passes and the many hiking, biking, golfing, fishing and other outdoor activities, have put the area in high demand among locals, second-home owners, investors and rental guests, alike.

“As we approach build-out, expect demand to exceed supply of housing opportunities over the next decade and much farther into the future,” he said.