Steamboat real estate inventory dwindles in niche markets

Posted by Colorado Group Realty on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 at 9:41am.

Last week Steamboat Today reporter Tom Ross talked to Colorado Group Realty Broker Dean Laird about the inventory in our local real estate market.  Here

Within specific price points and product categories, there are signs the Routt County real estate market is turning.  The change is particularly evident in the city of Steamboat Springs. 

Analysis done by Realtor Dean Laird, of Colorado Group Realty, reveals that inventory is scarce in three diverse categories, and the cost of entry into the market is up.

Laird said he easily could go out and find market niches where there is an oversupply of homes, but his current analysis is based on experience showing property to clients and being a little surprised himself. 

"I've had people come in from out of town, particularly looking for low-priced condos, assuming we were still a distressed market and find out that in their particular search they had missed the bottom of the market," Laird said.  "But they're still close.  If you miss it by 10 percent, it isn't bad." 

Those three products include two-bedroom condos at the ski mountain priced for less than $200,000, single-family homes with three or more bedrooms priced for less than $500,000 from the mountain area to downtown and condos at the ski area with three or more bedrooms priced for less than $1 million and built after 2004. 

In the single-family home category described by Laird, there have been 100 sales in the past 12 months.  However, the number of active listings is just 15, a sign that unless new properties come on the market fitting that set of criteria, the market is likely to absorb the inventory. 

The lowest asking price for a home with three or more bedrooms for less than $500,000 in July 2011 was $250,000.  A year later, that number was $299,000.

Laird said understanding the single-family home market in these terms is complicated by big variations in quality, lot of sizes and other attributes of a home.   

The last statistic doesn't necessarily indicate that prices are on the rise, but the floor is higher than it was 12 months ago. 

It's a similar story in the category of entry-level, two-bedroom condos at the mountain, where there are 11 units currently listed after there were 91 sales in that category in the past 12 months.  

A year ago, it was possible to consider one of those condos at $85,000.  The lowest price today is $134,900.  That's an increase of 85 percent.   

The pattern repeats for buyers looking for newer, larger condos at the mountain.  The lowest asking price today for a three-bedroom vacation condo is $345,000, compared to $263,900 a year ago.  That's up by 31 percent.   

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