Real estate sales in Garfield County closed out 2013 nearly 2 percent over the previous year, thanks in part to strong sales activity in December.
According to the final year-end numbers compiled from county records by Land Title Guarantee Co. of Glenwood Springs, there were 1,230 real estate transactions recorded in the county during 2013.
That yielded just over $383 million in total sales for the year, representing a 1.8 percent increase in dollar volume for 2013 and a 1.4 percent increase in total transactions compared to 2012, according to Land Title’s monthly report.
Bolstering the numbers were December sales which, at nearly $36.5 million, came in 29.5 percent above the same month the previous year.
Total real estate transactions for the month stretching from the Carbondale area to Parachute/Battlement Mesa, at 120, were 18 percent ahead of December 2012, according to the report.
“We have worked through most of the bank sales and foreclosed products now, so I think we will begin to see some market recovery and prices start to increase this year,” said J.B. Van Teylingen of Bray & Co. Real Estate in Rifle, who is the current board chairman for the Glenwood Springs Association of Realtors.
During 2013, there were 221 bank sales in Garfield County, totaling $46.5 million, accounting for 18 percent of the transactions and 12 percent of the dollar volume, according to Land Title’s report.
As the inventory of foreclosed properties diminishes, however, “that could conceptually make for a slower spring,” Van Teylingen said.
“But, overall, I think we will see things start to move forward and back into the black this year,” he said.
For the year in 2013, the average single-family home sold in Garfield County went for $317,879, a decrease of 4.5 percent from 2012.
The median single-family home price was $255,250, representing an increase of 13.4 percent compared to 2012.
For December alone, Glenwood Springs led the county with 28 transactions totaling $16.5 million, followed by Carbondale with 24 ($8 million), New Castle with 24 ($3.8 million), Silt with nine ($1.7 million), and Battlement Mesa with eight ($1 million).
Eighty-two percent of buyers in December were local, while 10 percent were from out of state and 8 percent were from Colorado’s Front Range.
Van Teylingen said the west end of Garfield County still lags behind the Glenwood Springs and Carbondale areas.
“We did see tremendous growth on this end of the county from people moving downvalley, before the gas boom and before the market downturn,” he said. “We could start to see some of that flow of people back down this way again this spring.”