Garfield County real estate activity up through mid-year |

Garfield County real estate activity up through mid-year

John Stroud
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Although June numbers were down, real estate sales in Garfield County were up overall through the first six months of 2013 compared to last year.

According to a monthly market analysis prepared by Land Title Guarantee Co. of Glenwood Springs, through June there were a total of 571 real estate transactions in Garfield County, which stretches from Carbondale to Parachute.

That represented a 3 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the report.

Sales dollars through mid-year totaled nearly $163 million, for an increase of 2 percent over the first six months of 2012.

Transactions for the month of June alone were down 3 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the market report, while sales dollars were down 19 percent, at $26.9 million for the month.

The year-to-date numbers still pale in comparison to the height of Garfield County’s real estate market in 2007, when the county recorded 1,437 transactions through six months totaling $565.7 million.

Compared to the low numbers of 2008 through 2011 when the market plummeted, though, the trend over the past two years has been positive, said Bob Rulon, vice president for Land Title’s Roaring Fork Valley operations.

“The information we’ve gotten so far this year is very encouraging for our area,” he said. That’s especially true for Garfield County, he said.

“Relative to other Western Slope counties and resort communities, we are also seeing a stronger presence of local buyers than other areas,” Rulon said.

Through June, 82 percent of buyers in Garfield County were local, while 5 percent were from the Front Range of Colorado and 13 percent were from out of state, according to the mid-year report.

By comparison, in neighboring Pitkin County through mid-year, just 36 percent of buyers were local, while 54 percent were from out of state, 8 percent were international and 2 percent were from the Front Range.

Garfield County bank sales, involving properties that have gone into foreclosure, are also leveling off. The county had just 15 bank sales in June, down from 21 in May. Year-to-date, the county has seen 120 bank sales, which is down from nearly 200 at the mid-year point of 2012.

Glenwood Springs led the county in transactions for June, with a total of 27 (accounting for $7.9 million), followed by Carbondale with 23 ($8.3 million), Rifle, 17 ($3.9 million), New Castle, 14 ($3.1 million), Silt, nine ($1.8 million), Battlement Mesa, six ($1.6 million), Parachute, three ($183,100), and rural Garfield County, one ($20,000). The remaining three transactions were quit claim transfers with doc fees.

Through June, the average single family home sold for $293,743, which was a decrease of 12 percent from the 2012 average, according to Land Title’s mid-year market report.

However, the average price for a multi-family house sold this year has been up 30 percent, and vacant land prices are up 28 percent so far over last year, the report indicated.

Meanwhile, Pitkin County real estate activity was down 10 percent through June in terms of transactions, while sales dollars were off 12 percent, compared to the same six-month period in 2012. Pitkin County had 369 transactions through June, totaling nearly $521 million in sales.

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