County funds $110,400 land values study |

County funds $110,400 land values study

A study funded by the Garfield County Commissioners will take a close look at what influences land values here. On Monday, the commissioners awarded the project to BBC Research and Consulting, of Denver. The $110,400 project will examine the factors that influence land values, among them the relatively recent upsurge in gas exploration and development in the county.

The Garfield County Land Issues and Solutions study will rank the economic factors that influence residential land values and which factors impact the ability of landowners to finance their property.

Also participating in the study will be the county Energy Advisory Board’s Land Issues and Solutions Committee, made up of representatives of energy, real estate, mortgage lending, other commercial and industry companies as well as landowners and citizens.

BBC, an economic and marketing research company, conducted a similar study in La Plata County in 2001. That study looked at land values in relation to coal bed methane development. It will draw on that data for the Garfield County study, the company said in its bid for the contract.

Among the factors it will consider could include “national demographic trends that drive retirement markets, or regional factors, such as Pitkin County regulatory policies which shape Garfield’s housing demands,” BBC said in its bid.

BBC said it will also interview locals who are knowledgeable about county real estate markets, including realtors, local developers and the county assessor.

It will also draw comparisons with places in the region where similar factors influence land values. In La Plata County research, BBC compiled data on approximately 800 property sales over 10 years.

Among the top influential factors influencing property values were a given property’s proximity to natural gas wells.

The company said it will also draw from a similar study now going on in Sweetwater County, Wyo., which is also seeing burgeoning natural gas development.

BBC will hold a series of public meetings, to be scheduled, to keep the community apprised of progress in the study.

Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510

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