Garfield County housing market’s as hot as ever |

Garfield County housing market’s as hot as ever

John GardnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Garfield County is still separating itself from weaker housing markets that plague much of the nation. The county’s housing market saw high values and large numbers of transactions for the first part of the year.While much of the nation is currently in a buyer-friendly market, Garfield and surrounding counties are still climbing to the seller’s market peak. And some local real estate agents don’t expect this trend to slow down anytime soon.”It doesn’t look like it,” said Michelle James, co-owner of Vicki Lee Green Realtors in Glenwood Springs. “I would say, at this point, the trend is showing that the market will continue to be strong.”The main reason for the county’s strong seller’s market is the lack of inventory, James said. But the scarce availability hasn’t slowed down the number of transactions.According to a report from Land Title Guarantee in Glenwood Springs, April saw a 47-percent increase in total-dollar volume generated from all property transactions within Garfield County. The volume generated increased from $66.9 million in April 2006 to $98.4 million during April 2007, while transactions jumped from 211 to 244.As impressive as the April numbers are, they were still behind January 2007, which had a 73-percent increase in total dollar volume and a 50-percent increase in number of transactions from the previous year.Last year Garfield County reached $1.04 billion in total revenue in real-estate transactions. The county is on pace to exceed that mark this year, James said. Garfield County had a total dollar volume of $249,377,500 from 721 transactions through April 2006. This year to date the county has seen $337,754,700 in total dollar volume from 856 transactions.But that is a different picture from neighboring counties like Pitkin County, which has seen an increase in dollar volume while recording drastic decreases in number of transactions, which shows just how much the property values have increased over the last year.Land Title reported that Pitkin County’s total dollar volume for January through April has increased by 42 percent from last year, up from $675,777,895 to $959,529,800. But the number of transactions for the same time dropped nearly 29 percent, an increase of nearly $284 million on 187 fewer transactions.James said that it’s hard to estimate how long the market will continue to rise and remain strong. Most sellers, James said, are currently getting close to 100 percent of their asking price, and more in some cases. But she said that it’s not really that unusual for the area.”(Garfield County is) still a very strong seller’s market,” James said.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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