Garfield County real estate market slows in the first half of 08
GARFIELD COUNTY Despite a significant downturn, Cheryl Chandler says the countys housing market is not as bad of a scene as the numbers might portray.Its already done adjusting, said Chandler, the owner of Cheryl & Co. in Rifle. The housing market needed adjusting because the prices had escalated so fast over the past few years. Weve seen those adjust to where they should have been.But the current prices still remain relatively high.According to Land Title Guarantee Co.s monthly market analysis, home prices remain high on the eastern side of Garfield County. Carbondale and Glenwood both recorded median single-family home prices of $630,000 and $465,000, respectively. While the western side of the county, including Silt, Rifle and Parachute, recorded median single-family home prices of $323,000, $299,950, and $250,000, respectively.Silt, Rifle and Parachute recorded significantly fewer transactions than Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. Collectively, Carbondale and Glenwood accounted for 394 (43 percent) of the countys total 917 transactions for the first half of 2008. Silt, Rifle and Parachute accounted for 316 (34 percent) of the total. Including Battlement Mesa, which had 46 transactions through June 30, only increases the percentage to 39 of the countys total transactions.Nestled in the center of the county, New Castles numbers fall right in the middle as well, with the booming municipality recording 16 percent (145 transactions) of the countys total transactions through June.Countywide, real estate sales have tanked the first half of the year, according to the market analysis. However, according to Chandler, the market is right where it should be for this time of the year.We are right where we should be, Chandler said. June is always the slowest month.But June wasnt the only slow month this year. Each month except for one recorded huge declines in transactions and total dollar volume. For total dollar volume, February was up with the $35 million sale of the Bryces Valley Ranch in Rifle.In terms of transactions, Garfield County was down 36 percent from the same period in 2007. Total dollar volume has seen a 22 percent decrease. Chandler agreed that the 2008 numbers reflect a more moderate market similar to that of 2004.The past few years were wonderful, Chandler said. As soon as you put a sign out, the house would sell.Chandler attributes an increase in inventory and stricter lending practices for the countys current tight market. But she believes the year will end strong.Weve already started to see things pick up in July, Chandler said. We carry quite a few listings in the office and are seeing more go under contract now. It will continue through October, which tends to be our biggest month of the year. We will have to work like crazy the rest of the summer.Contact John Gardner: firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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