Housing still trending upward | PostIndependent.com

Housing still trending upward

JOHN GARDNERGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

While the housing market in much of the nation is stabilizing after record numbers of foreclosures and re-organized lending practices have home buyers thinking long and hard about signing on the dotted line, people are still buying real estate in the Grand Valley like it’s going out of style.”June was still a really strong month,” said Liz Lippitt director of marketing for Land Title Guarantee in Glenwood Springs. “I think people were surprised. Because of changes in the mortgage world they thought things would slow down, but it really hasn’t.”In the fist half of 2007, Garfield County has seen an increase in transactions and total dollar volume every month over the same times in 2006. January had the greatest gain with a 50 percent increase in total transactions over January of 2006. June actually showed the least increase in transactions, with a single transaction more than June of last year.That didn’t seem to worry T.J. Guccini, owner and broker of Rocky Mountain Realtors in New Castle.”It’s been business as usual,” Guccini said. “I don’t think our valley has shown what the rest of the nation is doing.”Guccini guessed that June was a slower month than usual, but said that the reason for the slowdown in transactions was an increase in available properties in the valley at that time.”That will tend to slow things down a little,” he said. “But it will pick up again. I don’t see any signs that it will slow down like the rest of the nation.”Guccini said that early summer had a lower number of houses on the market, and with less availability, things were selling more quickly.”It’s just supply and demand,” Guccini said.March only showed a 4.41 percent increase in the number of transactions countywide. But April and May both rebounded, showing nearly 16 and 20 percent increases respectively over 2006. Both months recorded huge increases in total dollar volume with April rising 47 percent over the same time last year at $98,420,300, while May witnessed a 26 percent increase from $96 million to just shy of $122 million.Even with June only recording one transaction over the same period last year, there were still 268 total property transfers this year countywide. That was only a .37 percent increase, but the total dollar volume on that number of transactions increased by 19 percent, totaling more than $106 million.Lippitt estimated the county may witness a slower July this year than last, but couldn’t say for sure because the final numbers haven’t been calculated yet.However, if the trends continue the way they have, July could be as hot as ever.July was the third strongest month in 2006, behind August and September, with 282 transactions countywide, up from 238 in 2005. July’s total dollar volume reached the $100 million mark in 2006.Overall, the county has seen a 15 percent increase in total property transfers to date over 2006 and a 30 percent increase in total dollar volume. That’s an increase of more than $130 million to date.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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