Garfield County real estate activity continues upswing |

Garfield County real estate activity continues upswing

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Real estate activity in Garfield County continued up through August, while the number of residential listings throughout the Roaring Fork Valley region continues to decline, according to a pair of local real estate market reports that are put out monthly.

Garfield County real estate sales totaled nearly $49.4 million on 134 transactions in August, representing a 10 percent increase in dollar volume and a 9 percent increase in transactions compared to August 2012, according to Land Title Guarantee’s monthly market analysis released on Oct. 10.

One of the larger transactions in the county recently was the $3.2 million sale of the former Ironbridge Golf Course and undeveloped portions of the surrounding residential subdivision to Blue Heron Properties.

That sale, which resulted from the bankruptcy of LB Rose Ranch LLC, a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, was recorded on Aug. 30, according to Garfield County real estate records.

The new owners plan to rename the property, located on County Road 109 south of Glenwood Springs, the Blue Heron Club.

Through eight months of the year, there had been 810 total transactions in Garfield County accounting for $251.8 million in sales, an increase of about 5 percent over the same period last year, according to the Land Title report.

The Carbondale area led the county in August transactions with a total of 36 accounting for $19 million, followed by Glenwood Springs with 29 ($13.7 million), Rifle with 27 ($4.2 million), Silt and New Castle with 12 each ($4.7 million and $2.9 million, respectively), Battlement Mesa with 11 ($2.2 million), and Parachute with four ($2.6 million).

Through August, the average single-family home sold in Garfield County went for $308,664, a decrease of 7 percent from full-year 2012 statistics, according to the Land Title report.

Meanwhile, a monthly market overview provided by Joe Carpenter at Stewart Title Co. in Glenwood Springs shows real estate sales in the tri-county area (Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties) from Aspen to Parachute are starting to outpace new listings.

In September, there were 133 residential properties sold compared to 97 new listings, compared to August when there were 137 sales to 169 new listings, according to the Stewart Title report, also released on Oct. 10.

For the year to date through September, there have been 1,446 new residential listings to 1,018 sales in the area. For all of 2012, there were 1,568 listings to just 992 sales.

“The imbalance was most greatly pronounced in the markets of Aspen and Glenwood Springs,” Carpenter wrote in his monthly market overview.

“Total residential inventory declined to 1,314 units compared to 1,456 last year at this time, a drop of almost 10 percent,” he noted.

As a result, “The absorption rate fell to under 10 months for the third time this year … reflecting a continuing trend seen here and elsewhere throughout the country,” Carpenter continued.

The lowest absorption rate in the area is currently in western Garfield County, where there is only a 5.5-month residential supply, according to the Stewart Title report.

“The condition is unlikely to change until home prices rise appreciably,” Carpenter said in the report.

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