Garfield County real estate tight through 2017 |

Garfield County real estate tight through 2017

Garfield County’s real estate market was less affordable for buyers, with a small-but-stable inventory of homes available for sale in 2017. On the other hand, sellers benefited from higher sales prices and less time on the market.

That’s according to year-end market statistics for Garfield County compiled by the Colorado Association of Realtors and distributed locally by the Glenwood Springs Association of Realtors earlier this month.

According to the statistical report, new listings were up 1.5 percent for single-family homes, at 1,116 properties, and the median sales price was up 7.3 percent at $408,875 countywide.

However, the number of new listings for smaller townhouses and condominiums was down 7.2 percent on the year at just 346, and the median sales price was up 10.6 percent over 2016 prices for those types of units at $271,500.

As is typical for Garfield County, the less-expensive houses were found on the western end of the county in New Castle, Silt, Rifle and Parachute. Carbondale and Glenwood Springs continue to be the most expensive markets in which to buy a home, confirms the combined December 2017 report and year-end summary.

Still, it’s not quite a seller’s market in the sense that properties are moving immediately for whatever the asking price, or more as has been the case in past boom years, said Shannon Kyle, current board chair for the local Realtors’ association.

“It’s not a frenzy,” Kyle said. “We’ve had those before, but we’re not there.”

Also, while interest rates on home loans are starting to increase, they’re still below 5 percent for the time being, she said.

That certainly wasn’t the case during the real estate boom of the mid- to late-2000s before the recession hit.

Because of the ongoing lack of inventory, what is being listed is going under contract quickly, Kyle noted, “if it’s priced right.”

The average number of days on the market for single-family homes fell from 94 in 2016 to 87 last year. Townhouses and condos were on the market for about the same amount of time last year as in 2016, according to the report.

Months of supply is one indicator of the balance between buyers and sellers in the real estate market. It predicts the number of months it would hypothetically take to sell through all of the available homes that are listed, given current sales volumes.

And, according to the latest report for Garfield County, that number has been going down over the past two years.

For single-family homes, the supply has gone from six months of at the end of 2015 to just 3.8 months of supply at the end of last year.

The townhouse and condo market has gotten even tighter, at 2.6 months as of December 2017, compared to over four months at the end of both 2015 and 2016.

“A balanced market ranges from four to seven months of supply,” according to the monthly report. “A buyer’s market has a higher number, reflecting fewer buyers relative to homes for sale. A seller’s market has a lower number, reflecting more buyers relative to homes for sale.”

Kyle noted that properties are moving faster in Silt and Rifle compared to Glenwood Springs and New Castle, which is driven by the lower price points.

Last year, 261 single-family homes were sold in Glenwood and New Castle for an average price of $494,000 and were on the market for an average of 121 days.

In Silt and Rifle, 263 single-family homes sold for an average price of $310,000 and were on the market for an average of 99 days.

In Glenwood Springs alone, there were 228 new listings of single-family homes, down 5 percent from 2016. The median sales price was $507,000, up 5.6 percent from $479,950 the prior year.

For Glenwood townhouses and condominiums, the number of new listings actually increased, from 71 to 88, and the median sales price increased from $279,000 to $299,000.

There’s a 3.2-month supply of single-family homes for sale in Glenwood, and just a 1.9-month supply of townhouses and condos, according to the report.

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