Gypsum is Vail Valley’s current real estate hot spot; inventory still low
By the numbers
• 200 percent: Increase in sales of $10 million or more in the Vail Valley.
• 96.2 percent: Percentage of asking price in closed transactions so far in 2017 for all residential types.
• 156: Valleywide average days on market for all residential types in 2017.
• 5: Average days on market for Gypsum townhomes and condos.
Source: Vail Board of Realtors
The Eagle County real estate market is officially hot. Homes are moving quickly — depending on the price range and location — prices are rising and inventory is low.
The hottest part of the market right now is in Gypsum. Vail Board of Realtors Executive Director Mark Bergman said average days on market — the time from listing to sale — for single-family and duplex units is 67 days. That’s well less than half of the Vail Valley average of 154 days for those units.
For condos and townhomes in Gypsum, it now takes about five days for a unit to go from listing to sale.
“There’s such low inventory, and price points have gone up so much … people want to get in now, before prices go up,” Slifer Smith & Frampton Managing Broker John Pfeiffer said. In addition, Pfeiffer said, the local job market is strong enough that people are starting to get back into real estate.
While the market isn’t as fast-acting in its upper reaches, there’s plenty of action in that segment.
According to the most recent statistics from the Vail Board of Realtors, the number of single-family and duplex sales of $5 million or more has gone from 18 through the first five months of 2016 to 32 for the same period this year.
Again, inventory is tight.
Searching for sellers
Longtime area broker Tye Stockton, of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty’s Vail office, said he and his team are actively searching out people who want to sell their homes.
“We haven’t had to do that in I don’t know how many years,” Stockton said, adding that his personal inventory of listings is at its lowest point in eight years.
Pfeiffer said his brokers are also working to track down potential sellers.
While the high-end market is as active as it’s been in some time, buyers ready to spend millions for resort real estate tend to be willing to wait for what they want, Stockton said.
Buyers “want something new, with a more modern aesthetic,” Stockton said. “That’s priority one, even over the neighborhood. People want new, attractive and turn-key at all price points. … If their top two or three factors aren’t met, they’ll just wait.”
Still, inventory is low enough right now that some buyers tire of waiting. Stockton talked about one client who recently traded up from a condo to a duplex. That client and Stockton were able to find one unit that mostly fit his needs.
“He finally said to me, ‘Unless there’s something I’m not seeing, let’s buy this one,’ ” Stockton said.
Spreading out the sales
While interest from foreign-based buyers has waned, Stockton said other U.S.-based buyers are stepping in. And, he added, the lack of slopeside inventory in Vail is pushing potential buyers to other areas. One of Stockton’s listings is in Spraddle Creek in Vail on the north side of Interstate 70.
“I’ve had more showings there [recently] than I had over the whole winter,” he said. Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch, areas where the high-end market has shown some weakness in recent years, have also benefited from a relative dearth of listings in Vail.
Bergman said one of the factors fueling the strength in the market’s upper reaches is the consumer confidence that comes with seeing similar sales.
“A few sales create a feeling of security,” Bergman said. “That builds momentum among high-end buyers that this is a place to look [for property].”
Out of the resort areas, Bergman said some of the strongest growth in the market is coming in the range between $600,000 and $2.5 million.
While inventory is low across the board, there’s only some new construction coming into the market.
Bergman said new construction is an important part of the inventory picture, but only a part. Other elements in the market are people moving up and downsizing. But, he added, options are limited for those who are trying to move to smaller homes.
Unforeseen events outside the valley could throw the market into a tailspin. For now, though, Stockton and others are looking to the near future with “tempered optimism.”
Pfeiffer said his firm is looking forward to a “strong summer,” adding, “it’s a great time to list a property.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org or @scottnmiller.