Small home prices get bigger in Rifle, Silt |

Small home prices get bigger in Rifle, Silt

Lynn BurtonPost Independent Staff

Selling prices for small homes dropped in the Carbondale area and climbed in the Rifle and Silt areas, according to the Glenwood Springs Board of Realtors report for the first half of 2003.In Glenwood Springs, prices fell for high-end homes.Garry Buzick, at Buzick and Associates in Glenwood Springs, said sales for the first half of 2003 are “pretty minimal” in the $350,000 to $500,000 range.At the other end of the scale, the average price for a two-bedroom home in the Carbondale area dropped from $271,000 in the first half of 2002 to $207,000 in the first half of 2003, according to the Board of Realtors.Conversely, the average price for a two-bedroom home in the Rifle and Silt area increased from $125,000 for the first half of 2002 to $173,000 for the first half of 2003.”We are up in listings and sales,” said Danette Dickey, a broker associate at Starr Western Real Estate in Silt. “Lenders are swamped, and our office is going non-stop.”Other statistical highlights from the Glenwood Springs Board of Realtors’ year-to-date sales report include:-New Castle – selling prices for three-bedroom homes dropped on average from $263,000 last year to $232,000 through June of this year;-Glenwood – two-bedroom homes increased from $190,000 to $197,000;-Carbondale – three-bedroom homes increased from $372,000 to $416,000;-Battlement Mesa – two-bedroom homes increased from $157,000 to $161,000.”We expect to see it getting even better in the next six months,” Dickey said of rising home sales prices.Dickey said she expects the opening of Rifle’s Wal-Mart store in October will boost sales from Battlement Mesa to Silt.”Several subdivisions in Rifle are already selling faster than contractors can build them,” Dickey said.The best-selling homes in Silt and Rifle are priced under $200,000.Many of those sales are coming from former Glenwood Springs and Carbondale residents, some of whom are selling homes to move farther downvalley where housing is cheaper.”It’s a chain reaction,” Dickey said.Land is more plentiful and cheaper from Silt to Battlement Mesa than it is in the Glenwood Springs and Carbondale areas, which helps keep housing prices down, Dickey said.Dickey said she is also getting a lot of phone calls from investors looking for rental properties. “Those investors are local people,” she said.In Glenwood Springs, Buzick said there is still strong demand for housing in the entry level to mid-price range. That demand is reflected in the three-bedroom market, where the average price increased from $262,000 last year to $301,000 this year.Buzick said the three-bedroom market is being fueled in part by upvalley residents who are moving to Glenwood Springs, and people with jobs moving in from out of town.In comparing the three-bedroom category to the four-bedroom and larger categories, Buzick said, “The fact is, people are buying because they have to have a house, rather than a dream house.”The average number of days on market before sale in Glenwood Springs increased from 178 in 2002 to 208 so far this year. Buzick said that means there’s more selection for buyers to choose from. “That’s good for buyers,” he said.The extremes in the Garfield County housing market are found in Parachute and Carbondale. In the Parachute area, two-bedroom homes sold on average for $121,000 so far this year. In the Carbondale area, homes four-bedrooms and larger sold on average for $480,000.

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