Last year, 2017, saw the greatest number of real estate transactions in Summit County since 2007. And record-low inventories, but those did not deter our thirsty Summit County buyers- no surprise to those of us who drink the high country cool aid (not a marijuana joke, just a self-deprecating nod to our rabid love of life in the mountains).
As we travel through the ski season, the properties that appeal to winter buyers are often condos and townhomes- and this February a statistically significant amount, both in Breckenridge and greater Summit, sold. Condos outpaced all other types of real estate and represented double the amount of single-family home sales in Breckenridge in the same time period. Hold onto your beanie for this next statistic. The ratio of sales price to list price for Breckenridge condos in 2018 is 118%. Yes, 118%- an average of 18% over list price. Better have a good team like Breckenridge Associates Real Estate on your side entering this market. There can be a number of contributing factors to this surge of condo demand, and low inventory could be a strong motivator. Price, location, amenities, rental income opportunities and ease of maintenance are also drivers in the decision making process. For a vacation home, condos and townhomes can be tough to beat.
There has been the slightest softening in the single-family home market in Breckenridge, with homes staying on the market about three weeks longer than the 2017 average and garnering about a dollar less per square foot. There could be some negotiation room as the ratio of list to sale price is at 94 percent. We haven’t seen that type of spread for years. Keep in mind that this is a year-to-date comparison, and the wild summer real estate market will give us more data, and more reliable statistics. Historically, far more sales occur in summer and fall, especially single-family home sales, and our data so far, only covers January and February, months when some of the fewest sales originate.
Mortgage rates are at a 4-year high, though still below 4.8 percent for a 30 year conventional fixed rate, and expected to rise multiple times in 2018. This could also be another factor driving strong sales in early 2018. In 1992 at an 8 percent interest rate, you would have thought you were the king of the world. While it may seem discouraging that rates are rising and inventory is low, rates are still at near historic lows. Over the long arc, real estate has been a massive wealth-building tool. For example, the average sold price per square foot across the entire Summit MLS was $203/sq.ft. in 2002, and is currently more than $363.
While our statistics are great, Summit County has a quality that's hard to monetize. How can you put a price tag on this lifestyle?