Eagle County Real Estate Market Report: Inventory levels on the rise
Listings for December are the highest since 2020 and market activity remains strong for homes priced right
November proved to be quieter after three consecutive months of the market outperforming 2022 numbers. As expected, more resort properties are coming to market in expectation of a busy winter season while the local market is experiencing its typical early winter and holiday slowdown. That said, inventory levels for December are at their highest since 2020 and market activity continues to remain strong for homes in good condition and priced at fair market value.
The resort/luxury market continues to be the dominant leader in sales, nudging up average sales price year-to-date by 11.52%, accounting for $2.272 million for 2023 compared to $2.037 million in 2022. List-to-sale price ratios remain steady at 97.2% for November 2023, matching ratios for November 2022.
The recurring trend for 2023 is demand remains strong and homes that are priced at today’s market value are selling quickly. Buyers are more discriminating on purchases and willing to pay for the right home at the right price. Rising inventory should continue to help meet the buyer demand as long as the price matches the location and condition.
Projections for 2024 are positive as many economists expect interest rates to slowly come down, making homeownership more accessible to those in the market to buy. Lower rates are also likely to free up inventory as homeowners consider shifting out of their properties (and mortgages) into more desirable homes and/or locations.
What the current market means for buyers and sellers:
Luxury and resort market
With property values continuing to rise, albeit at slower rates than previous years, it’s important to note that buyers who are “waiting it out” are finding they are paying more today than earlier this year for the same property in the same location.
“Buyers are much more discerning and value-driven in the resort/luxury market, particularly as prices have continued to rise,” said Kevin Denton, a broker associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties and the Denton Advisory Group. “While the increases have slowed, there is no indication of a pending downturn. If you’re looking to buy, there is no better time than the present if you find the right home that you can afford.”
The rising prices are also contributing to greater demand for new or remodeled and updated properties.
“These listings are trading quickly as buyers in this market are less likely to take on a project in today’s environment, including the increasingly high costs for construction,” Denton said.
The midvalley and downvalley markets, which typically cater more to locals, are showing signs of improvement thanks to more inventory. Jared Saul, a broker associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeService Colorado Properties, said a quieter November has proven to come with some advantages with buyers facing less competition.
“The basics of saving for a rainy day and being honest about what you can realistically afford are still essential principles to keep in mind,” Saul said. “If you can afford to buy now and it is within your budget you should go for it.”
Buyers who are thinking about waiting for rates or prices to come down may find themselves competing with more buyers, making it more difficult to get the home they want.
“It’s a double-edged sword but all indications show the market is not going to soften. If you find the home you want and it’s at a price you can afford, buy it,” Saul said.
For sellers, the same fair market value pricing mirrors that of the resort/luxury market. When it comes to determining pricing, Saul recommends basing it on current comparable sales, not current active listings.
“The market remains strong, but the buying frenzy of the past few years has settled in most cases, which has led to more days on market,” Saul said. “Don’t be alarmed if you don’t have an offer in the first few days. It takes a more strategic approach to getting your home sold and this is where working with a local broker who is active in your specific area of the market will pay off. They will collaborate with other brokers to get a read on the pulse of the market and give you the guidance to accomplish your goals.”