Updated October 2013
2012 was the best Telluride Real Estate sales year since 2007 with the annual dollar volume exceeding $364 million. How is 2013 comparing to last year?
With three quarters of 2013 behind us, Real Estate Sales in 2013 are trending upwards, albeit slightly, with overall dollar volume six percent higher. The number of transactions are actually five percent lower, which could be viewed as good news, meaning the average transaction prices have climbed as well.
As we further examine the local marketplace, what can we expect to see for the 2013-14 winter season and will the Telluride, Colorado Real Estate market continue to get healthier?
The best news for 2013 has been the continued absorption of condominiums in the Mountain Village market segment. In the first three quarters of 2013, fifty-eight Mountain Village condominiums closed with a total dollar volume of almost $58 million, which exceeds the Mountain Village Condominium Sales dollar volume of the entire year of 2011 by ten percent. Also encouraging in the Mountain Village Condominium market was the Development lot sale of the old “Rosewood” parcel on Country Club Drive and the continued construction at the Cortina project on San Joaquin Boulevard, which should be completed in early 2014.
In addition, private home sales in the town of Telluride are still moving at a brisk pace. Despite an increase in pricing and lack of inventory, through three quarters we have seen eighteen sales at over $30 million.
The action of these two segments has not translated into others, which is somewhat puzzling. With such strong Mountain Village Condo sales, we have seen just seven homes close in Mountain Village since January 1, 2013.
Because of Telluride’s remote location and overall lack of inventory, it will not take a lot of sales activity to turn our entire market from negative to positive, both in dollar volume and the mental perception that many Buyers and Sellers have. The residential town of Telluride is as strong as it’s ever been with five sales at over $1,000 per square foot in 2013, and just three homes currently listed for sale under $1 million. The bottom of that segment is well in the rear view mirror.
Even with all of these strong positive indicators it is still tough to call the overall “bottom” of the market. Buyers and Sellers still ask me all of the time: Did we “hit the bottom?” After seeing the 2013 numbers through three quarters, it is continuing to be tough to determine, but certain market segments have rebounded off the bottom, but some have not. There will still be sales in our marketplace that reflect a variety of desperate Sellers, including Short Sales and Bank Owned/REO properties that will continue to set the bar very low, and offer bargains for the deal hunters. Make no mistake, these deals are getting harder to find and the foreclosure list in San Miguel County is still getting shorter, now down to less than one page!
There continues to be a lack of confidence in Buyers, but the cause is unknown. Are Buyers concerned they missed the bottom? Are Buyers trying to purchase properties at unreasonable prices? Do Buyers want vacation property closer to home at a lower expense? Combine that with a majority of strong Sellers who are not forced to sell and own a high level of equity in their Telluride property and the result is a stalemate at the higher end of the pricing scale.
Buyers seem to want one of two things, which confirm our market conditions. The first is lifestyle and the historic town of Telluride provides an incredible lifestyle to enjoy for primary and second homeowners that no other place can offer. Small, unique, authentic, luxurious, charming, funky, numerous resort amenities, festivals and culture are just a few of the attributes. And people will pay a premium for this. The second is value. A luxurious Mountain Village trail side townhome at under $400 per square foot? A large acreage mesa timber frame home at $100 per square foot just thirty minutes to town? A large ski in/ski out on grade luxurious residence with big mountain range views at under $600 per square foot? These are all proven values that we have not seen in over a decade and sold this year.