2019 brings positive real estate gains in Vail Valley

Mid-valley and non-core areas outperformed the resort market

The Vail Valley real estate market saw overall gains in residential unit sales (up 3.82%) and dollar volume (up 4.70%) compared to 2018.  The strength of the overall market was due to strong sales numbers in the “non-core” parts of Vail, Beaver Creek Resort, the middle part of the valley (Minturn to Edwards) and down valley in the Gypsum area.  Dollar volume gains were limited due to a softening of the $5 million market, which declined by about 27% from 2018.

Vail Village

For the core area of Vail (Vail Village, Lionshead and Cascade), unit sales declined 11.32% while dollar volume fell 24.53%, primarily due to fewer ultra-luxury sales.  However, Beaver Creek Resort saw gains of residential unit sales by more than 3% but at lower prices than in 2018, resulting in a decrease in dollar volume of 7%. 

Vail Valley and down Valley

The middle part of the valley (Minturn to Edwards) outperformed the market with unit sales increasing almost 6% and dollar volume surging 33% due to some larger luxury sales in the non-core resort areas.  Eagle and Eagle Ranch saw a dip in sales, down about 10%, while Gypsum and Dotsero’s activity increased by 6.5%. 

Inventory challenges 

Inventory remains a concern as available homes for sale throughout the valley at the start of 2020 are down 9.5% from this time in 2019.  New projects such as Altus Vail in Vail Village and the Westin Riverfront Lodge will help with resort availability, while several new projects in the middle and western regions of the county should supply much-needed new homes to the market, just in time for the busy spring and selling season.  Showings remained strong throughout the holidays, which indicates strong buyer demand.  The limited inventory, coupled with buyer interest, may indicate an earlier start to the selling season.

What it means for sellers

“There may be a great advantage for sellers to list earlier than the typically high spring selling season.  The race is already heating up for buyers looking to buy now.  If priced reasonably, sellers could see a quick sale or even multiple offers,” says Laurie Slaughter, broker associate for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties.

What it means for buyers

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties’ broker associate Mark Weinreich offers the following insights: “Every area and value range is unique in Eagle County so it’s important buyers understand the market. With limited inventory in most areas, as well as price ranges, buyers should be ready to act quickly and decisively when a home fits their needs. Competing buyers will have seen all the homes in a specific area/price range and they too will know when ‘the home is a value’ in the marketplace. Sellers will be aspirational with pricing but do not hesitate to make a market-based offer. Lowballs typically do not work as very few sellers ‘have to sell.’”

Looking ahead into 2020

The year is starting out on a positive note, with overall contracts throughout the valley up 5% from the start of 2019.  This reflects what is expected to translate into strong sales for the first quarter of the year.

Michael Slevin is the president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties.