Please read through our statistics report for the 1st quarter of 2020. Following is my commentary which is also on the first page of the report. Interesting times! Let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to talk about where things are heading.
Hello from Crested Butte! I hope you are staying healthy and home if you aren’t required to go to work. As you may know, Gunnison County has been one of the hotspots for COVID-19 with a very high number of people testing positive on a per capita basis. The ski area closed on March 16 instead of April 12 so that was a major financial blow to our businesses and employees. The social distancing and stay-at-home orders seem to be slowing the spread here. We are hopeful that we will be able to reopen for visitors in some capacity this summer. We would love to see you!
It is challenging to talk about the statistics for the 1st quarter of 2020 because one would usually assume that these numbers give us a picture of what to expect going forward. This is clearly not the case right now, at least for the short term. 2020 was on track to be a great year for real estate in the Gunnison Valley. The number of sales were up as was the dollar volume of sales. In March, two homes in the town of Crested Butte sold for over $3 million and a home just outside of town sold for $5 million. These sales are at the top of our market and demonstrate that the luxury market in town is still strong.
Since March 16, there has been little activity. The county public health order does not allow us to show property in person, nor are visitors allowed to be in the county so people looking for vacation or investment properties will need to work with an agent to see properties virtually. The lack of spring break visitors and general uncertainty shows in the numbers – we only have about 60% of the properties under contract that we typically do this time of year.
Some positive thoughts for the future:
- This economic downturn/recession is completely different from what we experienced in 2008. The housing market was strong, and the economy was relative stable. Economists say that this strong foundation will help us recover more quickly.
- We are about one month into this pandemic in the United States. Everyone took a “time out” initially from most financial decisions, including real estate. We are starting to see some evidence of people looking at real estate in the Gunnison Valley again with several new contracts this week and additional offers being made.
- Prices have been going up for the last several years, but with recent events it seems likely that values will hold steady or even go down slightly. I don’t think we will see the foreclosures we had in 2008 so that won’t bring an extreme market drop. If anything, homeowners who have been waiting to sell may decide that now is a good time to do that while the prices are relatively high and interest rates are low. We could see increased inventory this summer which will be good for buyers who have been waiting for the perfect property to come along.
Take care of yourselves and those around you. The agents of Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties continue to work from home and are available to answer questions or to talk about the market. Please let us know how we can be of assistance.