Happy 2018! The year has started by continuing our Christmas gift of desperately needed snow and it is really starting to feel like ski season in Crested Butte.
2017 was the seventh year in a row where real estate sales improved over the previous year. From the low of 2010, the number of transactions is up 164% and dollar volume is up 217% (more than triple!). Things were very slow from 2008 to 2014 and we only started to see significant improvement starting in 2015. We ended this year with $265 million in sales vs. $187 million in 2016. This still is well below 2005 and 2006 when sales topped $350 million, but it is not out of line to think we could meet or exceed those levels in 2018.
Any Realtor in Crested Butte will tell you that we have “low inventory” right now. This is not clear if you simply look at the number of properties on the market. Overall, inventory numbers have been steady for the last year or so – although the numbers are down from previous years. It is when you look at specific segments of the market – price points, areas, and types – that you can get a sense of the shortages. For example, there are 85 condos in Mt. Crested Butte on the market right now vs. 101 this time in 2016 vs. 154 this time in 2015. More importantly, the least expensive 2-bedroom condo is listed for $315,000 and there were 24 2-bedroom condos that sold for less than that in 2017 and 77 sold in 2016. Even considering this information, sales of condos in Mt. Crested Butte are a large segment of the market and will continue to be even with reduced inventory simply because there are so many of them.
As Joe mentioned last quarter, vacant land sales are finally picking up as is building in the area. Prices are still relatively low for land throughout the valley so building rather than buying an existing property could make sense for some people. The number of tradesmen is limited so if you are thinking of building, know that process could take some time due to the availability of contractors. Check out the page in this report for Rural Crested Butte & Rural Mt. Crested Butte. The sales numbers for vacant land last year are impressive!
Although I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t see any reason why the Crested Butte real estate market won’t continue to improve for the next several years. The marketing is working and people have discovered that this is a great place to be. Our real estate prices make Crested Butte a great value compared other mountain resorts so it just makes sense for people who want to be in an authentic Colorado ski town to consider Crested Butte.