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Vail Valley's ‘micro markets' show big variety

Even luxury real estate sales can vary a lot between neighborhoods

February, 21 2012
Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado — A local real estate company has taken a fine-toothed comb to the valley's real estate data. The result shows that the valley's high-end property market is pretty strong — in spots.

Fuller BCV Sotheby's International Realty has recently completed a “micro market” report for the Vail Valley. The Denver-based company has long done similar reports for Front Range markets including Denver, Boulder and Castle Rock. This is the first Vail Valley report the company has done since merging last year with Forbes Sotheby's International Realty.

The report — similar to the information Land Title Guarantee Co. provides but easier to read — puts Eagle and Gypsum together, but breaks down the valley's higher-priced areas into more tightly defined areas.

Using that information shows that prices for high-end real estate really do boil down to location, location, location. And, in some cases, age.

For instance, while the average sale price in Beaver Creek dropped by one-third from 2010 to 2011, average prices in Bachelor Gulch rose by nearly half. On the other hand, there were just 25 Bachelor Gulch sales last year, compared to nearly 70 in Beaver Creek.

But Heidi Bintz, a broker with Fuller BCV Sotheby's, said some of the difference also boils down to what's for sale. While Bachelor Gulch, built in the 1990s, has quite a bit of ski in/ski out property, that inventory is limited in Beaver Creek. There's also the matter of the age of the units, and whether or not new owners will want, or need to, remodel. The same is true of older units in Vail Village.

While price changes vary by neighborhood — although most areas are down by double-digit percentages from 2010 — one constant is that units are taking longer — sometimes much longer — to sell.

Again, the average time on the market varies, but it took longer to sell a unit anywhere in the valley last year, and much longer than the boom days of 2007. For instance, a unit in the non-village portion of Vail — the town outside of Vail Village and Lionshead — took an average of 75 days to sell in 2007. Last year, the average unit was on the market for 270 days. A single-family home in Bachelor Gulch was on the market an average of 176 days in 2007. Last year, that number had jumped to 553 days.

Bintz said a big part of those increases is simply the number of people looking.

“There are just less shoppers today than there were at the peak,” she said. Going back to her days in the retail world, Bintz said it always takes a certain number of people walking past a storefront to generate a certain number of sales.

“We've just got to have more people looking,” she said.


By the numbers


366 — Average days on the market in 2011 for Vail Village property, up from 202 in 2010.
27.9 percent — Drop in the average sale price of Vail property — excluding Vail Village and Lionshead — from 2010 to 2011.
49.9 percent — Increase in average sale price in Bachelor Gulch from 2010 to 2011.
25 — Units sold in Bachelor Gulch in 2011.
25.6 percent — Increase in average sale prices in Arrowhead form 2010 to 2011.

More information, please contact Heidi at heidi.bintz@sothebysrealty.com or 970-390-8383 for a detailed micro report.


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