2020 AT A GLANCE
With fear and uncertainty taking center stage in 2020, one thing is assured: the pandemic has shifted real estate markets across the globe on an unprecedented scale. Routt County was no exception, with a feeding frenzy from June through November that pushed sales volume to an eye-popping $1.2B. Not since 2007 has there been such a flurry of activity. Year-over-year sales volume growth from 2019 was 50%, shocking even the most experienced industry veterans.
Urban migration away from crowded cities and buyers looking for second-home mountain getaways led to a robust seller's market. COVID increased the desirability of properties with access to the outdoors, more space, quiet neighborhoods, home offices, and newer kitchens. Apparently, homes in the mountains fit the bill where social distancing comes easier. Other Colorado resort towns experienced similar historic surges as home values hit record highs across the state, while inventory dwindled to all-time lows. In Steamboat Springs, we enter 2021 with just a meager 43 single family homes and 55 condo/townhomes for sale, both down over 50% from the start of 2020.
Single family homes appreciated by 12% to an average price of $1.47M, while condos/townhomes swelled by 19% to $636K. Droves of wealthy homebuyers snapped up luxury homes at a record pace with 74 properties over $2M being sold, more than the previous two years combined.
The surging prices led neighboring towns to go through booms of their own. The average home price in Oak Creek crested $600k, up 33% from last year, while Hayden saw the average price increase by 10% to $333K. Some struggling buyers opted to purchase land with 353 vacant parcels being sold, double 2019. Builders should bde busy for a while as the city issued building permits for 208 new units (single family homes and apartment units combined).
Many wonder if the market is due for a correction similar to the post-2007 irrational real estate bubble. While a valid concern, the market is hot this time for very different reasons. Industry experts seem comfortable that no crash is near. People have shifted where and how they live as working from home has enabled them to move to their dream location. Low mortgage rates and stringent lending requirements mean buyers can purchase only what they can afford, unlike in 2007.
With the lack of inventory, it seems improbable 2021 can reach the heights of 2020, but demand from the COVID migration isn't dwindling any time soon, giving confidence of a healthy year.
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