Did COVID19 made mountain towns more attractive? We're about to figure out.

Like in most industries, every real estate professional is anxiously waiting for more data about the health of the market. As they come in, they seem to confirm what we've seen on the ground: the real estate market took an appropriate break, everybody needed to figure out what we were headed towards... But as we are starting to reopen, we see buyers' interest ramping up for mountain real estate, and we're gearing up for a busy season.

Vail Daily recently published an article about real estate transactions in the Vail area in March. Here are the numbers they found:

"82%: Eagle County real estate transactions through March, compared to 2019 

119%: Value of real estate transactions through March, compared to 2019 

79: Home sales in Eagle and Gypsum through March. 

15: Home sales of $3 million or more through March."

Source: Land Title Guarantee Company.

For multiple reasons, including the facts that the lockdown was easier on people in small (and lovely!) mountain towns than in a big cities, and that a lot of people started working from home and might not get back to the office, our towns attractiveness might have stepped up during the pandemic, amplifying past trends.

Vail Daily

"The increase in interest may continue. Byrne noted that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that as much as 50% of that firm’s workforce will be allowed to work remotely in the next few years.
“If you work for Facebook and can work anywhere,” an employee might be willing to look at smaller communities. That could be true of other businesses, Byrne said.
Remote work and other changes have the potential to affect the local real estate market, Byrne added. Buyers may be more interested in home office space than they might have been just a few years ago.
Byrne said a longtime client recently moved his family to Vail. “He told me ‘This might be the place for us for quite a while,’” Byrne said.

We'll need at least a year to be able to look back and reflect on the consequences of the pandemic on our lifestyle and businesses. For now, buyers enthusiasm seems to be kicking off a quick recovery for mountain town real estate.

Vail Daily:

"John Pfeiffer, president of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, said that firm keeps weekly totals of activity in the company. For the past several weeks, every week’s business has been a little better than the week before, Pfeiffer said. In fact, business for the week of May 16 — 22 showed twice the written deals than the same week in 2019.

The market definitely paused, and it was appropriate that it paused,” Slevin added. But, he added, it seems that potential buyers used that pause to really consider their next move.
“That happened while we were all safe at home,” Slevin said. “When restrictions eased, people were ready.”
People were able to line up financing, and many took advantage of online listings and open houses.
That’s led to some quick action. Byrne said one of his company’s employees listed her own home recently, and had a contract in two days.
The uptick in activity isn’t unique to the Vail Valley.
Slifer Smith & Frampton was recently chosen as the listing broker for a large redevelopment project in Snowmass Village.
“Our phones are ringing off the hook,” he said.

"There are some caveats, of course.
Byrne noted that one deal his company wrote was extended for a buyer to feel more confident about his family’s ability to travel.
“We need to wait for people to feel more comfortable,” Byrne said.
Pfeiffer said Slifer Smith & Frampton has also worked with buyers and sellers to extend the closing dates for contracts. So far, he said, very few buyers have cancelled purchase contracts.
At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, company president Michael Slevin said that firm has also seen an uptick in activity.
“When (state restrictions on showings) were loosened at the end of April, activity really picked up,” Slevin said.

We'll keep you informed of market conditions in our blog posts and in our market update newsletter. The data for the month of May in the Roaring Fork valley will be released soon, stay tuned!

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