With the hottest part of the summer over and snow still several months away, most folks will agree that this is the best part of the year. It is typically also the busiest season for real estate. Given that this year’s real estate sales are already the fastest-paced in a decade, we expect the local market to push even higher in the coming months. County-wide residential sales are up over 20%, and North Fork area sales are more than 30% higher than last year. The brisk pace of sales has pushed up values while also depleting the inventory of homes for sale. Nowhere is this more evident than in Paonia where mid-priced homes are in extremely short supply. As of mid-August, the least expensive home for sale in town is an older, single-wide mobile home for $79,000 and the next one up is $168,000; that’s a $90,000 gap! With only two homes available under $200,000 it’s become very difficult for eager first-time buyers to get their foot in the door. There is a little more to choose from in Hotchkiss with nine listings available under $200,000, but just four in Crawford. With less supply and more demand, it’s not surprising that prices have risen. What is somewhat surprising, however, is the wide range of “price per square foot” that is being paid for local homes. Homes on average-sized lots that have sold this year around the North Fork ranged from $80 / square foot to over $200 and, oddly, the low was for a 4-bedroom home built in 2007 and the high was for a 2-bedroom built in 1898! It’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but cute, clean, and in good condition always goes a long way toward attracting a buyer who is willing to pay top dollar. With a couple super-cuties in Paonia priced at over $300/square foot, it will be worth watching to see just how far the envelope can be pushed.
Lately, there has been a mini-boom in vacant land/building lot sales as well. Some of these parcels, like the ones in Apple Valley, have been sitting vacant since the 70’s – mostly because they slope considerably – but recently have found new owners largely because there aren’t many other options. Land developers and speculators took it on the chin with the housing crash starting in 2008 and virtually no new lots have been developed since then. Also, a couple of the last “spec” homes to be finished before the crash finally just sold – no wonder there currently are none under construction in the North Fork area. With no new lots, no new homes, and more people moving in than are moving out, it’s only reasonable to assume that the current market conditions will continue and probably deepen.
The commercial real estate market in Delta county is small by any standard and, so far, this year has been lackluster with gains in the North Fork (50%) being offset by drops (50%) in the Surface Creek and Delta areas. The stark exception is Paonia where commercial sales year-to-date are more than the rest of the county combined! A good portion of that volume is attributed to the sale of the Paonia Farm and Home Supply / Paonia Organics and the Bross Hotel while several other buildings along Grand Avenue have changed hands too. For a variety of reasons, Paonia is the hot spot.
In the recent weeks, we have been getting many inquiries along the same lines of “I’m curious what the value of my home is in today’s market… I might be convinced to sell sooner depending on the result.” If you’re also curious, give us a call today for a free market analysis. We provide our clients wanting to sell property with unparalleled guidance, comprehensive marketing and expert negotiation advice that achieve results. With the market in such a state of flux, this is a time when having a knowledgeable and experienced professional on your side can mean the difference between success and failure.
Enjoy the rest of these warm days while we’ve got ’em!