Ah, springtime in the Rockies. There’s nothing quite like it. Don’t like the weather? Just wait 10 minutes, it’ll change. And while it has taken considerably longer, the change we’ve been waiting for in the local real estate market has finally come. First quarter sales in Delta County were the best since Q1 of 2008 led by strong residential sales in the North Fork area where the $5 million dollar volume was double last year’s level and the median price rose by a third to $195,000. Home sales in Delta rose by 40% (median up 27% to $132k) and Surface Creek sales grew 25% but surprisingly saw the median fall 10% to $133k. Vacant land sales have finally broken loose after languishing for years with countywide sales up five-fold to $2.5M from about $500k in the first quarter of last year. Farm / Ranch sales increased by 50% to $4.3M lead by the North Fork area with sales of $2.8M. Commercial sales were an abysmal $1M, just one-third of last year, and continues to be the weak link in an otherwise much improved environment. Foreclosure filings and sales continue to trend lower while interest rates remain flat. There is little doubt that the mild weather in January and February let people get out and shop for homes but it is clearly more than that judging by the continued strong demand in April. If things stay on course it would not be surprising to see annual sales surpass the pre-recession level. It’s about time.
Another change that’s come to the local real estate scene is that after a long affiliation with the Coldwell Banker brand our company has transitioned to an independent model as Western Colorado Realty. And while the name has changed, the group of brokers remains the same, with Bob, Myles, Cathy and Dave still in the Bridge Street office in down-town Hotchkiss where they have all been practicing for over two decades and Mike in Paonia – with help on the way soon. So when you start seeing the new green and white signs replacing the old blue and white ones you can be assured that while some things are changing, a lot will be staying the same.
(This article was also published in the Merchant Herald.)