Friday, March 14, 2008

January Sales Volume Falls

Sunray Meadows winds up sales of 136 entry-level condos
By Tom Ross - Steambaot Pilot & Today
Sunday, March 9, 2008

Source: Land Title Guarantee Co
Steamboat Springs — The sale of four homes that cost more than $3 million a piece dominated the January real estate headlines. However, it also was a month when the last developer sales of an entry-level condominium project at the mountain were being placed under contract.

Realtor Ken Gold of RE/MAX Steamboat confirmed that essentially the last of 136 units at Sunray Meadows on Village Drive closed at the end of February.

Buyers who put their units under contract early in the release period still were able to acquire two-bedroom units for less than $328,000. However, as evidenced by some double closings, the price for the same units has now crested $400,000.

Gold said although other condominium projects meant for permanent Steamboat residents will follow, it will be difficult to offer them at similar price points because development ground is more expensive and city affordable housing prices dictate that market units must subsidize part of the affordable project.

“We’ve been selling Sunray for five years,” Gold said. “If we did it now, there might be 15 to 20 (deed-restricted affordable) units we’d have to take a loss on.”

At the other end of the January spectrum, four homes priced above $3 million accounted for $18.7 million of the month’s total dollar volume of $80.77 million, said Bruce Carta of Land Title Guarantee Co.

Dollar volume was down about 20 percent from the record $100.4 million recorded in January 2006. Carta noted that January 2008 still was substantially more than the total January 2005 dollar volume of $47.7 million.

“The total number of units sold during January 2008 was 136 compared to 180 for January 2007,” Carta said. “The biggest crease in (unit) sales was in the Steamboat mountain area with 70 sales last January 2007 compared to 48 this January. Yet, in that same area, the average transaction price went from $692,899 last January to $976,581 for this January.”

Boosting the averages were the $4.7 million sale of an 8,000-square-foot home on 35 acres in Strawberry Park. Two sides of a duplex on Ski Trail Lane, very close to the lower ski slopes, sold for $5.4 million and $5.3 million, respectively.

The aggregate value of the 15 homes valued at $1 million or more in January was $35.6 million, compared to the total of $56 million for all 67 homes that sold in Routt County during the month.

Will there ever be another Sunray Meadows?

Developer Brian Olson is bringing a project called Trailside Village through the city planning process. It would create 200 market-rate condominiums and another 30 deed-restricted affordable units. Olson is optimistic he can bring them to market at prices between $300,000 and $600,000.

Gold and partners in a proposed development at Casey’s Pond are contemplating including a number of community housing units in the mix with resort units near U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road.

Gold anticipates some of the buyers would be fellow baby boomers who have graduated to empty-nester status and are seeking to downsize their real estate in Steamboat to allow them to afford a second home in a warmer climate.