January of 2016 sales volume was nearly identical to last year as compared to 2015 in terms of transactions but a lack of the sales in the most expensive categories of residential real estate meant that dollar sales volume was only 75% of the previous year. I can say that my “feel” of the early to mid-ski season residential real estate market in Vail is that it the most expensive properties in the Vail Valley (particularly in the $3 million and up category) have been slow in terms of showing activity although it has been hot in the up to $2.5 million range. I think we are a likely to see that the activity up to $3 million will continue to be highly active, but above $3 million will be lackluster in terms of closing in February and March. One reason for enthusiasm is that the online viewing activity for the $3+ million has been really picking up leading in to the spring when the luxury end of the market was hottest last year in terms of “under contract” activity. Sales close from late season contracts around late April, May and June; however, with an early Easter this year, shortening the season by 10 or 11 days, any late season action will be reflected in April and May mainly this year. We are coming into that period now so we shall see if last year’s late season “pop” occurs again this season. If you are in town right now you will see how much bustle is going on.
It is yet to be seen how the strength of the dollar, the low oil prices, as well as the current state of the Dow will impact the luxury end of our market. Or, if the last several weeks of the Dow improving and the price of oil rising (and whether that will continue) will give people a sense of calm to help increase purchases. Additionally, as the concern exists with many investment areas today, will the affluent determine that real estate is as safe as anywhere to invest (and maybe safer in the long run) and that they might as well live in and enjoy their assets during this time. I think areas like the Vail Valley have a particular appeal because many properties have low taxes and carrying costs compared to most of the world making our area a particularly compelling investment.
Additionally, there is no doubt that the lower inventory levels have impacted the sales volumes we are seeing. I know many buyers that have a type of property in mind and a price that typically should exist but that there is just little to no inventory for them to choose from. If more properties at a reasonable price hit the market, then we could see an increase in transaction and volume for those buyers that have been looking and waiting for the right property to finally come to market.
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End Vail Valley Market Report January 2016 – Malia Cox Nobrega Vail Luxury Broker Blog