Is September almost over? The first half of the year seemed to drag along and now it’s three months to Christmas. Wow. Steamboat has been very busy all Summer. Many tourists came through town. Given the amount of RV’s that went through town as well …
Steamboat is seeing the end of the Summer approaching quickly. We have had a rush of visitors over the past few weekends, which makes me think school is about to start. We have a bunch of smoke from a large fire near Glenwood Springs, and some monsoon-like weather in the afternoons. Overall, it’s interesting weather during interesting times.
And interesting times it is! The real estate market in Steamboat is the strongest I’ve seen it and parallels 2006-2007. There are definitely more buyers than sellers right now. With the pandemic ongoing, those who have a place in Steamboat do not really want to move or let it go. There are reasons to hold property in this market, mostly valuation is going up and there isn’t a replacement property to purchase that would be a move-up home.
Some experiences I have had over the past month:
– a duplex side sold for about $500 a square foot when comps less than a year old indicate it is worth about $400 a square foot. The prior side of the duplex took a year to sell. This unit took about a week.
– I helped a baker find a kitchen to move in to. This was very difficult, even with restaurants struggling over the Summer. Three have opened in the past three months. And then a second customer wants something similar. Even with the bad news of hospitality businesses across the nation, Steamboat has folks who think business will grow.
– I listed a manufactured home on a rented lot. Within 5 days I had 4 offers.
Real estate is very active now. Here’s a snapshot of the last month, from Melissa Gibson at Land Title here in Steamboat Springs:
And here is a small screenshot of my MLS database. These numbers are a three day count have been consistent for more than a month:
When people ask me about what the market is doing, where it is going, and timing, I inhale deeply and ask more of what they are looking for. These three pieces each are a conundrum.
What is the market doing: Higher end properties are selling more often. Lower end properties (those $500,000 and under) do sell, but more slowly. This observation is reversed from what I saw over the Winter.
Where is the market going: With inventory running out, prices will trend upwards. It seems like persons are not concerned as much about overvaluation as they are about missing out. And missing out could mean anything from having a haven to move to from metro areas to not actualizing their Steamboat Springs retirement plan. With interest rates so low, it has opened up opportunity to buy.
Timing: This is very difficult to me. Timing changes easily from government stimulus to fearful headlines in newspapers, and the election is a non-starter. Real estate doesn’t commonly have quick market movements. Since March, when COVID caused Colorado to shut down, the market has swung uncharacteristically. Is this the top of the market? Should I wait to buy? I really don’t know. More government stimulus will likely keep trends we’ve seen over the past months continue. Trends the government, and some economists, are surprised by is the recent slow down in consumer spending and the increase in savings of households.
I have followed information on Colorado COVID forecasts. As Winter approaches, and we spend more time indoors, the growth of cases increases steadily through October and November. If other states see similar patterns, the actions the government takes will help us understand further what the market will do in the short term. For the long term, the results of mortgage and rent forbearance are my bet for what will be the most interesting real estate trends news.
Well, it’s official. Officially crazy, I mean. This is a very busy time for real estate brokers in Steamboat Springs. Not all brokers are busy, but most are. If a broker had business going into the Spring shutdown, they are busy now. In my …
Camping makes me happy. Being outdoors for long periods of time, and a lot of that time is with my feet up under a shade tree. Depending on the trip, activities will include fishing, hiking, cooking, and sitting around telling stories. This year, camping has …
Well, it’s official. I can’t find one contrarian to say something like ‘the real estate market may not be as hot as people say’. I don’t know if it is because the press isn’t allowed to print that news, or if people really believe that markets are going to continue to be strong like before COVID 19.
From looking at markets from my vantage point in Steamboat Springs, it doesn’t seem like anything has changed from the beginning of the year. That being said, there are definitely differences when I research further. Some of the differences are:
– investors in the stock market are not buying in to stocks related to travel, such as airlines.
– even with pent up demand being active in real estate, the markets are still lower. Markets are supposed to continue to be strong because persons are able to view homes and purchase them rather than be home and out of the market.
– interest rates are giving real estate a shot in the arm, which has allowed first time buyers, second home buyers, and investment buyers opportunity.
– prices are going up in some areas. Prices are flat in Steamboat Springs with more listings lowering prices then have been in the recent past years.
– most everyone is considering the impact of a second wave of COVID in Fall and what that will look like
– there is definitely a large amount of people who do not want to live in the city metro areas any more and they are looking to move out. Some rural areas are feeling pressure, like Missoula, Montana, who is experiencing a hyper-competitive real estate market.
– not all real estate brokers are busy. I consider myself lucky to be real busy now. Some new and established brokers have no business and little prospect of business on the horizon.
– things are going to change after the government’s stimulus monies end and the extra unemployment monies households receive run out in the middle of next month. Currently persons are able to make their rent/mortgage payments with little need of forbearance. What this looks like in August is hopefully as good as it looks now.
Overall, demand is down more than what smart people on TV are saying it is. There are glimpses of what might really be happening in the market, but it’s really too hard to interpret this early into the bust/boom cycle. September and October will reveal much, especially after the September trend numbers come out in October.
Steamboat has begun to open up, not just restaurants, but also periwinkle, larkspur, and more. Lincoln Avenue is lined with white crabapple in full bloom. The smells and sights are excellent! The past few months have been quite exciting in terms of conversations of what …
With the Colorado soft opening, it has been good to see the weather get warmer and we can move about more freely. The Spring rains have been pretty common recently and that has guided much of what we do and when. There has been much to do!
Hiking: warm weather has opened up many trails. Mad Creek is not only a great hike, the flow of the creek is full now. Going to the barn and back is an easy walk. All of Emerald Mountain is open.
Biking: If the trails are open, mountain bikers will go. Mountain bikers also are going to Eagle and Fruita for warm desert trails. Gravel road bikers are active now. Roads aren’t dusty and the views of the Spring green are excellent.
Take Out: Steamboat Springs has an appetite for restaurants. Having been inside cooking on our own for so long now, it is good to grab take out. This supports the local community and provides for some great eats with couch time. More restaurants are opening each week. This week I’m grabbing a pizza from Otto Pint, who is offering 50% off pizzas all weekend.
Happy Hour: Well, not a traditional happy hour. Getting together in the open, near the river or some other outdoor space, BYOB, and social distance together. Being in a small town has advantages with things like this. As well, we couldn’t do any of this until the weather changed to warm and sunny. We had several weeks of moisture, and it was too cool to be outside comfortably for a long time. It’s good to get outside for a beer, maybe two, and see good friends.
River Time: It’s high water now for a couple weeks. Water is draining everywhere, creating rivelets and streams. The ground was saturated from snowmelt and with all our recent rains, water continuously drains into Burgess Creek, Soda Creek and the others. The Yampa River is flowing fast. So anywhere you go, it is easy to find time to visit water and enjoy the movement, sound, and wildlife that can only be found in Spring. Walks, bike rides, kayaks, and rafting are very common right now near creeks and the Yampa River.
Honestly, we would be doing these things anyway. Well, except that happy hour would be at a downtown establishment. Spring is a great time of year in Steamboat Springs, and being here during these curious times definitely has it’s advantages!
Coronavirus has been a challenge everywhere, including Steamboat Springs. It seems only Montana and other rural states have been spared pain that many of us have been working with for over two months. For real estate, now that some time has gone by, understanding trends …