Real Estate: Look to the Mountains

February 11 2013, 9:45 AM

Pull up just about any news site on the Web or channel surf your way to any TV station spewing content that can even remotely be considered news, and you're likely to stumble across headlines such as "Housing Market Rebounds," or "How Solid is the Housing Market's Recovery?" or "Are High-End Buyers Returning to the Market?" After years of financial doom and gloom, it seems we're starved for good news from the financial powers-that-be. So, here's some: According to new data from the mountain real estate firm Slifer Smith & Frampton, the luxury market in Colorado's high country has shown tangible signs of improvement. 

Take the Vail Valley, for instance. In 2012, the market saw more than $1 billion dollars in residential and land sales, which is up from $930 million in 2011, and nearly double the 2009 figure of $666 million. There was a similar jump in sales in Summit County, according to Slifer Smith & Frampton—$718.4 million in 2012 compared to $594 million in 2011. What's more, the average sale price for a home in Summit County increased for the first time since 2007.

Perhaps more telling, though, is that home inventory remains scarce. In the Vail area, inventory is at a five-year low. “This is a trend that we are watching closely,” said Jim Flaum, president and managing broker for Slifer Smith & Frampton, in a statement. “In some communities, a limited amount of available homes can present a challenge to prospective buyers, but we’ve seen a strong movement among buyers.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Follow assistant editor Chris Outcalt on twitter at @chrisoutcalt.