real estate

This property on Bluff View Drive is currently for sale with a listing price of $1.85 million. (Photo courtesy of Telluride Properties)

On the heels of 2017’s 10-year real estate peak, San Miguel County saw a dip in both dollar volume and number of transactions in 2018.

The county tallied 499 transactions at a dollar volume of $537.5 million in 2018, according to data collected by Telluride Consulting. That represents a 19 percent decrease in transactions and a 13 percent dip in dollar volume compared to 2017, a notable year that posted 619 transactions representing $621 million in sales.

The biggest decline in 2018 was in Mountain Village, where the dollar volume was down 31 percent over 2017, while the number of sales was down 15 percent. Telluride was slightly less affected with the dollar volume of sales only dipping 1 percent, while the number of sales dropped by 24 percent. In the rest of the county, the dollar volume rose by 9 percent, while the number of sales dropped by 20 percent.

Not that anyone would call it a bad year, though, as sales volumes were still the second best in the last decade.

Mike Shimkonis of Telluride Properties noted that 2018 was still strong, it just happened to follow a serious spike. Taking it in the context of the last decade, he said, “there’s been a steady climb in activity.”

Robert Stenhammer of Telluride Real Estate Corporation echoed that sentiment.

“You have to kind of look at real estate trends in more than a one-year comparison,” Stenhammer said, adding that he would characterize 2018 as “on track.”

Real estate professionals point to shrinking inventory, along with an increase in price per square foot for the decline. George Harvey of The Harvey Group, who’s been a broker in Telluride for 35 years, said a dearth in dwellings in the bottom third of the market — anything under $2 million — is driving the trend. And it’s not unique to Telluride.

“That trend is exactly the same in the rest of the resort markets, from Steamboat to Jackson and Breckenridge,” Harvey said.

Shimkonis also observed that.

“The demand is there,” he said, “but in certain instances the product is not, or the price point.”

Harvey also cited a disparity between the price per square foot of the asking price of units on the market and the selling price of recent transactions. For example, he said, the average asking price per square foot of Telluride condos is $1,056, while the average selling price breaks down to $772. That disparity is largest in Mountain Village, he added, where asking prices reflect a price per square foot that’s 33 percent higher than selling prices.

Either way you look at it, free market real estate numbers in the Telluride region offer a look at the kind of big-dollar transactions that the country’s higher end markets experience.  

According to numbers compiled by Telluride Properties, the average price of a four-bedroom single-family home sold in the Town of Telluride was $2.9 million. For two-bedroom condos, meanwhile, the average price was $759,361; three-bedroom condos sold for an average of $1.3 million.

According to Telluride Consulting’s numbers, October was the strongest year with 67 sales worth $86 million. January, meanwhile, had the fewest sales at 28, while July showed the weakest sales volume at $23.6 million.

The most popular inventory was Telluride condominiums: 89 sold. Second to that was Mountain Village condos — 84 of those sold. That was followed by county single-family homes at 63 units sold.

But with so many condos snapped up in recent years, it leaves few on the market, Harvey said, which could be a problem.

“I’m a little bit struck by the lack of inventory,” he said. “One thing that concerns me greatly is, how do we create the inventory for these buyers?”

Harvey predicts a 5-10 percent slowdown in Telluride-region sales in the coming year, along with some leveling off of listing prices.

But Shimkonis thinks the recent upswing in population to Colorado’s Western Slope isn’t slowing down. Stenhammer says factors like developable land in Mountain Village, great schools and infrastructure improvements on the resort continue to make this an appealing place.

“I’m optimistic,” Stenhammer said. “I think it’s going to be an amazing year.”