For the second year in a row, Summit County’s real estate sales are on track to set a record.
Sales in 2021 increased at least another 30% from 2020, according to the latest Summit Realtors data.
Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 23, real estate transactions for all property sales in Summit County reached $2.52 billion. While the final data won’t be available until after the start of the new year, it’s clear the total will surpass last year’s, which was just over $2 billion.
Summit Realtors President and Mountain House Properties Realtor Courtney Peroutka said she doesn’t think anybody saw this increase in sales coming.
“As exciting as it is to have this amazing amount of sales in the area, it’s also then a real struggle for everybody from the buyers to the agents representing the buyers,” Peroutka said. “I guess you could say it’s unprecedented.”
Data from Summit Realtors shows what real estate sales volume totaled in various 12-month periods, reaching a peak in July, according to Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties real estate agent Leah Canfield. From July 2020 to July 2021, real estate sales volume totaled $2.69 billion.
Peroutka said it’s not possible for the market to continue growing like this forever and that it’s already starting to level out a bit. But she added that she doesn’t see prices dropping too much.
“We’ve spoken with a lot of economists and futurists, and the luxury market itself, especially in Summit, it appears as though it’s going to remain strong,” Peroutka said. “… We don’t have the inventory that we did in other years. … That lack of inventory is what helped push those prices even higher, so I guess anything’s possible.”
The luxury market covers a large chunk of the sales Summit County saw this year. Canfield said more and more of those looking to spend around $10 million on a home are coming to Summit County to buy as opposed to Aspen, where it’s even harder to get into the market.
“I think we’re just entering into a new type of market, and that type of market has buyers that we haven’t seen before,” Canfield said. “… These are people who haven’t been in Summit County in the past.”
Canfield said she doesn’t think the number of sold listings is following the same trend as dollar sales because it doesn’t take many of these higher priced luxury sales to bring the total up. She also said the price per square foot in Summit County has increased almost 30% in the past year. In November 2020, a square foot of property had a median cost of $491, and in November 2021, that number rose to $620.
“It doesn’t necessarily require that many more properties trading hands,” Canfield said about the new record. “… The value of all of the real estate in the county has gone up 30% because it’s almost like the value of every individual property on average in Summit County has gone up.”
Because of the price increase, those in the market for single-family homes are looking in Leadville and Park County, Peroutka said.
Peroutka said she would like to see more programs, such as grants, supporting first-time home buyers. She did say that for anyone looking to buy a home soon, it’s important to be prepared and start working with a lender as soon as possible.
“Have everything that you need for when that perfect place hits the market, and then you can jump on it, instead of seeing the perfect place and then getting everything in order and missing out on it,” Peroutka said. “That’s heartbreaking.”
Peroutka said the high volume of sales takes a toll on the real estate community, too, and she shared her praise for all the local agents who made it through another record-breaking year of work.
“It’s nothing like the buyer having to receive a rejection after going up against 10 different offers and losing out to all of them,” Peroutka said. “You’re the agent that gets to tell them the bad news each time, so it’s difficult.”
Canfield said she thinks it’s too soon to tell whether new short-term rental regulations in various municipalities will have an effect on property value as many second-home owners have feared. She said while there has been a slight drop recently in terms of sold listings, that’s a normal occurrence for this time of year.