THERE'S A REASON THAT SUMMIT COUNTY has been dubbed “Colorado’s Playground.” With its four world-class ski resorts, countless acres of wilderness and super-easy access from the Front Range (and Denver International Airport), it’s where Front Rangers and out-of-state tourists alike go to get their mountain fix. But when the nation’s economy—and our disposable incomes—took a nose dive at the end of 2008, Summit County saw fewer people coming out to play. And as Summit’s economy took a hit, so, too, did its housing market.
THERE'S A REASON THAT SUMMIT COUNTY has been dubbed “Colorado's Playground.” With its four world-class ski resorts, countless acres of wilderness and super-easy access from the Front Range (and Denver International Airport), it's where Front Rangers and out-of-state tourists alike go to get their mountain fix. But when the nation's economy—and our disposable incomes—took a nose dive at the end of 2008, Summit County saw fewer people coming out to play. And as Summit's economy took a hit, so, too, did its housing market.
Between 2008 and 2009, Summit County's communities—including Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Copper and Dillon—saw its number of residential real estate transactions decline by 43 percent, says Brooke Roberts of Summit County Land Title Guarantee Company. In October, transaction numbers were equal to what they were in 2005.
What's more, says Ann Marie Ohly, broker-owner of Omni Real Estate in Silverthorne, for-sale home prices dropped, on average, by 18 percent. That number is even greater in the million-plus price range, where according to Ohly, you can find homes discounted by as much as $1 million. It's this reason that the average sale-price numbers have, on paper at least, remained stable—a few enterprising buyers are finding bargain-basement prices on luxury million-dollar-plus properties. But overall, numbers are down.
The takeaway? “Now is the time to buy in Summit County at any price range,” Ohly says. “There are a lot of great deals you can find right now.”
But realtors don't expect this scenario to last much longer. According to Darryl Nolz, broker-associate with Slifer Smith & Frampton, October was the best month for residential-property transactions in the past 26 months. “There is a confidence in the brokerage community that the worst is behind us,” Nolz says. Developers are banking on this, too. Four new housing developments will be hitting the Summit County market in 2010 (see more info above), including a Fairmont Hotels & Resorts development in Breckenridge. But time will tell whether our country's skiers and homebuyers are really ready to play in Summit County again.
Four new developments on the market in Summit County:
Angler Mountain Ranch
Completion Date: Summer 2010 (for phase one)
Location: off Highway 9 in Silverthorne
Details: A 192-acre ranch, with half the ranch dedicated to open space; includes a projected 148 multi-family units (condos and duplexes), 62 single-family lots and 30 cabins; private fishing lake, access to hiking, biking and golf.
Price: $200,000–$500,000 (lots); $599,000–$699,000 (duplexes); $800,000 (cabins)
More Info: anglermountainranch.com
Fairmont at Shock Hill
Completion Date: December 2011
Location: the Shock Hill Gondola Stop at Breckenridge Ski Resort
Details: A Fairmont Hotels & Resorts lodge/spa/residential development with luxury condominiums featuring 1-3 bedrooms and penthouse suites; golf and fly-fishing in the summer; ski-in, ski-out, plus Nordic ski trails in the winter.
Price: $840,000–$4 million
More Info: fairmontshockhill.com
One Ski Hill Place
Completion Date: Spring 2010
Location: the base of Peak 8 at Breckenridge Ski Resort
Details: A ski-in, ski-out RockResorts master-planned village with 88 private residences; studios to 4-bedroom units; two swimming pools and hot tubs; a two-lane bowling alley; and seasonal access to the BreckConnect gondola to Peak 7 and downtown Breckenridge.
Price: $665,000–$2.4 million
More Info: oneskihillplace.com
Water House on Main Street
Completion Date: December 2009
Location: Main Street in downtown Breckenridge
Details: 26 private residences (more than half pre-sold) with mountain-modern finishes; 1–3 bedroom units; outdoor Olympic-size pool and hot tubs; concierge service; fitness center; and within walking distance to Peak 9 Quicksilver lift.
Price: $975,000–$1.9 million
More Info: waterhouseonmain.com