Though Sales Numbers Remain Relatively Flat, Valuation of Sales Increases
MONTROSE – While the number of sales in Montrose and Montrose County showed slight increases over the first six months of 2014, first-half real estate sales figures continue to indicate the market is strengthening as dollar figures for those sales are increasing at an even greater rate.
“We are holding steady,” said Lynn Vogel, owner of Comparable Sales Research.
According to statistics compiled by Vogel, first-half sales numbers in both the City of Montrose and overall in Montrose County have remained flat so far this year, in comparison to first-half sales numbers in 2013. Through June 30 of this year, 315 single-family home sales transpired in Montrose County, which is one less home than was sold in the same time period last year, representing a -.3 percent change.
In the City of Montrose, there were 188 sales through June 30, four more than the 184 sold in 2013, marking a 2.2 percent increase. While those overall sales numbers for both the City of Montrose and Montrose County overall remained relatively flat, perhaps the most encouraging statistic is the valuation of those sales.
In the county, the valuation of the 315 sales this year came in at $77 million, a 29.8 percent increase from the $59.3 million the previous year. In the City of Montrose, sales valuations came in at $34.5 million, an increase of 9.5 percent from $31.5 million the previous year.
According to Montrose County Treasurer Rosemary Murphy, foreclosure numbers indicate the market is strengthening as well. By the end of June, there were 64 foreclosures in Montrose County – a 36 percent decrease from 101 foreclosures in the first half of 2013.
“While each quarter has been up and down, it is encouraging that we have gone three years with positive sales numbers, and the median prices are falling right behind,” Vogel said.
At the end of the second quarter in 2013, the median single-family home price in the county was approximately $162,000. This year, that median price is up to $170,000.
The Real Estate Store owner/broker Michelle Klippert sees many encouraging signs that the Montrose area real estate market is strengthening, but says that property price-ranges are key. Properties below the $350,000 price range are selling much more quickly than properties at higher prices; the inventory of lower-priced properties is also in short supply.
For instance, for homes in the $100,000-$149,000 price range, there were 72 sales between Jan. 17-July 11 this year. During that time period, 52 active properties remained for sale in that price range.
On the other end of the scale, there were just two sales of homes in the $450,000-$499,000 price range between Jan. 17-July 11; with 19 active properties for sale in that range, that suggests a supply level of 9.5 years.
“Are we selling? Yes,” Klippert said. “But it really depends on what property you have. Since 2008, there have been times where, with even the properties on the low end, we would have a two year supply. Now we don’t. They fly off the market. We feel like we are in limbo between a seller’s and a buyer’s market.”
Along with vacant land beginning to sell again, Klippert sees a number of bright spots in the current real estate market, including low interest rates.
“Interest rates are still low,” she said. “First-time home buyers have a great opportunity to get into a home with little money down. There is also some building going on. There was a time when we didn’t see any building, so we are really pleased.”
Overall, both Vogel and Klippert said they were happy with 2014’s market trends so far and believed those positive trends will continue.
“We are slowly climbing out of it,” Vogel said.