Real-estate agents around town have a recurring complaint: They simply don’t have enough houses to sell.
Housing inventory on the market is near record lows, real estate analyst Bob Allen told attendees of The Wells Group Real Estate forecast March 18.
Few sellers are coming to the table, perhaps confident that their homes will continue to appreciate in value.
There may be some relief on the way. Inventory tends to increase by about 30 percent as summer approaches and homeowners become willing to sell, Allen said.
Low inventory tends to boost prices for homes that are on the market. It also helps heat the rental market, where vacancies are almost nonexistent.
A market snapshot provides a suggestion of how tight supply is. Only 70 in-town single-family homes were on the market as of March 20, and of those, 21 were pending sales.
The pending sales averaged $491,950.
“I think we’re going to see the prices going up here,” said Kelly Kniffin, president of the Durango Area Association of Realtors.
In 2013, the median sales price of in-town Durango homes was $370,000.
Kniffin said there are 46 property listings for more than $1 million. The luxury market was quiet for several years, but began to noticeably pick up in 2013.
“There hasn’t been a market for them for probably five years,” Kniffin said. Luxury properties are starting to sell again, she added.
New homes are on the way in Three Springs, Edgemont Highlands and Twin Buttes. But the construction isn’t expected to be enough to meet demand, said John Wells, broker-owner at The Wells Group.
Tight inventory is translating to demand for builders.
Jerry Pope, co-owner of Timberline Construction, is at work on projects in the Animas Valley and townhomes in Three Springs. He also hopes to work on a 92-unit apartment complex in Three Springs.
“We’re seeing quite a bit of uptick in activity, so I think we’re going to be very busy,” Pope said. “I think everyone’s going to be very busy.”
The tight labor market is becoming a problem for builders. Many subcontractors left Durango when the market began to slide in 2008.
“I think it’s going to be a big year,” Pope said. “The biggest problem is finding people. It’s going to be a big issue.”