Last week, the Colorado Association of Realtors and the Durango Area Association of Realtors released their first-quarter real estate statistics.
In a nutshell, the number of properties sold in Colorado and in our local area has dropped in the first quarter compared with last year, but the median price is up for the state and for most areas in La Plata County.
Let’s look at the bigger picture first, with the combined numbers for the entire state. Homes sold in Colorado for the first quarter 2014 were down 0.5 percent versus 2013, but the median price for the state was up 4.4 percent.
For single-family homes, the number of sales were down 4.4 percent and median price was up 5.8 percent. Since 2011, the median price on single family homes has been increasing for Colorado, and the median price is now $253,925, compared with $218,500 back in 2011.
Foreclosures and bank-owned properties are now only 8.6 percent of the market, down from almost 40 percent in the first quarter 2011, and approximately 20 percent of the market in the first quarter last year. This shows the market is becoming healthier.
La Plata County home sales show a significant decline in the first quarter of 2014 versus the same quarter last year. The two months affecting those declines were January and February, while March posted the same number of sales as last year.
In La Plata County, total home sales were down 12.2 percent, and the median price dropped slightly by 0.6 percent.
In the entire Durango market (all Durango residential), the sales were down 19.7 percent, but the median price increased 6 percent, from $318,860 last year to $338,037 this year.
The Bayfield market (both in-town and rural) was up 10 home sales, and the median price was virtually unchanged from $245,250 last year to $245,000 this year.
During the first quarter of 2014, we heard continually about the lack of inventory of homes on the market, and that is particularly true for in-town Durango homes, and for a number of neighborhoods close to Durango.
This is definitely affecting the price of homes, and the median price for in-town Durango is up 10.6 percent. This lack of inventory is perhaps some explanation for the lower sales numbers.
We have also looked at the actual sales for the first half of April and pending contracts, and it appears to be comparable with April and May of last year. We think we are matching closely to 2013 for residential sales from March forward.
We have a shortage of residential inventory in many neighborhoods and price ranges, and an abundance of inventory in others.
It would be wise to contact your real estate agent for input on your market segment, and you may also want assistance with market pricing in this rapidly changing real estate environment.
Don Ricedorff is a Realtor at The Wells Group in Durango, and a past president of the Durango Area Association of Realtors. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.