Breckenridge Colorado Resort Real Estate Market Analysis - Q1 2011- By: Ted Amenta
The Breckenridge real estate market is continuing to make a comeback from the market lows of 2009 and this comeback is being lead by Breckenridge investment property sales. The number of first quarter single family home sales are also up for the second year in a row. Vacant land continues to be the weakest segment of the Breckenridge real estate market. But even vacant lot sales have seen an increase during the first quarter of 2011 over those of Q1 2009.
The strongest segment of the Breckenridge Colorado real estate market is that of investment property. Located in Summit County Colorado, Breckenridge is one of the world's premier ski resort destinations. In fact, the ski area has recently been the most popular ski resort destination in North America with well over 1.5 million skier visits. Breckenridge, Keystone (also located in Summit County Colorado), and Vail are often the top three ski resort destinations in the U.S. as measured in terms of skier visits. Summit County Colorado also offers a wide variety of non-ski related activities including hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, sailing, music and film festivals, performance arts, wine tastings, mining tours, art shows and competitions, and other community and privately sponsored events.
With all of these activities and attractions bringing tourists into the Summit County Colorado region, Breckenridge investment property (purchased and held for the purpose generating short term rental income) is a major segment of its real estate market. And while single family homes can be rented to visiting tourists as well, most Breckenridge investment property consists of multi-family residences (i.e. condos, town homes, etc.). During the first quarter of 2011, three times (300%) the number of multi-family residences sold as did during Q1 2009. This number for Q1 2011 was also nearly twice that of Q1 2010. The first quarter numbers of Breckenridge multi-family residence sales in 2009, 2010, and 2011 were 19, 33, and 57 respectively. It is also worth noting that there were two sales during Q1 2011 of multi-family residences which sold for prices in excess of $1.5 Million. These were the first sales of such properties in this price range since 2008.
Breckenridge single family home sales have also seen an increase during Q1 2011 when compared to the first quarters of 2009 and 2010. The first quarter numbers of single family home sales in 2009, 2010, and 2011 were 27, 30, and 33 respectively. This represents about a 10% increase in Q1 home sales over the previous year during each of the past two years.
Vacant land continues to be the softest segment of the Breckenridge real estate market. But even when it comes to vacant land, there are some signs of improvement in the market. The number of first quarter vacant lot sales in 2009, 2010, and 2011 were 6, 12, and 10 respectively. Therefore, during Q1 2010 there was a 100% increase in the number of vacant lots sold over Q1 2009. And while the first quarter of 2011 saw a couple fewer lots sold than Q1 2010, the number of sales was still well above Q1 2009.
It is worth noting that despite the recent increases of Breckenridge real estate sales, these sales numbers are still well off of their highs. First quarter multi-family residence sales peaked at 130 in 2006, more than twice the 57 condo/town home/duplex sales during Q1 2011. First quarter single family home sales peaked at 61 in 2005, nearly twice the 33 house sales during Q1 2011. And first quarter vacant land sales peaked at 84 in 2006, more than eight times the 10 lot sales during Q1 2011.
It is also worth noting that the increase in Breckenridge real estate sales across the three main property types (i.e. single family, multi-family, and vacant land) over the past two years can be attributed to a variety of factors with the decline of real estate prices being significant among them. Sale prices for residential real estate have been down approximately 33% and vacant land prices have been down approximately 40% from the market highs.
So far in 2011, the inventory of available Breckenridge real estate listings for sale among the various property types and within various price ranges is comparable to or below inventories during the same time last year. And in 2010, there was a federal tax incentive for prospective buyers to purchase real estate during the first half of the year which did not apply to the second half of the year. This had the effect of shifting purchasing demand from the second half of the year to the first half. Despite the lack of this federal tax incentive in 2011, demand for Breckenridge real estate during the first quarter of this year has exceeded that of 2010. And with a similar number or fewer available real estate listings on the market, prices may well stabilize or even experience some increases during the next three quarters of 2011. Only time can tell.
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Living in Summit County Colorado since 1992, Ted Amenta is a Breckenridge Real Estate Broker/Owner specializing in Breckenridge investment property as well as investment real estate throughout Summit County Colorado. Summit County includes the ski resorts of Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper Mountain as well as the nearby towns of Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, Blue River, Wildernest, and Heeney.