Garfield County sets real estate record |

Garfield County sets real estate record

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The real estate market in Garfield County can be hard to decipher when looking at the numbers.

Usually a decline in total transac­tions would mean a decline in total dollar volume, but that hasn’t been the case in Garfield County.

Through November 2007, Garfield County saw a decrease in transactions of 0.53 percent com­pared to 2006, with an increase in total dollar volume of 17 percent. The county also reached a new record of $1.09 billion in total dollar volume for the year ” not including December transactions ” eclipsing the $1.04 billion reached in 2006 for the entire year.

A market analysis report from Land Title Guarantee Co. in Glen­wood Springs shows a declining trend in total property transactions from August to November 2007 compared to the same time for 2006. August and September recorded a 21 percent decrease, October bounced back with only an 11 percent drop, but then came November, with a 31 percent decrease over November 2006.

However, this is not a point of concern, according to Tonya Nies­lanik, co-owner and broker with Vicki Lee Green Realtors in Glen­wood Springs. “It’s typical for the winter season to be slower,” Nieslanik said. “But this fall was slower than the past two or three years.” January and Febru­ary are the slowest months, in Nies­lanik’s experience, for home sales. Nieslanik said that typically, home sales tend to slow during the holi­days and then pick up again in the spring. And that’s what she’s expect­ing for this upcoming year as well, despite the unusually slow fall.

“We are expecting it to be a good spring,” she said. “Maybe not as good as last year, but it will move along fine.”

January 2007 was atypical, post­ing the largest percentage increases of the year over the same month of 2006, with a 50 percent increase in transactions and a 73 percent increase in total dollar volume, up nearly $40 million, to $92.3 million. The decreases that started in August could very much be attributed to the media attention around the nation on the subprime mortgage market collapse, according to Linda McKin­ley, registered mortgage advisor for Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. in Glen­wood Springs.

“August was tough,” McKinley said. ” But we were trying to get the word out that financing was still available. The slow fall may have been caused by the whole media storm and we are not back to nor­mal yet, but we are getting back there.”

McKinley was surprised at the decline in transactions, because her business has only seen an increase over 2006.

“We had a better year than before and have been pretty steady,” she said.

Nieslanik said the market has remained slow through December, with properties staying listed for longer than usual. But she was positive the market would rebound once again.

“If we look back over the years, prices have gone up and up and up,” Nieslanik said. “I don’t foresee anything drastic happening. Interest rates are still holding good and low, and that makes me hopeful that we will see a good start to the new year.”

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