Garfield County’s real estate market cools |

Garfield County’s real estate market cools

GARFIELD COUNTY ” Even the blistering real estate market in Garfield County has cooled this year.

A report released Monday shows the dollar volume of real estate sales in Garfield County dropped 22 percent during the first half of 2008 compared to last year. Total sales were $440.29 million through the end of June compared to $565.8 million at the same point last year, according to a report by Land Title Guarantee Co.

The title company bases its analysis on all deeds recorded with the county clerk.

The sales volume has dropped every month except February so far this year. Sales in June totaled $72.59 million compared to $106.1 million for the month in 2007. That’s a drop of nearly 32 percent. The number of transactions for the month fell 43 percent, from 268 to 153, the report said. For the first half of the year, transactions were off 36 percent.

Garfield County’s real estate market took longer to cool down than most of the rest of the country. The Garfield County market has been buoyed by the natural gas boom in the western part of the county and second-home development in the Glenwood Springs and Carbondale corridor. The county set a record in 2007 with sales of $1.22 billion, and 2006 was the first time the total sales volume topped $1 billion.

Appreciation also appears to be slowing. The median price of single-family homes in Carbondale dropped 7 percent during the first half of 2008 compared to the median price for all of 2007, Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report showed. The median price so far this year is $630,000. (The average single-family home price in Carbondale, which is more susceptible to influence by big sales, increased 16 percent.)

Median single-family home prices were flat in Glenwood Springs, Silt and Rifle, compared to 2007, the report showed. The median price was up 15 percent in New Castle during the first half of the year.

In Garfield County as a whole, the average single-family home price was $473,276 during the first half of this year, compared to $455,769 for all of last year.

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