Vail area real estate sales jump, a little, in May |

Vail area real estate sales jump, a little, in May

Scott N. Miller
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. – Vail-area real estate sales in May posted the best totals so far this year.

There were 79 sales in May, totaling $70.7 million. Both numbers are, by far the best this year. But sales are still lagging well behind last year’s totals, and way, way behind the big numbers racked up in 2006.

There have been 278 completed sales through all of 2009. That would have been the third-best sales month in 2007.

Most of the sales so far this year – 36 – have been in Vail. There have been 35 total sales in Eagle.

Units priced at $500,000 or less accounted for the biggest chunk – 44 percent – of May sales. But most of May’s dollar volume has come from the high end of the market. Those sales – including a $15.9 million Chalet at the Lodge at Vail, accounted for 44 percent of the dollar volume for the month on just six sales.

While May was a better month for some brokers, others continue to limp along.

“We’re celebrating small things these days,” said Bill Wilto, owner and managing broker of the local Re/Max real estate office. “We had a closing today and had two properties go under contract.”

Wilto, obviously, wants the local real estate market to get back on its feet, and said he’s cautiously – very cautiously – optimistic that July and August might be better months.

“Buyers are still being cautious,” he said. “And there are some smart sellers who view this as a business decision, that they may be taking a loss, but that their money might be better invested in something else.”

Rates are still very low by historic standards, Wilto said ( had the national average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 5.37 percent Tuesday). And, he said, there are buyers out there.

But, he added, some buyers are making lowball offers that are simply too low, and some sellers are stubbornly sticking to their asking prices. Those buyers and sellers mean the market is still out of balance in places.

Still, he said, there are deals to be had in some neighborhoods.

“I think sellers will have some opportunities over the next few months if they don’t let their emotions get in the way,” he said.

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