Breckenridge & Summit County Happenings

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July 15, 2021

Summit County Real Estate June Market Snapshot

Posted in Market Reports
July 14, 2021

Is Now a Good Time to Buy Summit County Real Estate?


Is Now a Good Time to Buy Summit County Real Estate?



Summit County is home to some of Colorado’s best natural attractions. This town of less than 50, 000 residents holds some of the most attractive real estate in the western United States and is home to several scenic ski resorts.


But like the rest of the country, Summit County’s housing market suffered a setback with the 2008-2009 housing bust. The recession resulted in a severe drop in property prices which lasted around eight years. But in 2017, real estate prices in Summit County began to rebound.


By the time 2020 came around – pre-pandemic - the housing market in Summit County was red hot; prices were hitting record highs without any signs of letting up. However, after a momentary lull due to the lockdowns, the market has come roaring back and prices are pushing upwards.


As an indication of how fast the market is going, 2021 conforming loan limits for Summit County are now the highest in all of Colorado. This has never happened; usually conforming loan limits for the county lag behind that of Eagle County. But today it is the highest in the state.


Here is a snippet of what the housing market in Summit County looks like right now:



  • In January 2021, residential properties spent less than one month on the market before they were sold. If the homes were listed for less than $1.5 million, they spent only half a month; that is 15-20 days, on average.
  • As a rule, when listed homes spend a very short time on the market, that housing market is considered a seller’s market, and the prices of homes are expected to increase. This is currently the case with Summit County, as buyers regularly offer above the asking price.
  • Compared to previous years: average property prices went up 26%; 74% more houses were sold in the first quarter of 2021 than were sold during the same period in the past; and April 2021 had the highest April sales ever, except for April 2006 and 2007.
  • To compound the situation, compared to 2020, the number of homes available for purchase shrunk by 76%, which means prices are bound to go even higher.


What is driving the market?

With the events of the last housing crisis fresh in most people’s minds, many are wondering if this is not similar to what happened in 2009. A lot of commentators are asking if Summit County is getting ready to experience a housing crisis of its own.


As much as these fears are justified, especially in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the catalysts for Summit County’s housing boom are quite different. The 2009 housing bubble was caused by the mortgage industry, but this phenomenon is being driven by:


  • Previously looked on as the generation that spurned homeownership in favor of renting, Millennials are challenging this stereotype. As more of them marry and have children, they now make up the largest share of US homeowners. This is driving demand for new housing across the entire nation, Summit County included.
  • Urban centers across the USA are experiencing an exodus in the wake of the Coronavirus. Swarms of city-dwellers are moving to areas outside the city but close to it. This is why almost half of the home buyers in Summit County are from the Front Range and a further 32% from outside the state. Only 22% of buyers were local.
  • Recreational activities and the rise of zoom towns are two more factors driving the housing market. Along with Bend (Oregon) and Butte (Montana), small towns like Summit County are becoming centers for remote working. The presence of unique recreational activities in Summit County makes the location doubly attractive.


Is now the time to buy in Summit County?


Yes, this is the time to buy and there are a few reasons for that.


The factors driving the housing boom in Summit County have very deep roots and the conditions are unlikely to change any time soon. As a matter of fact, housing prices are expected to go even higher than they already have.


The housing inventory is not suddenly going to surpass buyer’s demand for new houses. Even if new homes are being built, as indeed they are, there is the counteracting effect of population growth, as more people move into the town.


From 2009 to 2020, Summit County’s average residential housing price index moved from $587,866 (2009), to $492,621 (2013), $686,314 (2017) and $903,385 (2020). This is not a superficial trend; it started well before the pandemic and is likely to continue for some time.


Lastly, getting a mortgage for a Summit County home is easier due to the high conforming loan limit. With conforming loan limits for this resort town highest in the whole of Colorado, lenders will be more willing to underwrite loans for homes in this location than any other in the state.


Investors and buyers who take action today will be positioning themselves for the inevitable increase in available listings that will happen once the ski resorts start to close in early summer.

Posted in Article
June 20, 2021


Posted in Market Reports
July 31, 2017

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Posted in Market Reports