Sales hold, prices don’t
2009 was the year for local ‘market correction’ in real estate
Times Editor
Originally published 2010-01-28

Working harder to make less. That is an economic phenomenon hitting workers in many industries, all across the country during this recession. And if you gauge it solely by the data, it appears to have rung true for Gunnison County real estate professionals in 2009.
They sold nearly as many homes as they did in 2008 (232 compared with 234), but the total dollar volume of those deals dropped 19 percent.
The reason, of course, is that prices fell significantly. The average sales price of a home in the Gunnison area dropped 26 percent in 2009 (to $236,194), according to Multiple Listing Service data compiled by Tom Courtney of RE/MAX Community Brokers in Gunnison. In the Crested Butte area, including Mt. Crested Butte and Crested Butte South, home prices plummeted 31 percent (to $541,641).
Its a real estate correction that many saw coming in the wake of the buying frenzy of a few years ago” much of which, especially up-valley, was spurred by the sale of Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
I think perhaps some of what were seeing is the result of that false economy that was created five years ago, Courtney said.
2005 was the peak real estate year in Gunnison County, when total residential sales topped $265 million. Last years sales volume is barely a third of that (see inset).
I think its a good correction to the market, said longtime Gunnison broker Mindy Costanzo.
We still have an incredibly attractive market,she added. If we offer properties at the right value, were going to have more sales. Its that simple.
In Crested Butte, residential sales activity actually grew fairly significantly. There were 130 homes sold in 2009, compared to 101 in 08. Not all of those were willing sellers, however.
There were quite a few distressed sales, said Tom Filchner, the owner of Prudential Becky Hamlin Realty in Crested Butte.
Gunnison County saw a record number of foreclosure starts in 2009. Foreclosure is a lengthy process and many of the properties are cured before they ever hit the general real estate market. But Filchner, who deals primarily in the up-valley vacation home market, said he did see some foreclosure sales.
And it doesnt take too many of them to affect the market,he added.
The median price of Crested Butte area homes dropped even further than the average all the way to $352,500, a 39 percent dip.
The state of the real estate economy in Gunnison County in 2009 was hardly unique. Slumping sales were common across the region. Fewer homes were sold in Denver last year than at any time since 1997, according to the Denver Post. In Jackson, Wyo., the dollar volume of home sales plunged 79 percent.
Read the rest of this article brought to you by the Gunnison Country Times:
Sales Hold, Prices Don’t
Corey Dwan – REALTOR
Benson Sotheby’s International Realty
P.O. Box 210
433 Sixth Street
Crested Butte, CO 81224
970-596-3219 Cell
970-325-3219 World Wide Cell
970-349-6653 Office
970-797-1810 Fax