Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate- Smart Buyers Report


Vail, CO (December, 2008) - At least once in everyone’s lifetime, a real estate opportunity comes along that they will always remember. Some will see what a smart move they made. Others will regret the smart move they could have made. Today, the Vail Valley of Colorado is one of those opportunities.

Four decades ago, Rod Slifer was explaining why it was an excellent time to buy in Vail. And it was. Beaver Creek in the mid-80’s presented another occasion. Today, smart buyers are finding value in homes throughout the Vail Valley with a broad selection of inventory, favorable interest rates and a very resilient local market.

Once again, the window of opportunity has opened. Buyers are realizing there are a number of reasons to take advantage of current market conditions and purchase their mountain homes. There is no better time than the present to create a legacy of memories with your family. History Historically, the Vail Valley has been a strong market with a general positive trend of average sales price (see charts below). Fundamentals remain strong. A limited amount of land left to build on continues to keep supply low. In fact, over 80% of the land in Eagle County is National Forest, Bureau of Land Management land and Colorado public open space (per Eagle County).

Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate has been here for over four decades. We have seen these cycles before:

• The upheaval of the oil patch and recession of the early 1980’s

• The Savings and Loan scandal that affected the market from 1989 to 1991

• The recessions of the early and late 1990’s

• The “dotcom” meltdown of 2000

• September 11, 2001

In every case the Vail Valley went into the downturn later and emerged earlier than the rest of the country. Today, the United States has been in a housing downturn for approximately three years. We began to experience the effects in the Vail Valley only a year ago. Sophisticated buyers and sellers keep our market strong as property values have remained stable throughout the years even through these past cycles.


Build Out Is Near

Due to the limited amount of land, the availability of land left to develop is close to build-out, especially in key locations. New product in the resort areas of Vail, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead will be limited except for current developments. Except for a few single family homesites, Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch are fully developed. Outside of one large site, now a skier parking lot that could accommodate a new building, Arrowhead is completely developed. Many of the prime, ski-in/ski-out resort locations have been taken. Additionally, the cost of developing new properties in many cases exceeds the cost of existing properties. This means that inventory from new developments will be limited except for those already on the market.

The Bottom?

Timing the bottom in any market, not just real estate, is nearly impossible. By the time the bottom has been reached, prices have already started to increase and the smart buyers have plucked the prime properties and best values from the inventory. People purchasing real estate today compete with fewer other buyers and enjoy “cherry-picking” the absolute best offerings in the market. As the upward momentum begins to increase, the large pool of buyers who have remained on the sideline begin to enter into the market as prices have already risen and inventory of the most desirable homes begins to fall.Waiting for the market to change may bring increased prices and more competition for fewer homes.

Favorable Interest Rates

Although many purchasers consummate transactions in the higher end of the Vail Valley real estate market with cash, low interest rates provide all buyers enticing financing options. These historically low interest rates provide key stimulus for middle and low end of the market buyers who rely on this financing. Overall, this provides a solid fundamental basis for the entire range of our real estate market. Although it is hard to quantify time, we all have come to understand that life is short. We value quality time shared in the comfort and companionship of family and friends. We know that the moments spent with them are precious. Memories are made, legacies are created. There is no better time than now to share these moments. Time and again we hear from our clients that the experiences shared here in the Vail Valley are some of the best memories they have. They talk of gathering families for vacations and hope that their homes and memories will pass on to future generations.

Time is irreplaceable. How long do you want to wait? For the complete article: