Colorado Mountain Resorts, Especially Steamboat – Yes or No to Optimistic?

The Denver Post reported in a March 4th Business Section article that real estate dollar sales in Colorado’s 6 mountain resort counties fell more than 10% in 2011. What had started off strong in January ’11, fell off by year’s end.

High end markets such as Aspen, Snowmass and Beaver Creek did enjoy a good 2011, while the remainder of the ski mountain resort areas didn’t have quite as stellar results. I posted the Steamboat Springs and Mountain Resort results based on Land Title’s Colorado Mountain Resort Real Estate Trends Report at the end of  January. This report indeed showed the same data with disappointing news overall, as well as for Steamboat Springs’ real estate activity in 2011.

Denver Post,  Land Title  Guarantee Co. Chart
Denver Post, Land Title Guarantee Co. Chart

What the new Denver Post article pointed out was that 2012 seems to be off on the same strong start as 2011, with January ’12  numbers in and showing positive signs similar to a year ago when January sales stirred up optimism that 2011 would see a real estate rebound. This year:

Aspen-Snowmass saw a very strong January ’12 with 29 deals worth $98.26 million. This was up from 20 deals and $79.48 million in January ’11

* And while not highlighted in the Denver Post article, Steamboat Springs was up 1.43% in dollar volume January ’12 vs. January ’11 – while not what might be considered huge news, it’s still positive and going in the right direction

So with just as much positive news this past January as there was a year ago in January ’11, should we get our hopes up again that “this year” will be the real estate turn-around year? Well, to be honest, we’d all love to have the crystal ball that holds that answer, but in the meantime, we need to be cautiously optimistic despite the rationale to be wary.

Reasons for caution:

* Shadow inventory that has yet to hit the foreclosure market

* Case-Shiller’s year end Price Index report that is anything but positive for many key markets

* Election year political dynamics (or gymnastics) that will have just about everyone promising and posturing semi-facts and semi-truths at some point

* A lending market that is still wary

* Investors who are still waiting for the bottom

* An uncertain European market with uncertain global impact

Reasons for optimism:

* The National Association of Realtors reported that Pending Home Sales rose in January

* NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Run, is predicting the Market is on an “Uptrend”

* The Confidence Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose dramatically in February vs. January

—For more information on buying real estate or questions regarding Steamboat Springs real estate  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, feel free to call Charlie at 970-846-6435 or write me an email at: