The Ups and Downs of Steamboat Springs Luxury Real Estate Market

Although the number of real estate transactions in the overall Steamboat Springs area has fallen sharply over the past three quarters (22% over the five year average), one segment that has posted more stable numbers has been Steamboat’s “luxury market”. Although not specifically defined in any real estate manual, I consider properties with purchase prices in the top 5% of the market being worthy of this distinction.

With only a little over half of 2008 to compare, the bar has continued to be raised with the biggest and best Yampa Valley real estate has to offer.

In 2007, the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service posted 443 condominium sales, and the top 5% (22 properties) ranged in price from $805,000 to $2,150,000.Steamboat Springs Luxury Real Estate Market

Through August 1, 2008, there have been 10 sales in that same price range, with the highest priced condominium being a slopeside, four bedroom and bath, Antlers condominium for $2,500,000…a $350,000 increase.

On the townhome side, the top 5% of the 249 townhomes that were sold last year (12) ranged in price from $1,779,000 to $3,125,000.

Thus far in 2008, only five have sold within this range, but the highest two were substantially higher in sales price than what was posted in 2007…at $5,308,200 and $5,400,000. These were side-by-side townhomes located on the slopes and each averaged over 6,000 square feet.

Yet, the most impressive increase in purchase price has come in the single family home sector. 2007 saw 427 purchases. The 21 transactions that defined the luxury home category recorded a price range between $2,375,000 and $7,700,000.

With only seven months into 2008, there have already been two sales higher than last year’s record, at $8 million and $8.2 million. The highest was a 70 acre estate in the middle of the South Valley with a 5 bedroom home, barn with English-style pub and 3 bedroom caretakers quarters, all along a half-mile of the Yampa River.


Although these sales numbers are striking, perhaps more telling of the state of the market is the number of listings. As of August 1, there were 82 condominiums listed for sale in the Steamboat Springs MLS that were priced above the 2007 “luxury market” price floor of $805,000.

This equates to a 45 month supply. 47 townhomes were listed above the $1,779,000 threshold (a 47 month supply), and there is a 40 month supply of single family homes with 70 listed above the $2,375,000 basis set for luxury homes in 2007.

The supply for a given time period is calculated by taking the total number of annual sales in a particular category and dividing it into the number of listings in that category.

Furthermore, the percentage discount sellers have taken off of their list price has increased since 2007, reflecting added competition for buyers. In 2007, luxury condominiums were sold at an average of 98.80% of list price. In 2008 that number has dropped to 90.93%.

Similar reductions have also held true for townhomes…100.79% in 2007 versus 96.87% in 2008, and in single family homes, the sales-to-list ratio has dropped from 96.69% to 90.98%.

In comparison, MLS-wide average sales-to-list ratios thus far for 2008 have been 97.25% for condominiums, 97.24% for townhomes and 95.81% for single family homes. This suggests that luxury market sellers are more willing to negotiate a greater percentage off of their list price than sellers in the overall market.

You may recall the caution I specified in my August, 2007 Steamboat Analyst and Newsletter regarding the Steamboat luxury market and how buyers need to be watchful on how a property is priced in this segment of the market.

Looking at these numbers and the pace at which luxury sales occur shows a very healthy supply of high end properties for Steamboat buyers, and competition for these buyers is growing.

While the bar continues to rise for the price buyers are willing to pay and the lavishness that is available in the Steamboat market, better opportunities for buyers are now presenting themselves more frequently than in the recent past.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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