Real Estate Market Slowdown Continues in Steamboat Springs

With the first half-year of 2008 in the rear view mirror, data compiled from the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service from the first six months reveals a continuing slowdown in real estate activity in the Steamboat area real estate market that began in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Steamboat Ski Area offering panoramic views

Steamboat Ski Area offering panoramic views

The record pace that began in 2003 and carried through until the 4th quarter of 2007 has not only been tempered by local conditions, but also national concerns.  The recent sale of the Steamboat Ski Area, as well as other large real estate holdings accelerated the market over the past several years.

On a nationwide level, the loss of access to easy mortgage money, a struggling economy and election year uncertainties have consumer confidence at a lower level than prior periods.  Combined, results show the market performing in a slightly less than normal course.  A 23 year trend analysis estimates transactions should be around 675 for the first half of 2008, however actual posts show 462 transactions in the first six months.

In the shorter-term second quarter of 2008 (April 1 through June 30, 2008), the MLS posted a total of 225 transactions, $135 million in dollar volume and a median price of $315,000.  With the unique circumstances and resulting sales surge in 2007, it would be more reasonable to compare market performance on an average rather than to last year’s record setting pace.

Consequently, since 2000, the average for the second quarter activity is 377 transactions (-40%), $154 million in dollar volume (-12%) and a $265,250 average for the median price (+6%).  The second quarter of the year is typically the second most active quarter in Steamboat.

More notable is the increase in the number of listings.  Now, with over 2,000 listings in the MLS books, buyers have more property to choose from than ever before (or at least since 1995).  At the conclusion of Q2 of 2007, there were 1,046 listings.

With all of the construction that has occurred over the past several years and the new construction that is adding more product to the market, it is reasonable to expect listings would increase.

However, the quarterly absorption rate (number of sales divided by the number of listings (or supply to demand ratio)) calculates to 11% for Q2, which is was a much lower rate for the Steamboat Springs market than what it has experienced since the 8% rate posted in Q1 of 2003, and the first time the rate has dropped four consecutive quarters.

The absorption rate is the rate at which inventory is consumed by the marketplace.  An 11% quarterly rate means 11% of the listings are absorbed (purchased) by the market in a 3 month period.  The highest quarterly absorption rate in Steamboat Springs was during Q2 of 2007 where 54% of the listings were sold in that three month period.  The lowest was 7% in Q1 of 1997, and the eight year quarterly absorption rate average is 20%.

From 2000, the average number of residential transactions (single family homes, townhomes, condominiums, mobile homes, timeshares and farm & ranch properties) averaged 264 in the second quarter with an average median price of $354,887.  In 2008, the second quarter posted 136 transactions (-48%) with a median price of $477,500 (+35%).

The least expensive single family home purchase in Routt County was a two bedroom, 976 square foot home built in 1911 in Phippsburg for $157,000.  The most expensive was a 9,400 square foot mountain estate situated on 149 acres with an 11 acre reservoir, detached caretakers quarters and custom barn.

Located in the South Valley, the property was purchased for $8 million…$1.5 million below list.
Of the 46 condominiums that sold in Q2, a Mt. Werner Meadows condominium at 295 square feet was the most affordable, and was purchased for $165,000, or $559 per square foot.  At 2,182 square feet, a four bedroom and bath, slopeside Christie Club condominium was the most expensive purchase at $2 million, or at $917 per square foot.

A brand new 3,465 square foot Stonewood Townhome captured the high sale in its category at $1,887,775, while a modest two bedroom, one bath 969 square foot townhome in Hayden was on the other end of the spectrum and sold for $159,000.

The land market was down considerably in the second quarter of 2008, posting only 48 sales.  Average for Q2 is 90, equating to a 53% decline.  This trend is not surprising and likely will continue as less land is available for development (and is becoming more expensive with added regulations).  As supply declines, it is little surprise the median price was up a substantial 86%, to $302,000 from the prior eight year average of $162,222.

Steamboat Lake

Steamboat Lake

An unbuildable $7,000 lot near Steamboat Lake was the least expensive purchase, while the most expensive land purchase was a 664 acre parcel near Stagecoach for $6,250,000.

There is no doubt the amount of inventory in the Steamboat Springs market will slow the rate of appreciation all properties have experienced over the past several years.

However, there remain certain property types that are still difficult to find (older slopeside condominiums or acreage under $200,000, as examples).   At the current sales pace, it will take a while for the market to absorb what is already available, but the market has been in similar situations before.  As with all markets, sellers and buyers will make the final determination on when the time is right to make their move.

**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.

UK Property Predictions for 2008

What is going to Happen in the UK market?

Giving accurate UK property predictions is never straight forward, and in the current property market conditions things are even more difficult to predict.

However, this web page endeavours to cut to the heart of what is potentially going to happen in the UK property market. Therefore, equipping you with tools to deal with anything that is thrown at you in 2008.

What Happened in 2007?

We could not give our UK property predictions for 2008 without first making an assessment of what happened in 2007 and also in the preceding years.

The debacle of what happened in the United States with the subprime mortgage crisis then in the UK at Northern Rock in 2007 has sent a shock wave through the banking World. This in turn has had a knock on effect on any business that relies on borrowing money to function; hence, as well as the banks, many property investors have become nervous and are considering ways to mitigate their risks.

There maybe an impending squeeze on things like 100% mortgages and self-assessment mortgages. In fact, we are already seeing many big players in the credit card market such as “Egg” take steps to reduce the risk of bad credit by stopping the credit cards of those people it deems as being the biggest risk.

Are We Heading for a Recession?

When giving uk property predictions it may help, if we look back to the property “crash” of the 1990’s. What were the conditions surrounding and leading up to the crash at that time? Two of the man factors that influenced the crash of the time are:

  • Interest rates peaked at almost 15%
  • Unemployment was rising sharply

Thankfully we are no where near either of these scenarios at the moment. So the chances of having a dramatic price drop are probably slim in comparision.

That said, we probably won’t see the double digit price rises we have become accustomed to in recent years.

Capital Growth

The likelihood is that we will see a continuation of what has been seen over the last few months, which is a much flatter growth in house prices than we have been used to in the preceding years.

However, in locations that are undervalued (and yes there are still some) property values should still increase at a decent rate. Giving property owners a good capital return on their investment.

The old rules still apply. You should look for areas that are being regenerated and a lot of government and private sector money being poured into them. They should also be easily commutable to the nearest Towns or big cities.

If you are relying on capital growth in 2008, you are potentially going to have to tread more carefully than you have done for a few years. Consider buying distressed property cheaply and doing it up and make sure that you have your exit strategy worked out well in advance.

According to recent figures from the Nationwide, London continues to out perform the rest of England and Scotland continues to out perform the rest of the UK. So both London or Scotland might hold safer options than most of the rest of the UK for short term capital growth.

The Facts

While many people making UK property predictions are predicting that there will either be a zero % rise or we may even see house prices move in a negative direction – nobody really knows what is going to happen.

Many so called experts are paid to make outlandish UK property predictions that will draw you in with their headline. However, if you track what these same experts said just a few months before you will see that what they are saying now is often contradictory to what they said then.

So take heart in one of the basic laws of supply and demand. The Demand for housing is far outstripping what can currently be supplied and the government is trying to address this issue, but are woefully struggling, especially with the influx of people from abroad coming to live and work in the UK in the last few years.

If demand is high but supply is low – prices will normally continue to rise. This is a general rule, but one that holds true providing other factors such as affordability is in place.

And despite what the journalist sometimes say, the UK economy is in a reasonably healthy state.

Light at The End of The Tunnel

When talking about UK property predictions, the bottom line is always going to be the same. Buy the property for the right price, in the right location and do the right due diligence and 99.9% of the time you will be onto a winner.

In conclusion, to our UK property predictions for 2008, the facts are that 2008 promises to be a volatile year for property investors. Many will fall by the way side and will be looking to cash in their portfolio.

To stop yourself being one of them, more than ever, you need to scrutinise every property deal that comes your way. Don’t rely on capital appreciation, or if you do, be prepared to sit on the property for a few years and ride out any storm.

Property is still a very safe investment. However, in the current market you may just need to have a better property education to be successful at it.

**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.