Red Feather Lakes real estate values rebound

Real estate activity in the mountain areas surrounding Red Feather Lakes is rebounding from the effects of the housing bubble.

“It seems to be gaining quite a bit of momentum,” said Lone Pine Realty owner and broker Steve Koeckeritz.

Ponderosa Realty owner and broker Lucille Schmitt estimated her firm has twice as many pending transactions as it did at this time last year.

Koeckeritz said buyers can enjoy prices 10 to 15 percent less than the peak in 2008. This means sellers are accepting bids much lower than their asking prices, Schmitt said.

Citing figures compiled from the Multiple Listing Service, Schmitt noted that the overall average home price in the area rose from a low of $118,000 in 2009 to $172,000 in 2011. Overall sales volume rose to $15 million this year, from a low of $11 million in 2010. The number of transactions fell from 93 in 2009 to 63 a year later, then climbed to 72 in 2011.
Like all mountain activities, there is a season for real estate. Koeckeritz noted that the first half of this year “was very slow, like last year.” But like last year, when the market kicked in from July to October, sales seem to be strengthening this summer.

Buyers seem to be favoring existing homes over new construction. “There is stronger activity in homes or cabins than vacant land,” Koeckeritz said.

On the Lone Pine website, Kroeckeritz posts numbers that analyze particular markets such as Crystal Lakes, Glacier View and the Red Feather village. His numbers show that in Glacier View vacant lots have declined to $29,000 from $40,000 on average in 2007. The new low is comparable to prices logged in 2000.After a four-year slide, home prices began to rise in 2010. Total sales volume in Glacier View is down 30 percent since 2003, but the median home price has remained nearly stable at about $225,000.

The average price of a home in the Red Feather village peaked in 2007 at $130,000, dropping to $109,000 in 2010. The median price, however, has remained fairly level at $125,000 for the last four years.

In Crystal Lakes, the highest and most remote area, sales peaked in 2006, then dropped to half that number last year. The average price dropped to $183,000 from $212,000.

“We are quite a bit busier than we were the last two years, and we’re getting a lot of Front Range people looking around here,” Schmitt said.

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