Durango Real Estate and Community News

April 11, 2024

Durango Real Estate Market Update: April 2024

Another month closer to summer, and once again I've started this market update to falling snow! We're pretty much at 100% of our snowpack, so it's shaping up to be another nice Summer! I've got a lot to cover on this one so I'll get right to it. Like a mullet, I'll lay it out with business first and the fun second:

I guess it's about time to speak to all that fuss going on with the proposed settlement terms announced last month. For starters, as a dues paying Realtor with that fancy, tiny circled r after it, I didn't know it was coming. None of us did! We found out at the same time and the same way you did, waking up to the headlines. So understandably there's some confusion out there; the dust is in the air and it's far from settled. As of right now, nothing has actually changed yet, except the perception, thanks to some pretty sensational headlines! I have some clarifying thoughts for today, but they might change tomorrow as we continue to process the implications and potential ripple effects.

Being in Colorado, we've already met a handful of these proposals, so not much really changes. Buyer's Agency Agreements have always been required by the state. Toward the end of last year, my MLS changed its language from requiring a minimum of a $1 cooperation fee (Buyer's Agent commission) to $0, it's only been at least $1 all along! Buyer's Agent's commissions have been displayed on our MLS since I started 8 years ago, and the dollar amount for the involved agents is listed as a line item on Buyer/Seller Settlement closing Statements. (I don't even know what lenders make!) And the big one: Buyer's Agent's commissions can't be displayed on MLS. They're not getting slashed, cut, eviscerated, or snapped away- they still exist, they just can't be shown on the MLS or what it syndicates to. That's it...!

There are still a few good reasons why Seller should still pay the Buyer's Agent, but it doesn't look like I need to get into that yet. So far, I don't see how any of the changes benefits the buyer. (Remember, using a realtor has always been optional. And Colorado is a caveat emptor state.) Of the 242 active residential listings in La Plata County, only one is offering $0 to the Buyers Agent. (Two are offering over 3%!) It's a new listing on the MLS that used to be a FSBO. The average Buyer's agent commission on all the active listings, is 2.57%; 13 of those active listings are paying less than 2.5%; the average Buyer's Agent commission on those is 1.9%, at an average list price of $6.3M.... I don't expect to hear any complaints from the Buyer's Agent's on those transactions.

Now that's out of the way- Spring activities in Durango are finally here!
  • The annual closing day pond skim at Purgatory is this Sunday, the 14th.
  • Durango Bluegrass Meltdown gets down on the weekend of the 19-21st.
  • The 4 Corners Boat Swap will be held over the weekend of the 20-21st, with the return of the cast iron chef cook off!
  • The Durango Wine Experience features two days of wine tastings on the 26 and 27th.
  • And last but not least, the DEVO Bike Swap is on the 27th, and a great opportunity to make some room in the garage so you can fill it right back up again.

Looks like our market is waking up! I still tend to reserve prognostication at this time of year, still watching for emerging trends to help set realistic expectations for folks going into our active season. The biggest change I'm seeing right now is the hard 180 turn the DOM took. So much for that streak!
Was February a fluke with pricing? Maybe not, and going off the logic there, we might be on the verge of another bump to median sales prices for this month. Feb was the 2nd time in the history of my MLS keeping records that more condos were sold in Durango than stick built homes, the last time being, interestingly enough FEB13. Not only were more condos sold, but almost 1/5th of the sales in Feb were Modular/Manufactured, which would pull the overall sales prices down. Jan and last month saw 0 Modular/Manufactured sales, and a higher amount of stick built sales, which contributed to pulling those median sales prices back up. Speaking to stick built homes, Durango saw an increase of 120% in stick built homes go under contract last month from the previous month. I have a feeling the ratio of stickbuilt homes that sell is going to correlate to a higher sales price.

We're still "low" in inventory compared to pre-covid, but it's nice to have a few extra listings on the market at this time of year. Without the handful of rate cuts that were being considered a couple months ago, I don't expect to see a surge in inventory this Summer, but it would be nice to break that 250 mark. More options should create more competition for folks selling, so maybe we'll see a healthy tapering of sales prices that many in our market are craving.  Considering where our prices, rates and inventory are at, I'm a little surprised that we're still seeing so much market activity. I thought the former would have had an affect on our market by now, but things are still rolling along, especially so for what's normally a frozen first quarter.

Happy spring, and get those turns in while you can, river season is upon us!


Posted in Market Updates
March 14, 2024

Durango Market Update: March 2024

Spring is right around the corner, snow is falling, and everyone in my house is still not doing great at waking up an hour earlier. With Spring break coming up, one snow forecast is calling for 2-3' of snow in the high country between now and the end of the weekend, while the another is showing 3-5' in the high country and 2-3' in the mid to low elevations! Despite the weather, we've made it through winter and everyone is finally looking and feeling healthy, just in time for spring allergies to kick in! To make the change of seasons official, Ska is tapping Mexi Logger on the 27th!
February's data might raise some eyebrows, but I'm not too hung up on it yet. This time last year, I was talking about a frozen market, but once it thawed out it took off. Our market is typically slow this time of year, and I think it's reasonable to say that it's finally catching its breath before things should start kicking off in a month or so. If things don't get moving by the end of April, that's when we start talking market shift and expectations going into Summer, and we'll look back to now as the beginning of it. 

Median sales price in Durango finally took a break. I say it all the time, now is usually a good time of year to try to get a deal as prices are typically low. The kicker is, there's not that many options to choose from. But there's not that many people actively Buying either. The flip side for Sellers is sure, you can list now when you don't have that much competition on the market, but there's also not that many people looking right now. Of course this is a never say never industry, and soon as I give an absolute statement, I'll be proven wrong.

So here's the raised eyebrows part, starting with market inventory. Compared to this time last year, far more options on the table, 83% more active inventory this Feb vs last Feb. And despite the median sales price decreasing, and despite the extra inventory (which is still down from a pre-covid FEB19 amount of 323), sales are slow. Durango as a whole had the same amount of sales as last Feb, which had far less inventory, same rates, and slightly higher sales price. And then we have days on market:
Four straight months of an increase in DOM. In fact, the median last month, 105, is around the same amount from May/June 2020 as states were easing the stay at home orders. In other words, we haven't seen this many days on market since the end of a government mandated quarantine. That's not great!
The other statistic that caught my eye is in-town Durango had 10 sales in February and 10 sales in January. We haven't seen sales that low since 2011!  And with half of the amount of properties going under contract this Feb compared to last February, I'm doubting sales aren't going to look much better in March.

So, you can see why my eyebrows are raised. It's not a great time of the year to ring the bells and start talking about a market shift, but these figures do have my attention. If you're thinking about Selling, make no mistake, there is Buyer demand! But right now Buyers are feeling pretty scrutinous and juggling motivations. Due to lack of inventory and higher prices, many end up purchasing at the top of their budget, ldaving a minimum amount left to account for repairs, maintenance and updates. Which is why location and condition matters so much more now than the past few years. Four walls and a roof in of questionable condition in the middle of nowhere at a premium price isn't going to fly.  And if Buyers have to pay a Buyer's agent directly out of pocket, that's just going to further limit their purchasing power. So what we're currently seeing are cautionary signs: higher inventory and DOM, coupled with low sales and sales prices, all on top of higher rates and stagnant wages that continue to challenge affordability. So are these market trends going to continue, and shift our market back towards the Buyer's favor, or is it simply taking a breather before the next round of growth?


Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 14, 2024

Durango, CO Real Estate Market Info | February 2024

Now that people got their peace, love and groove on, and Taylor's boyfriend finished playing at the Usher concert, we can finally get this year started! I hope you're ready, we're pretty much halfway through February, and a month away from the first day of Spring. If you're in the area and don't have plans for this weekend, head up to Silverton for some Skijoring!
Despite the recent news that inflation still isn't in its preferable happy place, I continue to have a feeling our market is headed for a vigorous year. I know those charts up there look a bit dopey, so I threw in an extra one below to liven the place up a bit. (More on that one later.) Looking at the data above in a calendar year, there's not too much to talk about yet. Median sales prices are still trending up, ever since they started cranking last spring, except this time around sales prices are up YoY along with a minor uptick in sales and inventory. This time last year, the national 30yr average was about a half point lower than it currently is, so we've had a full year of 6%+ rates to affect our market, and here January is, up 18% in avg sales price from last Jan. We still have a lack of inventory: 160 active listings in Durango last month, compared to 410 active listings in Jan 2020! So despite record high sales prices and low inventory, there's still fundamental demand to buy in Durango. It's sounding like the feds have slowed their roll on cutting rates for now, but when it happens, it's going to open those floodgates just a bit more. The secondary "perk" when rates get low enough, is that they'll start creating Sellers, which will add to the inventory (as not everyone who sells stays), which in turn will compliment the lower rates in bringing more Buyers to the table.

The real estate circle of life in 2024!  Maybe?

If you own a condo or townhome, how are your HOA dues looking? Have they perhaps increased over the last year? I was just looking at the HOA rates for Tamarron, (if you don't know, a large resort area about 7 minutes south of Purg) for this year and whoa nelly! HOA dues were always a bit higher than average there; the unofficial "resort premium coupled with the maintenance and upkeep that it covers, allowing for hand's off ownership, which is attractive for that market. Taking a 2BR condo just shy of 1300 sq/ft, the HOA was $538/mo last year. This year, it's now $770, a 43% increase due to increased insurance costs. And from I'm hearing, increasing HOA costs are happening across the board. I wonder if we're going to see a wave of owner/occupant condo/TH hitting the market this year? Will investors scoop them up and simply pass the additional costs on through rent?

I put this map together last month to take a quick look at some specific towns and neighborhoods.  Keep in mind this is meant to be a snapshot of the general market, a median sales price of all sales. So you might be wondering how in-town Durango is so low, and comparable to Three Springs and DW2- it's because there are so many condos in town that bring the overall sales price down. If you count only stickbuilt homes in town, then the median is closer to $780K. I didn't want to chase the data too far and factor too many different segments, just wanted to keep it clean and simple. Statistics don't always like that though.


Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 6, 2024

2023 La Plata County Area Median Sales Prices

I'm more of a visual person, so I thought it would be interesting to see a map of the market with corresponding neighborhood median home prices throughout La Plata County from 2023.

2023 Durango neighborhood median sales prices

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 17, 2024

Durango, CO Real Estate Update: January 2024

How'd you make it through the holidays? Did you come out a well rested, well oiled, high functioning human, ready to tackle another new calendar year? This time of the year always has the taste of hopes and dreams, with a whiff of fresh starts in the air. I'm no exception, as this is generally a slower time for me. Which is good! It's an opportunity to get some family time in over the holidays, while evaluating the best way for me to grow my business in a healthy way by ensuring I'm offering the best value to my friends and clients. One thing I go back and forth on is the sample of real estate data I pull from. For these market updates, I use the city of Durango, Colorado; which includes anything that has a Durango mailing address, which also includes properties up in the resort area at Purgatory. That sample set is going to have different data than looking at only properties within Durango City Limits. I know some realtors like to do market updates for just in-town Durango, or stick built homes vs condo/TH, but I feel those sample sets are too small and easily skewed in this market (which is a reason why I analyze by median sales price), not to mention the purpose of this little ditty of an email is meant to give an overview of the Durango market, not a deep dive into every structure with four walls and a roof in southwest Colorado. I was curious if I was missing a difference in coverage, so take a look at this graph, which has the median sales price of the "3 areas" of Durango, and then Durango as a whole (red bar), which is the sample set I use. The green bar is Durango Mountain area up by Purgatory. There's not many monthly sales, hence the big swings (and a reason I use median sales prices).

The red Durango line pretty much maintains the middle ground of all areas. And you can see how erratic the Durango Mountain (Resort) Area is due to low volume. If I notice anomalies of significance, I'll point them out, but analyzing stats can be a full time job; not to mention you really can tell any story you want with data, and it already takes me long enough to get these market updates out! If you have questions about a particular area, or a specific interest in cabins in the woods or condos in downtown Durango, I'm happy to review that data.

SNOWDOWN is coming! Get your patchouli out and your hippy on, this year's theme is Peace & Love.

The beginning of last year was looking kind of rough between the lack of market activity and low sales prices. That gave some people hope to find a deal, and deals were found. Unfortunately, others saw the rough start and expected the market to trend even further in their favor to buy, so they waited, and that didn't go so well. Despite the disparity you see between the different years on the sales price graph, bear with me here, the average-of-the-monthly-median-sales-prices in Durango went up 9% in 2023. Any statisticians or mathematicians here? Is there a name for that calculation, the average of a median?

As mentioned previously, the beginning of last year had a pretty slow start, but if you factor in only the 2nd half of the year, then we saw a 15% YoY appreciation in Durango! Since the graphs above can speak to the big picture for themselves, I thought it might be fun to throw out some other interesting stats within the area.
  • Mancos saw a significant YoY decrease in median sales price by 10.7%, and finished out the year with an annual median sales price of $435K.
  • Bayfield also saw a YoY decrease in median sales price by less than 1%, but still significant considering the growth Durango saw. I wonder what their numbers will look like this year with news of Bayfield getting city-wide fiber internet. Quality high speed internet is going to be a game changer in rural areas out here.  Bayfield's annual median sales price was $497K.
  • Pagosa Springs saw a small YoY increase just shy of 2%, for an annual median sales price of $552K.
  • Overall, we're seeing more active inventory across the market, even though we're down in new listings and sales. That caused to arithmetic to trigger and we saw the month's supply of inventory tease a shift back to a neutral market. But we were also seeing record high sales prices at the same time. Didn't really feel like a shift away from a Seller's market though, even if the math said it was happening.
  • For Durango, the fastest mover was Townhomes in-town Durango, at an average of 58 DOM. Condos in the Durango rural (not mountain/resort) area moved faster, but there were only a handful of those sold last year, so maybe not a metric that carries too much weight. 
    • If you're wondering where a rural condo is, a couple sold in Durango West 2 (they look and live like townhomes) and a couple up in Edgemont Ranch (that are essentially single family homes broken up into multiple stand-alone units).
  • Of the 822 new listings in Durango, 281 were priced over $1M, and 188 were priced under $500K. In 2022, those amounts were 276 and 224 out of 939 new listings.
  • Of the 638 sales in Durango, 297 were bought with cash, 51% of the total dollar sales volume.

My thoughts on the Durango real estate market for 2024? Man, I've got a few. Initially, I think if you're on a budget and willing to make it work, Mancos and Bayfield could be good spots to consider- did the bubble of their micro market popped? Are the increasing sales prices of Durango going to send a wave of folks out that way? And what's Durango going to do?  I've been saying for years now, compared to other Colorado resort areas, Durango was one of the most affordable, and I think the real estate here had plenty of room to grow in value. The kicker is, we're seeing that growth in real estate, but not in wages. If the fed ends up dropping rates this year, which it's still looking likely (sounds like we'll know more this time next month?), it's going to bring more Buyers to the table, and encourage more Sellers to ditch their golden cuffs and make a move. If rates drop enough, there's a scenario where we could see another jump in home values as opposed to just sustaining them. Is Durango simply on a track to grow and not look back like other mountain resort communities in this state? If it sustains another year of near double-digit appreciation this year, it just might be, but there's a long way to go, and time for interventions and corrections. As I mentioned earlier, when fiber internet comes to areas like Edgemont, Falls Creek Ranch, Rafter J, Shenandoah, and other rural areas like the Animas Valley, I expect to see an increase in those property values.


Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 10, 2023

Durango Real Estate Market Update: December 2023

We're nearing the home stretch for the holidays, hang in there! Kids are in school for one more week until winter break and then the pay per view, main event, season finale holiday thunderdome kicks off! Short of just being better at parenting, I'm always somewhat at a loss going into the new year after having the luxury of the impact of Santa on speed dial right now. Three simple words carry so much weight this month: I'm calling Santa. And yes, there's an app for that.
Don't forget about the Business Improvement District's Holiday Rewards event that's currently running, and goes until the rewards are all claimed. Basically, you spend tiers between $200-$750 at the participating local businesses, send the receipts in and get rewarded with a gift cards from one of those businesses. It makes sense considering the season, folks are shopping, and plenty are shopping local.
There's lots to talk about with our market, so do your snow dances and let's get to it!
Well, Durango just set another record high for median sales price last month. Making the top 3 all-time highest monthly median sales prices all this year, #4 was in November 2021. There's a few things to unpack here. First, yeah, if you went into this year waiting for a crash, if simply for the pragmatic, basic need for affordable housing, I feel for you. Or maybe it was a calculated pause to let the rocky start we had this year with a sleepy market and the SVB collapse play out. But once we got spooled up by the end of Spring, our market was humming! Even though we're down ~20% YTD in sales, most of that can be attributed to the first half of the year. Also, remember hearing that theory that when rates go up, prices go down and vice versa? What happened there? I keep telling folks, there's always more to the headline and the soundbite. 2023 has been the year that has defined the significance of a micromarket. That loudmouth on youtube spouting doom and gloom has no idea about the dynamics of the market you want to get involved in. This entire year, Durango has bucked the national news headlines. Our prices went up when major metro areas were dropping, and we're going into this winter with 20% more active listings than last November, and 46% more active listings than the November prior to that!

Here's where you can pick a side of the coin. Some might praise our market resilient. Others might have a few choice words that would ruin the PG rating of this market update. And that's fair, when a median income struggles to afford a median priced home. Despite the highest interest rates we've seen in what, 20 years, and low inventory, our market appreciated by a pretty decent amount. I've been saying for at least a few years now, Durango has (had?) a long way to grow when compared to other Colorado mountain resort towns; we've been the most affordable, and I wonder how we'll compare after this year, and I think next year is going to be more of the same.

The good news is rates have been dropping! The national avg 30yr fixed is down a full point from it's high, and there is a LOT of talk of the fed cutting rates next year, some speculation as early as next month. I'm adding a new section to this letter, with a few bullet points directed specifically to folks looking to buy and those to sell. I thought that might help to add some clarity to this wall of text while giving you a dose of some doublespeak.
Ho ho ho!
I know sales prices are high, but if you're in the market to purchase, I think this winter could be a good window to find something. As of now, I have a feeling we're going to see another year of appreciation, and if rates drop, even below 6 next year, that's going to bring Buyers to the table and writing offers. I don't often give a push one way or another, but we're going into a season where sales and inventory historically dwindle, with more options on the table than last year.
Don't try to time the "bottom" of the rates, get your ducks ready to quack first thing in January.  I think there's going to be a window with lower rates, lower prices and more options, before things really get cranking in Spring.
Then again, it seems like every year of the 20's has been a hold my beer year, so who really knows!
There's no doubt that higher interest rates and low inventory have slowed the market. Despite that, we're still seeing record median sales prices. The average sales price last month in Durango was $1.13. Keep in mind, the 2nd highest sale in Durango the last 5 years sold in November for ~$10M, and the highest sold in October for $12M (both cash). So there's a reason I use median sales price. If December has "normal" sales, I expect to see a sharp price drop, even using the median scale. But a price drop none the less, which I think is going to look pretty compelling, alongside dropping rates and decent inventory, to folks looking to buy.
Depending on the timeline of rate drops, I've heard early as next month, March and 2nd quarter... it might be worth having your property ready to list closer to March than May, depending on market activity with Buyers jumping the gun the moment the rates start going down.
Even though we're starting to show a slight shift back to a Seller's market, based on month's supply of inventory; there are still more options available to Buyers than they've had in the past. Investing the extra effort to set your property above others will pay off, and it's showing. 


Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 24, 2023

Durango Real Estate Market Update | October 2023

Fall is here and already on its way out, as snow accumulates on the peaks, and we careen into the end of year holiday madness! Halloween is two weeks from today, so hopefully you're getting your all inclusive pumpkin fix on, including but not limited to: patch, pie, spice, latte, cookie, candle, soap and whatever else people who love all things pumpkin need in their lives this time of year. As the leaves finish their exhilarating display of golds, yellows and reds, Durango typically slows down for a little bit until the snow starts sticking and the chairlifts start spinning around Thanksgiving. The weather looks dry and warm this week, so make the most of it and get that firewood, drain those water heaters, clean your chimneys and run your furnace. After last winter's snow, check your decks/porches and make sure they're holding up and ready for another winter.
I don't get it! Durango just saw the highest monthly median sales price on record; yet 30yr rates are pinging 8%, we have the most active inventory in 3 years, and solds are highest in the year. What does make a bit of sense is that the annual volume of sales are down compared to last year, and if compared to the year prior, 2021, YTD sales are down nearly 50%, and there's our market in a nutshell. If you're looking to buy, with a loan, and maybe the first time, yeah, I know it feels tough out there, and it is tough out there.
I expect prices to come down over the winter, as they typically do, but I wonder to what degree prices will be affected by reduced buyer motivation, coupled with inventory-that-should-seasonally-dwindle-but-remains-on-the-market? Did that make sense? I feel like I could have worded that better.
The month's supply of inventory remains just over 4, which continues to indicate a neutral market. But if present trends continue: high rates, prices and inventory, we might come out of this winter going into a buyer's market for the first time in 5 years. At least, that's what it could look like on paper. But as present data shows, it might not feel like it, as we can concurrently have high prices and high inventory. But that's a ways off! Let's get through this year and see how things go.
So Sellers, you can still get a great price for a property in good shape, but you (and your realtor) have to work for it.
Buyers, with all the options out there, you (and your realtor) need to keep your eyes open for a "deal". Talk to your lender about buying down points, and how a Seller Concession can help you with that. There's a chance you can turn that 7.8% rate into 6% or even lower. If you're buying with cash, then you're in a great place going into fall and winter to negotiate on properties that have been on the market for a few months.

Trick or Treat!


Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 9, 2023

Durango Real Estate Market - September 2023

Welcome to the dog days of Summer! I was looking through some of my past stats and communications, and it feels like yesterday that I was just talking about how Spring was feeling unusually cold and wet, but have no fear as Ska was just about to tap their Mexi Logger... and now here we are in the height of festival season and Euphoria right around the corner.
I know it seems early, but now is a good time to fire up your furnace and make sure it's ready for another winter season. Better to schedule an HVAC guy now when they're available and you don't really need one, than waiting for the end of October when it's cold and they're booked out for a month. The same goes for your fireplace or wood stove; an inspection and cleaning costs less than $150, and is money well spent for the peace of mind. Both systems got some prolonged use after this past winter, and writing this out is serving as a reminder to myself as well!

Our market is weird; or the politically correct industry term: "shifting". Last winter things really slowed down, new inventory was minimal, and the shock of interest rates kept folks at bay; and not to mention folks feeling socked in by the snow. Looking at the big picture at the above charts, there were deals to be made. Despite the lower amount of new listings, it appears the existing inventory on the market had some sellers that were motivated to close, as reflected in the lower YTD sales price through March. At the time I said things were teetering, and I don't think things are going to crash here, that Durango and La Plata County already weathered the hit of higher rates, and if you're in the market to buy, unfortunately for you, I was right about something. Once April hit, folks that were waiting for the market to indicate a shift in their favor, or simply for the snow to melt, made their move. This past April was the highest median sales price recorded in Durango.

Yet, we're down in inventory, we're down in sales, rates are up, and somehow, Durango's YoY median sales price has increased by 19%!
The demand to live in Durango, despite whatever impact last winter and the return-to-the-office mandates had, remains strong. But, our month's supply of inventory has steadily increased since last August, from 2.8 to 4, indicating a shift away from a Seller's market. Yet the median sales price in August in Durango of $775K was the 2nd highest on record, behind this past April, despite the 30yr fixed national average landing around 6.5% then.

So yeah, our market seems confused. Taking a deeper look, one thing became quickly apparent: 4 bedrooms are hot! While the median sales price of a 3br in Durango increased 3.4% YTD, 4 bedrooms increased by 11% YTD. So what's next? This shift away from a seller's market based on month's supply of inventory, is that going to taper sales prices like we saw last winter? As the new listings begin to dwindle, will we see some deals on existing inventory? Or, if you look at historical trends, some of the highest monthly sales prices were over fall- are we going to see another record month in 2023?

Enjoy the rest of your Summer!


Posted in Market Updates
July 25, 2023

Colorado Mountain Resort County Real Estate Update - July 2023

Every once in a while, I get a wild hair to see how the Durango and La Plata County real estate market compares to other similar counties in the state. To make the quick case: yeah, I consider La Plata County a resort county. While we have all the fixins of a community, Durango also offers all the recreational "resort" activities: skiing, mountain biking, rafting, fishing, hiking -all that jazz, along with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, festivals, events and more. Onto the real estate!

In short, numbers are all over the place! I'm seeing some big swings in year-over-year and year-to-date trends. Makes me think we're seeing the beginning of another shift as markets finally adjust to higher mortgage rates and increasing inventory. In other words, after the last 3 years, it looks like things are finally starting to trend away from a Seller's market.

(Keep in mind, we're talking counties here. The resort specific towns within these counties could (and probably do) have a different data set than the county as a whole. Since limited data will skew the numbers, I opted to analyze a larger constrained area and use median sales prices instead of average to try to give a balanced perspective.)
Compared to the other counties, La Plata still remains affordable, but YTD not the most affordable, as the median sales price of TH/Condos has surpassed Gunnison County (which includes Crested Butte). I don't know what's going with Pitkin County's TH/Condo data: $165K as the median sales price? That number is typically in a solid 7 figure range; their single family home prices still remain off the charts, despite a 16% decrease YTD from 2022. San Miguel County (Telluride & Mountain Village) leads the pack in median TH/Condo sales price, up nearly 39% YTD from 2022.

Some other significant YTD changes to note are:
  • Summit (Vail) seeing days on market (DOM) increases of over 100% for all housing, along with a roughly 20% drop in new listings for all housing.
  • While San Miguel might have cranked up the sale price of their TH/Condo segment, their single family sales are down 35% and the median sales price dropped 46%.
  • Eagle still thinks this is 2022: single family new listings and solds are down 23% and 21%, and TH/Condo new listings are down 42% and solds are down 47%, yet the median TH/Condo sales price is up 26%, and DOM is up over 100%.
  • Routt's (Steamboat Springs)inventory is more of the same: new listings and sold listings across all categories down 23% to 41%, but their sales prices are barely down in TH/condo and barely up in single family.
  • DOM in Grand in the TH/condo segment is up 228%, while inventory is down and sales prices are holding somewhat steady.
  • Gunnison (Crested Butte) has the same amount of YTD sales in the single family segment, but the median sales price is down 19%, along with the median sales price of their TH/condo segment, now making that market more affordable than La Plata's. 
  • La Plata doesn't have too many extremes, yet. Prices in all housing still continue to steadily climb, and just like the other counties, new and sold listings are down 20%-34%.
  • Pitkin had some weird data for the TH/Condo segment. According to the MLS, there were 0 sold in JUN22, and 5 sold this June, with just 4 sold YTD JUN22. Their numbers in single family are down across the board: 22% less sold at 16% lower median sales price in single family.
I was going to speak to YoY data, but I think the above graphs are pretty self explanatory. In lieu of another novel, I decided to put together one more chart, showing the change of Months of Inventory, which is a calculation of new listings, under contract listings and sold listings; pretty much how many months it would take to sell through current inventory given current conditions. If you give it a google, you'll find significance defined by varying ranges, so here's how I see it: 3 months and under is a Seller's market due to high absorption and low inventory. 3-6 months is a balanced market, and if there's over 6 months of inventory, it's a Buyer's market, due to all the available inventory that isn't moving quickly. Some huge changes from last June, and you'd think prices should be catching up to inventory trends any day now. Have they already reacted to interest rates, or is the effect of 7% still yet to have a full impact on our market? There's still a lot of cash buyers out there.


Posted in Market Updates
March 18, 2023

Durango Real Estate Market - March 2022

Another beautiful sunset from Hesperus. I think today is the last day they're open for the season, which is a bummer considering all the snow we have. AND considering we're expecting something like another 3-4' (yes, that's feet) of snow in the first half of next week. Their short season and limited hours make it really hard to commit to a season pass, despite its price point, but some of the most gleeful skiing I've done has been there. With this impressive snowpack, I'm stoked for all the Summer activities this year and really grateful for all the moisture that's going into the environment. We'll have healthy runoff that flushes the rivers out and help fill our reservoirs, the wildflowers should go all out this Summer, and camping in lush green settings in the high country will be a welcome change.

And in less than two weeks, Ska taps their Mexi Logger, so you know Spring is on its way, despite what it looks and feels like outside!



What a volatile start to the year! I was going to put something out the other week, and then that SVB thing happened, and I wanted to see how that would play out this past week. Is it the start of something bigger? Doesn't really seem like it at this point, we're being led to believe everything is under control and the Fed's safety net is working. Is it going to lead to a real estate market crash? If you watch that stuff on youtube, they've been full of doom and gloom, with gaping mouth thumbnails with explosive, sensational and urgent rhetoric in their headlines. For what it's worth, a broken clock is right twice a day.

Maybe the national market is going to take a hit, somewhat already has, but it's all about the micro-market, which in this case is La Plata County. And I don't really see things crashing here; at least for any of the reasons those talking heads on youtube think. Historically, we've been pretty insulated and rebounded quickly from previous times. We could have a big fire or the Animas/Florida could run dry, both of which seem highly unlikely this year. Let me be perfectly unclear, I'm not unconvinced we're going to see a hit to our market, but I'm not convinced either.

Our market is teetering, held up by opposing forces, kind of like an evenly matched game of tug of war, so I'm not making any bold predictions, we're in a wait and see phase. I'm still aligned with the premise that the low inventory will keep sales prices stable. (This won't be the case in other markets.) I think there's going to be a shortage of inventory for a while, as the folks that bought or refinanced in the last couple of years at sub 3.5% rates probably aren't going anywhere anytime soon. And even if there is a crash here, there are so many people primed and ready to jump on a purchase. Even a 5% decrease in listing prices will pull enough Buyers off the fence, creating new demand and most likely re-stabilizing prices.

There's the data you see above, a small dip in median sales price this year, and holy cannolis, we're nearly 70% down YTD in new listings! Despite higher rates, there is still a demand to buy here, it's just that Buyers aren't as motivated to buy a dilapidated fixer upper at a premium price point with a 6.5% interest rate. It's Durango, this place is awesome and more and more people are finding out. And as I've compared the Colorado mountain resort counties in the past, La Plata County is still the most affordable. A couple of data points to compliment the information above:

  • Durango saw a continuous decline in median sales price since November last year through this January, about -13%. The year prior, from Nov21 to Jan22, it straight declined -14%, and the year prior to that, Nov20-Feb21, it declined -14.8%. And we know what prices ended up doing those years.... So no alarm bells going off here yet. But I'm very curious to see what happens this month and next month as we go into the seasonal spring listing surge. If these current trends continue through April, then

  • There was a 42% decrease in days on market for February in Durango. Maybe we finally moved through a chunk of that inventory that listed last Summer? Folks who listed expecting a previous market as we were shifting into a new one. Maybe it's just a fluke, but if it maintains, it could be an indicator of a market picking back up.

Conclusive thoughts: wait and see.


Posted in Market Updates