Cash Is King In Crested Butte

Home mortgage rates are still attractive – less than 6% – but in Crested Butte, cash is the preferred method for a real estate purchase. This activity reflects a national trend. According to a National Association of Realtors survey, all-cash purchases are par for the course in the second-home market. 59 percent of investment buyers paid cash in 2010, as did 36 percent of vacation-home buyers. Read the article here

Twenty-one of the 33 Crested Butte homes and condos sold so far in 2011 were cash purchases. Remarkably an additional 31 residential properties are currently under contract signaling a strong start to the year for the local real estate market.

What is spurring all of this activity? A good snow year always helps. Crested Butte Mountain Resort reports 360 inches of snowfall this ski season – Mother Nature blessed us. The direct flights from Texas to the Gunnison-Crested Butte regional airport have also helped to keep Crested Butte on the destination resort map.

But, the biggest reason folks are buying up our real estate right now? We have a good selection of choice properties at bargain pricing.

In many cases, values are well below replacement cost for properties in our area. The average sold price per square foot for homes and condos this year is approximately $185/sft.

Informed buyers quickly understand that at our current values, they simply could not buy a piece of vacant land, design and build a home at these prices. And, steep, monthly HOA fees for ski condos are seemingly much more palatable as 22 condos, ranging in price from $57K for a Grand Lodge studio to $680K for a bank-owned Silver Ridge slopeside unit have sold this year. There are another 19 condos under contract.

Up at the Lodge at Mountaineer Square, eleven condos have sold since September 2010, ranging in price from $160K for a studio to $760K for a three bedroom unit. Now, a bit of scarcity with 3 bedrooms is starting to impact value. The best priced 3-bedroom condo at the Lodge at Mountaineer Square is listed for $950,000.

While high inventories of available homes, condos and land in Crested Butte continue to create bargains for buyers, nationally, some key real estate markets might be headed for a good ol’ fashioned rebound. This week, Fortune Magazine ran an interesting article about why it’s a great time to invest in real estate. Mike Castleman, founder and CEO at Metrostudy, firmly believes the U.S. housing market is headed for a comeback due to inventory shortages of new homes. “The talking heads who are down on real estate will hate to hear this, but America needs to build a lot more houses. And in most markets the price of new homes is fixin’ to rise, not fall.” Interesting perspective and worth a read. Read the Fortune Magazine article here.Notable Sales in Crested Butte:
1482 Peanut Lake Road just sold in a all-cash deal for $3,125,000. This sale by Sotheby’s marks the highest transaction price for a residential property in Crested Butte since June of 2007. It is the fourth sale of a property valued at or above $2.9 million since August 2010.

View This Month’s
2011 Crested Butte Real Estate Adviser Issue #3 Newsletter Here

Thanks for reading today!

Channing Boucher
Broker Associate
Benson Sotheby’s International Realty

Contact Channing at 970-596-3228 or via his website.
Channing’s Blog: The Crested Butte Real Estate Letter

Benson Sotheby’s International Realty | 433 Sixth Street | Crested Butte | CO | 81224

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