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Luxury real estate sales in Vail jumped by 50 percent in 2018, according to Slifer Smith & Frampton

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February 13, 2019, 10:41 am

Sales in Vail’s luxury real estate market grew by more than 50 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the Vail Valley’s largest real estate brokerage, Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate (SSF).

Here’s a press release from Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate:

Luxe is the word in Vail Valley real estate: Sales up more than 50 percent in the luxury market

VAIL, Colo.—Feb. 13, 2019 — Some people splurge on once-in-a-lifetime vacation experiences; some choose to spend their money on a spacious dream home. But for some, those desires are combined—for those folks, buying a home in the Vail Valley is the only solution. The luxury market showed substantial growth from 2017 to 2018, demonstrating a lust for luxe in potential homebuyers.

“Vail is the nucleus of our real estate market,” said Donna Caynoski, broker associate with Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate (SSF). “If we are selling in Vail (Vail Village, Lionshead, Vail Golf Course and Cascade Village) and if the prices are stable and increasing, buyers begin to see opportunity in high-end purchases down valley in Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Mountain Star because purchases in these areas appear to be a great value.”

And while the luxury market is hot throughout the valley, homes in Vail Village continue to be the most coveted commodity. Caynoski said that she’s had situations where one buyer is purchasing multiple properties in Vail Village and the sellers of those properties are purchasing other properties within Vail Village.

Another contributor to activity in the high-end niche was the number of unique, one-of-a-kind properties that were on the market in 2018, said Slifer Smith and Frampton realtor Led Gardner.

“Whether it’s a penthouse above The Red Lion or a spectacular single-family home in the Beaver Dam, Forest or Rockledge Road neighborhood, these properties become available perhaps once in a generation and savvy buyers are responding to that,” Gardner said.

One of the most recent proof points was the sale of the property at 344 Beaver Dam Road in December for $23M. This 6-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom, 7,619 square foot contemporary residence includes a pool, two-car garage, modern design and many other amenities, including its location just steps from Vail Mountain.

“These buyers purchased 344 Beaver Dam because the husband grew up skiing in Vail and wanted to return to that mountain,” said Catherine Jones Coburn, branch broker at SSF’s Bachelor Gulch office. “They were moving from another home in the valley and had been contemplating the move for some time. This home offered a contemporary design, which is their preference, and the quality they desired. It was also newer than most homes on the market in Vail proper, which they also liked.”

In addition to the property at Beaver Dam Road, there have been four home sales in the area of more than $20M. Slifer Smith and Frampton (SSF) has been involved in three of those sales; Caynoski in two of the sales.

Prices continue to climb in Vail, with homes in the village now listed for more than $30M and up to $4000 per square foot – and they’re selling. Two of Caynoski and Jones Coburn’s listings, new construction homes at 144 and 142 West Meadow Drive, were under contract nine months prior to their anticipated completion; a $25M listing shared by Jones Coburn and Caynoski was under contract in less than two months of listing.

Luxury still trending in 2019

It’s impossible to predict the future, but Gardner is hesitantly optimistic.

“Having lived through this in 2000 and again in 2009, I am leery about making broad predictions,” Gardner said. “However, if current trends continue and we avoid any world events like what happened in ‘08 and ‘09, I believe we are positioned to continue to experience a solid market, throughout our market. We are one of a select few places in the world where those with substantial financial resources want to be.”

Caynoksi agreed, as long as there is product to sell in Vail Village and snow on Vail Mountain, which encourages visitors to become homeowners.

“The only concern I have is lack of product, which is why I express to buyers that these valuable properties may only become available once in a lifetime,” Caynoski said. “It only takes one buyer; once that buyer surfaces, a home may not see the open market again for generations.”

And as a rising tide carries all ships, Caynoski expects the higher prices in Vail Village and the lack of inventory will, in fact, generate activity in other areas.

Areas west of Vail are also seeing success with the sale of luxury properties. Kathy Iverson, a realtor with SSF based in Arrowhead, sold her home in Dec. 2018 for $1,101.67 per square foot, a total of more than $9.5M.

“It’s different (in Arrowhead) — it’s a neighborhood,” Iverson said. “But we’d see a lot of homes in Bachelor Gulch sell and thought, ‘maybe it’s time to build.'” 

But, as with many areas in the valley, inventory is scarce in Arrowhead.

“We sold the home because the market is doing better and because it was fresh and new,” Iverson said. “I saw homes going for $6M a few years ago. But I also saw that there was a change happening. We’re not Vail or Bachelor Gulch, but high-end homes are selling.”    

Perhaps the most compelling argument for the continued uptick in luxury real estate in Vail is the fact that truly, there is nothing like it on earth.

“All of the high-end sales that I was involved in throughout the Vail Valley were to buyers who already own here or have been coming to the Vail Valley for many years,” Jones Coburn said.  “Looking at other destinations was really not even a consideration. All of the buyers were making a bigger financial investment as well as a bigger personal commitment to spend more time here in the future for both themselves and their extended families.” 

It’s difficult to put a price on quality time with family in an incredible resort destination, but in the Vail Valley, buyers are showing that it’s worth it.

In the past five years, SSF has consistently led the sales of luxury properties in the Vail Valley, both residential and land properties of more than $4M, counting both listing and buy sides. In 2018, SSF accounted for $529M in sold properties above $4M.

For more information about Vail’s luxury real estate market, please visit VailRealEstate.com.

Sidebar: Here is a breakdown of the luxury real estate market in Eagle County, Colorado, by the numbers:

Vail Village and Lionshead Luxury Market in 2018 (residential sales of more than $4M)*

  • Sales: 33
  • Total sales volume: $281,926,000
  • Average sales price: $8,543,212
  • Highest Sale: $23,000,000
  • 22 condo | 9 duplex | 2 single-family
  • Compared to 2017: up 80.56% 

Eagle County Luxury Market in 2018 (residential sales more than $4M in all of Eagle County; includes some numbers from above)*

  • Sales: 67
  • Total Eagle County Sales volume: $510,459,250
  • Average Sales Price: $7,618,795
  • Highest Sale: $23,000,000
  • Compared to 2017: up 50.4%

*Source: Vail Board of Realtors MLS

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