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Breckenridge Market

Colorado Ski Visits Down 11%

colorado-ski-map-620x406According to The Colorado Springs Business Journal ski visits across the state of Colorado are down 11.5% so far this season, compared to the same period last year. The Journal sites the lack of snow and late openings for many Colorado resorts as major factors in the drop of skier traffic.

“First period is largely fueled by in-state visitors, and an unseasonably warm October and November kept many Coloradans from tallying lots of ski days” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA, a nonprofit industry group that represents several of the state’s largest ski resorts. “Snow did not arrive in earnest until mid-December.”

Despite the slow start, ski areas saw a strong holiday period with conditions more in line with an average year. The New Year started with storms, which bodes well for the rest of the season, she said.

“There is some real buoyancy in the indicators for the months ahead. February and March hotel bookings are pacing ahead of last year by 3.5 percent and 8.6 percent respectively,” Mills said. “Carnival and Easter are well-timed for ski visitation this year and Colorado’s traditional snowier months lie ahead.”.

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Summit County Foreclosures Hit Three-Year Low in 2012

julyfc2012Foreclosures in Summit County fell to the lowest levels since 2008 last year, dropping to 264 in 2012 from 316 in 2011, according to data from the Summit County Treasurer’s Office. Accounting for the number of foreclosures that involved time-share properties, which fluctuates, local filings for single-family homes appear to be on track to return to pre-recession levels.

There were 33 foreclosures in 2008. That number spiked to 47 in 2009 and got as high as 145 in 2011 before beginning to decline last year.  “It could be people’s financial situations improving,” Summit County Treasurer Bill Wallace said. “Or, the other guess is second-home owners are either unable to keep their homes or haven’t been buying second homes. “ Though foreclosures are holding steady to last year so far in 2013, experts expect to see the number of filings decline again over the next 12 months, saying Summit County’s market seems to be directly linked to, though slightly behind, Denver’s.  “It’s coming back down,” said Maggie Dew, business development officer for Stuart Title in Frisco. “We’re close enough to Denver that when their market is strong, then our market is strong as well. However, we do lag behind their market.”

Foreclosure sales across the state have fallen to a six-year low, down 18 percent in 2012 from the year before, with all but 15 counties across the state posting declines last year.  There are more than 30,000 properties on the tax roll in Summit County, and only a small fraction of them have been foreclosed, even through the rough economy of the last few years.

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Your Guide to Buying a Rural Property in the Rocky Mountains

imagesThe Rocky Mountains offer many pristine, rural properties, ranches and farm houses for sale.  Here are ten pieces of advice to keep in mind before buying:

  1. Is the water supply public or private? If it’s well water, you should have it tested to check for chemicals or other harmful components.
  2. Does the house have adequate septic? When a house is constructed in a rural area, a leach field is built to collect sewage and water waste. Make sure the leach field is the proper size to avoid costly construction bills down the road.
  3. Is the house on a private road? If so, you could be facing thousands of dollars in extra expenses each year, as you’ll be forced to split the bill with your fellow residents for plowing, maintenance and paving.
  4. Has the area ever experienced a major power outage? If so, how long was the power out?
  5. How is the air quality? Ask about radon levels and smog levels from any nearby manufacturing plants.
  6. What is the average snowfall? How does the town handle major snowstorms?
  7. Where are the boundary lines? Make sure the property divisions are clear and established.
  8. Who handles trash pickup? Is there a nearby dumping ground?
  9. Are there any deed and zoning restrictions?
  10. How difficult is it to maintain the property?

Colorado Revenue Continues to Grow, Economists Say

imagesColorado’s economy continues to outperform expectations, spurred on by tax revenue from stock sales, although unemployment remains high, state economists told lawmakers Monday.  The state’s tax receipts are expected to be $548.2 million, or 7.1 percent higher, this budget year than the prior year, according to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s economists. The latest quarterly forecast from state economists touched on familiar trends of past reports: Colorado’s economy is outperforming the national economy, but there remains caution because of the revenue growth is driven by taxes on one-time stock sales.  “We have clue after clue that what we’re dealing with is volatile revenue stream,” said Henry Sobanet, Hickenlooper’s budget director.  With the adjusted revenue numbers from December, the state’s general fund is expected to be $8.3 billion for the fiscal year that began in July. The general fund now exceeds the pre-Great Recession peak of $7.7 billion in 2007. The quarterly forecast released Monday afternoon will play a key role in the upcoming debate over the budget, especially as lawmakers debate an overhaul of the state’s system to fund schools. Lawmakers typically give final approval to the budget next month.  State legislative economists also delivered a separate forecast to lawmakers Monday with a similar outlook of cautious optimism for the state.  “I believe it is the spring of this recovery. However, know that storms can still happen in the spring,” said Natalie Mullis, the Legislature’s chief economist.

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Market Insights: THE Simplest Way to Get an Unbelievable Deal

bildeBuy and hold. Three words — that’s it.
The national housing outlook is positive.  The consensus of a panel of economists is that due to low inventory, low housing construction in recent years and pent-up buyer demand, that over the next 10 years we can expect prices to go up around 40 percent or +/-3 percent a year, which is in line with past average appreciation.
Prices in Summit County have plummeted since the peak. The economists mentioned above stated that nationally prices have fallen 33 percent. Here is what is happening in Summit County. Minimum drop in prices- 20 percent.  Typical drop in prices – 25 percent. Very common drop in prices – 30 percent.  The largest drop in prices – 40 percent.

In other words, everything is on sale right now. No matter what you buy, you are getting a deal.  Summit County price appreciation lags the rest of the nation.

There have been three market slumps. The first started in1973 and lasted four years. The next one started in 1981 and dragged on for seven years. And, of course, the current one that started here in 2008 (two years after the rest of the nation).  Based on my experience, our market lags the rest of the country going into and coming out of real estate slumps.

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Real Estate At A Glance: Summit County Land Sales

bildeThe average land price in Summit County won’t increase by 45 percent this year like it did in January. There were only three lots sold in January and one of them was for $850,000. Land prices and sales did increase last year and that trend will probably continue, just not at the pace set in January. Prices in the next three months will almost certainly beat the really low prices of early last year, so prices will look a lot better.There are just over 1,500 properties for sale and 350 of them are vacant land.  A real estate fact of the week: $481,200 is the average sale price for land in January of 2013.  $229,800 is the average sale price for land in January of 2012

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Vail Resorts Closes on Sale of Land at Breckenridge Peak 8 Base for Timeshare Development

1imagesYesterday Vail Resorts, Inc. finalized the sale of approximately 2.1 acres of land at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8 to an affiliate of Breckenridge Grand Vacations Inc. The sale price was $11.1 million in cash.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations is the developer of several premier timeshare properties in Breckenridge, including the popular Grand Timber Lodge and Grand Lodge at Peak 7. The Peak 8 property will be developed as a 75-unit, ski-in/ski-out timeshare resort with a host of amenities including a public restaurant and full-service spa. The project will also improve skier circulation at the base of Peak 8 by widening certain key ski trails.

The timeshare development is the latest addition to the overall master plan and vision for developing vibrant base areas on Peaks 7 and 8 and creating a strong connection to Breckenridge’s historic Main Street. To date, The Breck Connect Gondola, One Ski Hill Place, Crystal Peak Lodge and The Grand Lodge at Peak 7 have been developed under the Peak 7 and 8 Master Plan.

Breckenridge Ski Resort also recently announced its plans to greatly enhance on-mountain summer activities, subject to applicable regulatory approvals, and is in the final stages of the Peak 6 expansion accessing 543 acres of new terrain which is scheduled to open next ski season.

“This is an exciting time for Breckenridge Ski Resort, with continued investment both on the mountain and at our base areas,” said Alex Iskenderian , senior vice president and chief operating officer for Vail Resorts Development Company. “Improving the bed base at Peaks 7 and 8, and having a gondola taking our guests to and from town, has transformed the Breckenridge experience.”

In addition to enhancing the look and experience at Peak 8, the timeshare project is expected to generate $2.5 to $3.0 million to the Town of Breckenridge through real estate transfer tax revenues, said BGV’s Rob Millisor . “I would like to thank Vail Resorts for the opportunity to bring such a visionary project to life, as well as the Town of Breckenridge for its partnership and thorough development review process,” Millisor said.

The Peak 8 timeshare development will be at the site of the Bergenhof Day Lodge, which will be torn down this spring. Vail Resorts has committed to partnering with the Summit County Recycling Center to recycle materials that are eligible for recycling and Breckenridge Grand Vacations plans to incorporate reclaimed materials into its new building. Some grading and utility work in the area will begin this summer and vertical construction of the timeshare project will begin in the spring of 2014.

“Breckenridge Grand Vacations has been a great partner at the Grand Lodge at Peak 7, and we look forward to continuing that partnership at Peak 8,” said Iskenderian.

2012-13 Skier Visits Creep Up by 4 Percent in Colorado

Arapahoe Basin Ski AreaColorado’s ski areas hosted 11.4 million skier visits last season, a nearly 4 percent increase over the previous season’s 11 million.

The 11.4 million mark, while an increase over the dismal and dry 2011-12 season, is the third-slowest season in the past decade, and the annual increase falls well below the national spike of 11 percent.

Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade group that represents 21 of the state’s 25 ski areas, reported 6.4 million skier visits in 2012-13, an increase of 3.8 percent, or 235,000 skier visits, over 2011-12. Vail Resorts’ four Colorado ski areas — Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone and Beaver Creek — saw about 5 million skier visits.

Colorado’s 2012-13 season started slowly, with weak snow and local skiers staying home. Storms in late December and late spring fueled a rebound in visitation. But it wasn’t enough to pull the state closer to the 12 million-skier-visit benchmark it reached in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011.

Declining skier visits does not necessarily correlate to decreasing revenues, as evidenced by ski areas that saw increased revenues in 2011-12, which saw record declines in visitation.

Breckenridge Finds Bright Future After 2010 Lodging Tax

In 2010, Breckenridge Town Councilman Mike Dudick led a charge for a lodging tax increase to generate marketing money for the town of Breckenridge.  Some residents worried the funding wasn’t needed or the added cost might deter potential visitors, but in the throes of the recession, voters approved the tax hike.  Two years later, Breckenridge’s marketing pocketbook is approximately $1.2 million fatter, but is the town better off economically?While it is difficult to determine the return on investment of money spent to promote an entire town, rather than a single business, those who monitor the pulse of the local market say yes.

“I think the clearest indicator of the success of the increased marketing dollars is that lodging revenue in the town of Breckenridge has grown,” Dudick said. “All indicators are that we’re doing better than what we have in the past.”

As of October, short-term lodging sales tax revenue was up 6.2 percent year-to-date over 2011. Bookings for rooms in Breckenridge were tracking up 2 percent from last year for the month of December, even though occupancy at 16 other mountain resort destinations was down more than 12 percent for the same month, according to data released by the Mountain Travel Research Program at the end of November.  Sales tax numbers for the retail and restaurant industries also trended well this year.

Commercial Real Estate Showing Signs of Life In Summit County

While the numbers aren’t always great, things might be looking up in some areas for commercial real estate in Summit County, according to local professionals.

Jack Wolfe of Wolfe & Company Commercial Real Estate in Breckenridge sees a few good signs that things are turning around, despite some increased vacancy rates in Breckenridge for July. Three large development parcels sold or went under contract last quarter in the resort town, which indicates to him the bottom of the current real estate recession has been reached.

Year-to-date sales for restaurants and bars and retail stores in Breckenridge have increased compared with last year — 15 percent for restaurants and bars, and 3.3 percent for retail — something that indicates commercial real estate could follow. Commercial space is a trailing indicator, and reflective of the overall market, Wolfe said.

“Restaurants are just off the chart right now,” Wolfe said. “I’ve got several restaurants who are looking for space in Breckenridge, and I can’t find them.” Click here to read the entire article.