I am romantically involved with my Zestimate. Yep. Even Me. It is nearly impossible to avoid occasionally monitoring your rising property value(s) during a year such as this. However, take that Zestimate with a grain of salt. I believe it impossible to algorithmically process all vital aspects of value; specifically, interior finish level and intangibles such as setting and view. That said, I am impressed with its ballpark accuracy. If you want to learn your actual market value, just ask me. I can usually confirm, deny, or modify your Zestimate with thirty minutes of research.
THE PANDEMIC PUSH CONTINUES
The reason for those rising Zestimates: the torrid pace of sales continued through the summer. Year-to-date, the number of units sold is up by 26%. Presuming that is how we finish the year, it will mark the second year in a row of such increased volume. Pre-pandemic, 2013 thru 2019, the annual volume of units sold fluctuated by merely 3%. You will recall that market activity during the first of half of 2020 was essentially suspended by the pandemic but the year ended with a 27% increase in units sold.
The storyline quickly became the volume of inventory. Since May of this year, the number of units for sale has hovered around 300 (the long term norm is 700-ish). Also since May, the volume of units sold has increased year-over year. This means that the inventory for sale is being purchased and replaced in synchrony. The effect is competition for the new listings and the effect of that allows seller to get ‘top dollar’ for their property. And there you have a rising market.
Throughout the summer, the most popular questions have remained, ‘is it safe to buy?’ and ‘when will this surge in value end?’. I won’t write that essay here (you're welcome) but I will elaborate if you call me. In short, I believe it is safe to buy smart. That means you buy with a with a plan to hold long term and you buy a property that is a blue chip in all market conditions. This year, it has been quite stunning to see less-than-excellent properties sell quickly. These are properties which would -in a normal market- require four to six months of market time to get sold. Buying smart means that it is better to pay bit more for a blue chip than to pay less just to get something. It is certainly true that getting something accomplishes the goal of living the Vail Valley life but there will come a day to sell that property and exiting at the right price can be almost as gratifying as getting here.
AROUND THE CORNER
The surge in values might abate this winter during our typical ebb in house hunting - November through January. Over the last three weeks, however, I have not seen the typical end-of-summer ebbing. There may be more gas in the tank and the cultural shift toward ‘quality of life’ seems to be quite deep. A significant economic event may be the only thing that causes the pendulum to swing. I do long for a metronome-like marketplace.
THE SCORE CARD...