Realtors: High Country market sees three-year high

Article Published: Sep. 20, 2012 | Modified: Sep. 20, 2012

The High Country real estate market continued to increase in August, with sales hitting a three-year high.

There were 133 Realtor-assisted sales last month, the most since 133 were sold in August 2009. The total value was $31.4 million, the second straight month sales have surpassed $30 million.

The High Country hasn’t had back-to-back $30 million months since July-August 2009, according to the High County Multiple Listing Service.

The median price of a home sold was $195,300, which indicates buyers’ market conditions continue, according to the High Country MLS.

“Summer is traditionally a strong buying season with an additional market influx in the fall,” said Laurie Phillips, executive officer of High Country Association of Realtors. “With low interest rates and a solid inventory, we are seeing more buyers looking to invest in the High Country.”

Dating back to March, High Country Realtors have reported sales of more than 100 for every month, but one. Since May, there have been 475 listings sold, the most in a four-month span since 514 were sold from July to October 2008, according to the MLS.

Sales are also speeding up. The average time a sold listing spent on the market last month was 213 days, the shortest such time span in more than a year, MLS officials said.

This is reflecting trends recently reported by the National Association of Realtors.

“The students are back in school and the summer buying season is almost over,” Phillips said. “The current trend indicates that the summer to fall of 2012 may be the best sales season in more than four years.”

The National Association of Realtors recently reported that real estate sales are occurring quicker. In July, the median time a previously occupied home was listed for sale shrank to 69 days, down from 98 days in July 2011.

The national housing market is seeing other positive trends. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that home prices for the first half of 2012 are seeing the strongest gains in six years. This is primarily due to lower inventory.

“Banks have slowed their pace of foreclosures,” the paper reported. “Investors have snapped up discounted properties that they can convert into rentals. Home builders, struggling for several years to compete on price with foreclosed properties, have added little in the way of new supply.”

According to the NAR, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 4 percent all year. Sales of previously occupied homes jumped 10 percent in July from a year earlier, while sales of newly built homes increased 25 percent in the same period.

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