Market Overview – Behind the Numbers

Posted by Joel Rosenfield on Friday, June 24th, 2016 at 3:48pm.

Overall, sales prices are up about 10% in 2015 over 2014 and price per square foot is up 7%.  There are basically no more bank-owned or short sales available, and if one exists there is a likely a serious problem with the property that makes it unmarketable.  We see demand from all types of buyers – primary homes, second homes, and investors for both long-term and short-term rental properties.  There are new developments both under construction and in the works in most categories – primary homes, condos, and second homes and condos at the resorts, in private communities, and in Old Town. In Old Town in particular, many historic homes are being underpinned to add square footage and modern features while preserving the historic exterior.

The numbers provide a good summary of the overall market, but they don’t tell the whole story.  This is especially true when you break the numbers down by neighborhood, and more so for neighborhoods with just a few sales per year.  Even within a neighborhood, numbers can change greatly from year to year depending upon which properties are sold.  Also, some categories result in oddly combined collections of properties.  "Park City Condos" includes everything from a skier-rental studio to a 5-star penthouse.  The numbers also don't differentiate between new construction, remodeled homes, or homes that have what today would be considered to have a "dated” decor.  Each of those factors presents a differing level of demand and so will have different price per square foot.

If it seems like there is a “hot neighborhood”, it’s usually a result of being underpriced for the market.  It also could be that a new development comes into a neighborhood to fill a need in the market, whether that need is affordable, new condos and townhomes like Black Rock Ridge or a modern ski in/ski out property like Stein Eriksen Residences.  

These are the factors that most enhance a home’s value in Park City with all other things being equal such as size, bedrooms, and bathrooms:

- Ski access, particularly ski in/ski out
- Proximity to resorts/proximity to Old Town
- Views 
- Open layout, good flow
- Quality of finishes
- Park City School District

Here are some trends that we are seeing. 

"Modern" style is in fashion, and new construction and newly remodeled homes are selling at a premium -- clean lines everywhere.  "Mountain Modern" and "Transitional" also are popular -- clean lines, but with some wood and stone features and accents.  Neutrals instead of colors, iron railings rather than wood.  There has been a remodeling boom in Park City for the last year or so, and much of that is following these styles.  With very few exceptions, the only homes you’ll see with modern finishes are new construction or homes with very recent major remodels; hence the premium.  So if you're looking for a cozy, lodge feel for your home rather than the modern look, right now could be a great time to buy. 

Here is an interesting trend I’ve observed:  In many locations and as prices have gone up, I've seen this sequence of events take place within several neighborhoods or developments:

1) For several months or even a year or more, there are almost no properties on the market in a particular area or development that are listed for sale.

2) One home gets listed at a price that is a significant jump over the previous sale in that development/neighborhood.

3) The property sells.

4) All of a sudden, you see many more listings in that area

The takeaway from this is that if you’re happy with the price of one property that is for sale in a particular neighborhood, then other similar properties may become available too.

This is a snapshot of the market today, but the market changes over time.  It’s important to work with a Real Estate professional who understands the market in various neighborhoods today and keeps track as those trends change tomorrow.  Give us a call to discuss them!

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