Summit County Average Home Prices Surge During First Few Months of 2024 - Will the trend hold?

Single-family home prices in Summit County are up anywhere from 18% to 38% for the first quarter of 2024, according to various real estate data sets.

According to an April report by Land Title Guarantee Company, the average price for a single family home between January and March of this year was $2,459,847 — an 18% increase over 2023. The report looks at actual recorded transactions at the county clerk and recorder’s office. 

For three years now, the average and median residential price in the county has been over $1 million, with the first quarter of 2024 seeing a “record number of residential closings (54%) over $1 million,” the report states. 

The Colorado Association of Realtors, a state branch of the national association, records market trends through data on its multiple listing service, which tracks real estate transactions that are conducted with licensed Realtor agents. Its reports show even larger gains. 

According to the association’s most recent market analysis, the average single-family home price year-to-date was $2,717,442, a 38% increase from the prior year.

When looking at Summit, Park and Lake counties, March saw a 57% increase in average sale prices compared to the same period last year, stated Colorado Association of Realtors President-Elect Dana Cottreel in an April report. 

“The real estate market continues to face a shortage of available properties, driving prices upwards,” Cottrell stated. “Despite an increase in new listings and a dip in sales, inventory remains low, exerting upward pressure on prices.”

Cottrell added that although prices are “significantly up when looking at the same month last year” figures “continue to fluctuate month to month.”

To Summit County Realtor Dishon Lutz, the trend is to be expected for this time of year. 

“I think it’s kind of typical for our spring season to take off and for us to see a boost in the market,” Lutz said. “Are we going to see a 30% increase over the course of the year? That’s what I would struggle with. I think it will kind of average itself out.”

Looking to the rest of the year, Lutz predicts the county’s real estate market will flatten with average figures that are comparable to 2023 which saw average single-family home prices hover at just over $2 million. 

After significant price increases between 2020 and 2022, the county’s housing market began to cool. In 2023, the average single-family home price increased just over 1% compared to the prior year, according to Land Title data. 

Prices still remain the highest on record, but the slowdown in gains could be a signal that the market is beginning to level out after being rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lutz said. 

Supply and demand continues to be the largest driver of high home prices, with Lutz pointing to the difference in price changes between single-family and multifamily homes as an example. 

While market reports from Land Title and the Realtors’ association differ slightly on the change in multifamily homes, both show much smaller changes compared to single-family properties. 

According to Land Title, the price for multifamily units, such as condominiums or townhomes, rose by 6% for the first quarter of 2024 while the Realtors’ association reported a 2.5% decrease. 

A view of apartments and condominiums overlooking Dillon Reservoir and marina on April 22, 2020. Unlike single-family homes, multifamily units saw less drastic price changes during the first quarter of 2024 compared to that same period in 2023.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

Lutz noted that because of the difference in data and the limited number of transactions that occur month-to-month in the county, numbers can change somewhat dramatically. But what both reports show, he said, is that prices for multifamily homes are more stable. 

A key reason is likely the difference in supply between the two products. According to Lutz, the number of townhomes and condos listed for sale increased by 14% in January, 19% in February and 30% in March. Listings for single-family homes, however, were down 7% in January, 3% in February and 8% in March. 

“If you reduce inventory from a single-family home perspective, you see that (average) sale price climb a bit,” Lutz said. 

Another important factor that Lutz is keeping an eye on is interest rates, which impact everything from mortgages to credit card payments. 

Following 11 individual rate hikes over the past two years, the U.S. Federal Reserve is currently holding interest rates at around 5.3% - the highest in more than 20 years. Mortgage rates are even higher, with the average rate on a 30-year mortgage currently at more than 7%

For homeowners on a fixed rate, it’s created what real estate experts refer to as “golden handcuff” which describes the conundrum of those who may want to sell their properties but won’t because buying a new home would mean paying higher rates.

At the end of last year, Federal Reserve officials signaled they may lower rates following a drop in inflation. But so far this year, the inflation rate has proved stubborn and continues to hover above officials’ 2% goal. As of March, the inflation rate was 3.5%, a slight increase from 3.2% in February. 

If and when interest rates are cut, Lutz said it will likely spur more movement in the county’s housing market which has up to this point remained largely stagnant. 

“I think (the Fed is) watching inflation very closely because they know once they make a move they have to somewhat continue down that path,” Lutz said. “So it’ll be interesting to see at what point in time do they feel like the economy has slowed enough to make that move.”

Post a Comment