As we come to the close of 2011 I would have to say not a lot has changed, which is good news.  As 2010 got us more involved in knowing how to manage short sales and foreclosures it was only getting us ready for the same in 2011.

We continue to see short sales and foreclosures motivating our buyers and unfortunately keeping other prices down. Around 15% of the sales in Grand County are bank-owned properties and another 15% of our sales are short sales – this should give you an idea of what we are working with. The good news is that banks are getting more realistic and we are able to get most short sales to the closing table. The sooner the bank-owned and short sale properties are sold and off the market the sooner we can return to a more typical resale market, which most sellers would like to see.

Looking at our year to date numbers compared to last year. The average Residential sold price has dropped 4% with total sales volume up 5%. This does not seem too bad given the double digit numbers we’ve seen in the past few years and hopefully we will see some balance return to the market.  Remember 2010 brought a big drop in sales numbers so we have a ways to climb out of when comparing it to years past numbers. Condominiums still saw a big hit to prices this year with their average sales price down by 28% and the sales volume down by 6%. We anticipate that vacant land sales will continue to struggle until home prices gain more solid ground.  Vacant land is tracking with prices down by 20% and sales volume down by 30%. The home and condo deals are too good for buyers right now so looking at buying land and building is not something we are seeing a lot of. The overall good news is that very well-priced properties are selling and buyers are moving forward with purchases knowing these are some of the best prices we have seen since the 80’s. It couldn’t be a better time to buy. Lending is still a little tough but it is very doable and we have qualified lenders that can help make your transaction as smooth as possible. Turnaround times from contract to closing with a loan is approximately 5 weeks.

In the past few years some builders have lost their projects to the bank.  Many of these developments have either been placed in receivership and are now back on the market or they have been sold to secondary developers who are now finishing up the units and listing them for sale. These offer buyers a great opportunity to purchase units at pennies on the dollar compared to their original prices. We are very excited to let you know Real Estate of Winter Park has just listed a few of these great projects. One of them is Bear Crossing, a high-end townhome complex located next to the national forest and downtown Winter Park. There are 19 remaining units scattered throughout the project with varying views and floor plans (although two units just went under contract).  These gorgeous 3 bedroom, 2,000 square foot units are starting at $399,000 which is around $200,000 less than what the original developers sold units for.

For someone on a smaller budget, another great project located in Fraser is called The Timbers. The Timbers is on the shuttle route and has great access to local trails for hiking, biking and cross country skiing.  Here you can enjoy a new construction condo for a fraction of the original price. They offer a variety of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom floor plans and all have oversized garages with owner’s closets.  Prices start at $169,900 for a 2-bedroom/2.5 bath with a garage.

Call us for more information on the market or information on these new projects.