It hasn’t been long since our last Grand County market update but a lot has changed in the course of 30 days. The most notable event of the last 30 days, perhaps of the last 100 years, was the wildfire. The East Troublesome fire started on October 14, 2020 and initially seemed manageable albeit in tough terrain. The area where the fire started is a popular area for wildlife and hunting. On the evening of October 21st, the winds, which had been unseasonably fierce for days, created a maelstrom and the fire spread over 87,000 acres in less than a 24 hour period. We all know someone(s) who lost their homes and property in this devastating event- the second largest wildland fire in Colorado history. The official property loss count is unknown but areas between Highway 125 and Highway 34 as the crow flies have been decimated. Our friends in neighborhoods such as Trail Creek Estates, Columbine Lake, Sun Valley, Shadow Mountain Ranch and several other areas have lost everything as they only had minutes to evacuate on the evening of Oct 21st.

If there could be a “positive” of this catastrophic event, it would be the way our Grand County community came together to support the folks evacuated and the first responders. The love felt from around the planet has been immense. We have/had so many wonderful people stepping up to volunteer, provide shelter, clothing and financial assistance. Everyone’s hearts swelled with generosity and kindness. We are so proud to call this place our home.

While the snow and cold temps have helped to end the wildfire season of 2020, we can’t begin to comprehend the next several months and years of rebuilding. Our friends and neighbors will need our support more than ever come spring 2021, when the recovery can start to happen.

And another event of the last 30 days….a Presidential election. Enough said.

Whatever the outcome is or would have been, we won’t feel effects of that in the real estate market any time soon. People still love Colorado and want to make their home here whether part time or full time. The interest rates continue to be favorable. In a normal year (remember those?), we would be feeling a slow down largely because people are settling in for the winter season. We tend to see fewer properties hit the market around the holidays but expect that will pick up after the first of the year. This year may continue that trend unless people are unable to travel here due to the pesky virus.

Lastly, Winter Park Resort announced a delayed opening which they attribute to the fire, displacement of some employees, CoVid numbers and a slow start to snow accumulation. Opening day is now slated for Nov 30. Fingers and toes are crossed.

While it seems a little soon to comment about the continued strength of the real estate market, I can still give you a taste. There is very little inventory which means sales are slowing down just due to that fact. There are many buyers waiting and multiple offers are a reality when new listings hit the market. All areas and sectors of the market are in high demand. Winter Park area homes, condos and land are all up in overall volume year over year: Homes – 62%, Condos – 21% and Land – 41%. Townhomes are up 3%. That lower number is due to less new inventory in the townhome category especially in new construction 2020 vs 2019.

Granby and Grand Lake residential property sales are fairly flat compared to 2019, however, land sales have spiked. Granby land sales are up 48% and Grand Lake are up 194%! While it is exciting to think about the new homes people are planning and designing, it should be extra challenging in 2021-2022 to find contractor availability when much of these areas are in need of rebuilding. We are so very grateful for many things despite all the challenges of 2020. We hope you will stay positive with us as we approach the holidays. Be safe and be well. We are thankful for your friendship.