Thursday, February 3, 2011

End of year report: prices down, sales up

Quarterly reports from the Park City Board of Realtors tend to emphasize the positive, and the 2010 End-of-Year Report released last week is no different even though people wishing for a quick market recovery will find it sobering.

That's because, said past-president Mark Seltenrich and new president Patrick Giblin, no matter how bad it is, Park City is faring better than the Utah average, which is faring better than the national average.

The bad news

"The outlook for 2011 is more of the same as what was seen in 2010," Seltenrich wrote in the report summary. "The market will continue to be very price sensitive it will continue to be a buyer's market ."

Median prices for all property types are down three percent from one year ago; mean average sale prices are down over seven percent, the summary said. Median prices for vacant land fell 50 to 60 percent in some areas, and 43 percent overall.

Sales of foreclosures account for more than one-third of all sales.

"Foreclosures will remain a major factor in the Park City market in 2011," the summary said.

In an interview Monday, Seltenrich said the mean average is down so low because high-end homes either aren't selling, or are selling for less.

Good in comparison

According to the summary, total dollar volume in sales surpassed $1 billion because a large number of units sold for reasonable prices. That has only occurred six other times in history and is a 16-percent improvement over last year. Unit sales were up 20 percent over 2009.

Vacant-land sales were up 60 percent. Condo sales were up 22 percent. Single-family home sales were up over 26 percent and comprised 46 percent of all sales and 54 percent of total dollar volume, the summary said.

Property values in many neighborhoods appear to have bottomed out and are improving. Foreclosures and short sales continue to depress values, but the fact that they only comprise one-third of the market means sellers have adjusted to the new reality an important step to clear out inventory and to allow appreciation to begin again.

What happened in the Park City real estate market in 2010 is simplified this way: prices came down and people are buying.

Park Record