(Courtesy Park City Board of Realtors)

Real estate sales in the Park City area, as reported by the Park City Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service, continue at a strong pace compared to 2009. Overall sales dollar volume for the first three quarters of 2010 was $790 million, up 37% from the $576 million in sales over the first three quarters of 2009. The number of sales is up as well, with 1063 closed sales in the first three quarters of 2010 compared to 764 in the first three quarters of 2009, a 39% increase.

Current activity levels are as high now as they have been in the last three years, with more than 150 pended sales in both August and September, numbers not seen since mid-2007. “The number of sales in September is especially notable since historically September is not a month with a huge number of sales,” remarked Mark Seltenrich, President of the Board of REALTORS®. “For buyers, the fear of overpaying is being replaced by the fear of being left behind,” added Jim Lewis, REALTOR® with Summit Sotheby’s.

Park City’s real estate market continues to recover far above the pace of the National real estate economy. Sales figures are higher than predicted earlier this year, showing that buyers want to own in our area and are recognizing now is the time to buy. Sales for the year will top $1 billion, putting 2010 as one of only six years with Park City real estate sales topping the billion dollar mark.

Single family homes continue to be the strongest part of the market at 46% of total sales, and 51% of total sales dollar volume. These figures reinforce the unique aspect of our market as both a destination resort and desirable Median price for all property types is down one percent from the first three quarters of 2009. Single family home median prices, however, are up about three percent from last year. Median prices of homes within the city limits were down 39%, while median prices in the Snyderville Basin were down only 2%. “It appears owners in the Snyderville Basin recognized the “new pricing reality” sooner than homeowners within the city limits”, remarked Seltenrich. “We don’t expect to see such price declines in the future as the current home prices are now prices buyers are willing to pay,” added Seltenrich.

In the greater Park City area, the number of home, condo and land sales has increased dramatically from 50-150% over numbers sold in 2009. Two such areas are Empire Pass and Park Meadows. In the first three quarters of 2009 five condominiums were sold in the Empire Pass area of upper Deer Valley, while in the same time period of 2010, 44 condominiums were sold. Home sales in Park Meadows were 8 in 2009 and 28 in 2010. This large increase in the number of sales is directly related to much better pricing in these neighborhoods. Even though many of these sales were well over a million dollars, the prices that these properties are selling at may be hundreds of thousands less than what they were a few years ago.

Foreclosure activity continues to be high, and many of the sales this year are of bank-owned properties.

However, there are signs that the number of foreclosures will be diminishing. “Notice of Default’s (the precursor to a foreclosure action) appears to have peaked in 2009 and have generally been falling in 2010. In spite of this, the numbers are still at very high historical levels, and foreclosures will be a part of the market for some time” said Seltenrich.

The following provides a breakdown by category of the increase in the number of sales through the first three quarters of 2010 compared to the first three quarters of 2009:

Single Family Homes + 37%

Condos + 46%

Land + 71%

With the recent improvement in economic outlook, the upcoming ski season, great prices and record low interest rates, the outlook for continuing sales at a fairly brisk level in the Park City market is very good. “All of the things that make us a great place to live and vacation – the lifestyle, the outdoor opportunities, the proximity to a major urban area and international airport, a great town, three great resorts – are still here. The only thing that is different is that it is much more affordable now than it was a few years ago, and the astute buyers are realizing that and are acting” said Seltenrich. “As we all know, the only thing that is certain is that things will change, and these great prices won’t last forever,” concluded Seltenrich.