Home sales in Montezuma County have gone up since early 2017, and so have prices, according to the Four Corners Board of Realtors.
The board’s most recent data show 125 houses were sold by April 30 this year, a 39 percent increase from this time in 2017, when only 90 had been sold. During that time, the average price for a single-family home was just over $252,000, a 32 percent increase from last year. Board President Brenda Bates credited the increase with a strong economy, combined with high demand for Montezuma County homes and rental properties becoming a less enticing option.
The increased sales and prices continued the upward trend from last year. According to data on the Board of Realtors website, 381 houses were sold in 2017, up from 327 in 2016. The average price for a home in 2017 was $222,399, a 4 percent increase from $213,843 the previous year.
In addition to the economy, Bates suggested several factors that could have led to the improved market, such as low mortgage interest rates and fewer foreclosures driving down property values. She also said more people could be finding it easier to buy a house instead of renting.
“Rent is pretty tough around here, and rent amounts are high, and so buying is a much better option for people,” she said.
Beverly Williams, who manages rental properties for Re/Max Mesa Verde Realty, said the average price of a rental house in Montezuma County is about $900 per month.
The lack of new construction in Montezuma County is also helping sellers, she said. When too many houses are for sale to not enough buyers, real estate agents often lower their prices to compete for those who are available. But when there’s a large demand for a limited supply of houses, sellers can raise their prices without losing buyers.
Although new home construction isn’t happening on a large scale in Montezuma County, more homes were added to the market in 2017, with 676 new listings, compared with 570 in 2016. Bates said she expects that trend to continue as long as demand remains high.
According to the Colorado Association of Realtors, Montezuma County’s price and sale number increase are above average for the state. The average price of a Colorado home was $432,239 as of March 2018, a 9 percent increase from $395,505 at the same time in 2017. But only 21,875 homes had been sold statewide by March, a 2 percent decrease from last year.
Bates said she believes Montezuma County benefits from the influx of people to Colorado that has been going on since the legalization of marijuana in 2013. Prices here, while still high compared with other parts of the country, are more affordable than those on the Front Range. The county also has better views than the city, she said.
“I think we have a great area,” she said. “We have so much to offer here that I think people overlook.”
The most common buyers for Montezuma County homes, she said, are retirees and families who want to get away from big cities and appreciate the scenery and outdoor activities available in the region.
Bates also said the number of “high-end” homes sold in the county has increased over the past few years. Eight houses have been listed for $750,000 or more so far this year, and two have sold. This time last year, nine had been listed, but none sold. The number of houses sold from the $250,000 to $500,000 price bracket more than doubled this year, with 43 sold, compared with 16 by April 2017. In the $100,000 to $250,000 price range, which Bates said is usually the most popular, only 59 have been sold, compared with 68 last year.
Housing around the regionIn 2017, the only town in Montezuma and Dolores Counties that saw a decrease in home sales was Dove Creek, where only seven houses were sold, compared with nine in 2016. Dove Creek remained the cheapest place in the region to move, with an average home sale price of $96,983. Mancos remained the most expensive, with an average price of $303,421. Dolores saw the largest price increase in 2017, with the average home sales price going up to $261,717, a 15 percent increase from $228,482 in 2016.The town that saw the highest growth in home sales was Cortez, where 223 houses sold in 2017, a 25 percent increase from 179 in 2016. The average sale price there was $184,076.This article was reposted on May 8 to correct the location of Dove Creek.