Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO

Real estate trends

If you’re considering moving to Steamboat Springs, buying a single-family home, town home or condominium will be more affordable than it is in nearly any other top-tier resort area in the Rocky Mountain west.

In 2016, the average sales price of a residential property in Steamboat Springs was $612,038. Not bad, considering the average single-family home in Aspen fetched nearly $4 million, and properties in Vail and Telluride topped more than $1 million. Besides Steamboat, only Breckenridge and Crested Butte had prices falling between $550,000 and $600,000 in Colorado.

Specifically, Steamboat has experienced a steady, consistent increase in market activity and property values since bottoming out in 2009 and values didn’t begin improving until 2013. Historically, presidential election years like 2016 dampen resort markets. However, 2016 was an exception, as the market saw transactions increase by 10 percent and dollar volume by 16 percent over 2015. The September 2016 announcement of the potential sale of the dormant Stagecoach Ski Area fueled

Following is a synopsis of what has occurred over the past year for Routt County real estate in the four most popular property types:

Single-family residences

Purchases of single-family residences in Steamboat increased to 166 in 2016, with median prices jumping 8 percent to $722,450. Purchases more than doubled in Stagecoach in 2015, but could not keep that momentum in 2016, falling from 37 to 27, possibly due to the median price increasing 10 percent to $400,975. The south Routt County communities of Oak Creek, Yampa, Phippsburg and Toponas enjoyed a 24 percent increase in purchases to 36, with a significant 23 percent boost in median price to $193,500.

In western Routt County, Hayden area homes had a 30 percent increase in sales at 43, yet a modest 6 percent median price increase to $237,500. The 25 transactions that posted in northern Routt County represented a 31 percent decrease, yet median price bumped up 9 percent to $452,900.


Condo sales in 2016 numbered 309, an increase of 14 from 2015. Eight occurred in Stagecoach with the rest occurring in Steamboat. That 4 percent increase was consistent with the increase in median price to $310,000.


Townhomes were the only major property category that declined in activity from 2014 to 2015, but in 2016 rebounded nicely with 178 transactions, the most since 2007. Specifically, in Steamboat purchase activity increased 4 percent to 152, but median price decreased 4 percent to $493,250. After hitting a low median price of $65,000 in 2012, median prices of Stagecoach townhomes increased to $172,500 in 16 transactions.


One would think that after posting a substantial 23 percent increase in land sales from 2014 to 2015 that the market would take a breather. However, in 2016 the land market jumped 29 percent to 205 transactions. These back-to-back increases could be due to the lack of inventory in certain residential housing segments, speculative builders/investors returning to the market and most certainly the Stagecoach Ski Area announcement, where lot sales jumped 183 percent to 85. Vacant lot activity in Steamboat actually dropped 13 percent to 46, marking the second straight year transactions fell. The median price in Steamboat was $296,500 and a mere $16,795 in Stagecoach (likely due to many lots typically not serviced by utilities).

After eight years of adjustments the gap between supply (listings) and demand (transactions) has finally closed. Should this correlation continue, single digit price appreciation is expected.

But if supply continues to be depleted and demand continues to increase, additional pricing pressure will be placed on the existing supply, leading to more rapid appreciation. The key will be how quickly new projects can come onboard, but few are close to delivery.

Further fueling 2017’s real estate fire was the announcement of the possible sale of the Steamboat Ski Area, making a good market better.

—Douglas N. Labor is a 30-year real estate veteran and manager of Steamboat Sotheby’s International downtown office.

What other brokers say

“Single family homes below $1M are going fast. As the in-town market heats up, buyers are increasingly looking outside downtown which, in turn, is raising the costs of those properties on the periphery of Steamboat proper. With the costs of building continuing to rise, some buyers are rethinking the value of older homes.”

— Pete Wither, broker, Colorado Group Realty

“The market between $400-500K for duplexes, single-family homes and townhomes is the hottest that it’s been in quite some time. Properties are moving extremely fast.”

Ashley Walcher, broker, Colorado Group Realty

“If you’re looking to move here, do your homework and be ready to act quickly when a suitable unit becomes available.”

—Jason K. Peasley, Yampa Valley Housing Authority

 “In 2016 the market saw transactions increase by 10 percent and dollar volume by 16 percent over 2015.”      —Doug Labor, Realtor

Housing & Building Fast Facts

  • 2016 average cost per square foot of a three bedroom single-family home: $181 (Routt County); $303 (Steamboat)
  • 2017 (through July 31) average cost per square foot of a three bedroom single-family home: $196 (Routt County); $304 (Steamboat)
  • 2016 median sales price for single-family home: $314,200 (Routt County); $722,450 (Steamboat)
  • 2017 (through July 31) median sales price for single-family home: $322,830 (Routt County); $702,500 (Steamboat)
  • The Yampa Valley Housing Authority works to provide affordable housing for people with up to 120% of the area median income ($85,560 for a family of 3) in programs such as rental housing and deed restricted multi-family housing, and up to 150% ($106,950 for a family of 3) in the down payment assistance loan program.





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