Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO

Real estate trends

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

In 2015, the average sales price of a residential property in Steamboat Springs was $597,109. Not bad, considering the average in Aspen fetched nearly $4 million, and properties in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Tahoe, California, Park City, Utah, and Vail and Telluride, clocked in at more than $1 million. In addition to Steamboat, only Breckenridge and Crested Butte prices fell between $550,000 and $600,000.

Specifically, Steamboat has experienced a steady, consistent increase in market activity and property values since hitting bottom in 2009 and again in 2013. Heres a short synopsis of what has occurred over the past year for Routt County real estate in the four most popular property types:

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Single-family residences

Purchases of single-family residences (SFR) in Steamboat dropped by four to 143 in 2015 from the prior year, but median price increased 10 percent to $670,000. SFR purchases more than doubled in Stagecoach, going from 17 to 38 with the median price increasing 23 percent to $365,000. The south Routt County communities of Oak Creek, Yampa, Phippsburg and Toponas enjoyed a 21 percent increase in purchases to 29, with a significant 38 percent boost in median price to $157,000.

In western Routt County, Hayden area homes had a 22 percent increase in sales from 27 to 33 and an 18 percent median price increase to $225,000. North Routt remained flat year-over-year with 36 purchases, and median price was also unchanged at $483,750. However, this area saw significant improvement from 2013 to 2014, with a 56 percent increase in sales and 54 percent increase in median price.

Condominiums

Condo activity continues to outpace all other residential property types increasing by 11 percent to 292 transactions. Median price increased 9 percent to $296,450, with the most significant price increases coming in the most affordable sizes, with studio median prices increasing 29 percent to $160,000 and one-bedroom units increasing 21 percent to $165,000.

Townhomes

The only major property category that declined in activity is townhomes, most likely due to limited supply. Specifically in Steamboat, purchase activity fell 5 percent to 144, but median price still increased 6 percent to $515,000. Stagecoach townhome sales remained level at 13 but enjoyed a substantial 33 percent median price jump to $159,000.

Land

The biggest winner in 2015 for all property types was in vacant land sales, which increased 23 percent in one year to 157 purchases, due to the lack of inventory in certain residential housing segments, as well as speculative builders/investors returning to the market. Vacant lot activity in Steamboat Springs actually dropped 10 percent to 53, but median price increased 14 percent to $369,000. North Routt County saw a 75 percent increase in sales to 21, which may be one reason why SFRs in this area declined last year. Stagecoach lot purchases increased 43 percent to 30. This geographic shift in land activity is why parcels less than $100,000 saw a 64 percent increase over last year when the median price of a Stagecoach lot was $17,400 and North Routt was $100,000.

The gap between supply (listings, as represented in the chart above in pink) and demand (transactions, in blue) has been steadily closing over the past few years. Should this current balance continue, single-digit price appreciation is expected. However, if supply continues to be depleted and demand continue to increase, additional pricing pressure will be placed on the existing supply, leading to double-digit appreciation. The key will be how quickly new projects can come onboard.

Housing & Building Fast Facts

  • 2014 average cost per square foot of a three-bedroom, single-family home: $164 (Routt County); $257 (Steamboat)
  • 2015 (through July 31) average cost per square foot of a three-bedroom, single-family home: $192 (Routt County); $273  (Steamboat)
  • 2014 median sales price for single-family home: $299,000 (Routt County); $610,000 (Steamboat) 
  • 2015 (through July 31) median sales price for single-family home: $302,500  (Routt County); $602,500 (Steamboat)

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority works to provide affordable housing for people with up to 120 percent of the area median income ($85,560 for a family of three) in programs such as rental housing and deed-restricted, multi-family housing, and up to 150 percent ($106,950 for a family of three) in the down payment assistance loan program.

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