The 2018 MLS statistics for La Plata County were just released and they show strength in our local real estate market. Overall, La Plata County home sales are down 3.1% while the median price rose 5.7%. As all real estate is local, areas of the county with the highest median price gains are where the number of sales was reduced the most; areas of low inventory have the highest price increase.
For example, in-town Durango home sales are down 3.2% in number but jumped 8.5% in median. While Durango Country home sales are down 5.8% in number, they gained 11.2% in median price. This is the lowest number of sales for Durango Country homes since 2014. When you look closer at the numbers, the jump in median in Durango Country is likely a statistical anomaly; in 2017 the median increase of 1.5% didn’t even match inflation (which was 2.1%). Durango Condos and Townhomes, however, had a steady number of sales with the median up just 2.2%, slightly above current inflation rate of 1.9%; a healthy increase.
The real story is in listing inventory. In 2018, there were 2.8% fewer single-family listings in La Plata County, trending closely with the 3.7% decrease in the number of sales. Are there buyers standing on the sidelines, waiting for the right home or for prices to break? Probably some. But overall, we are seeing a slight pull-back on sales, which could be related to the 416 Fire but more likely related to the economy as a whole. While it seems unlikely we are heading into a recession, there is a high feeling of uncertainty about economic policy and stock indexes, which can tend to cool off Buyer sentiment. What we’re seeing in La Plata County is similar to the rest of the state. Active listings and pending contracts are trending downward.
Of the 39 sales over $1 million, 41% occurred in the 4th quarter. The number for those sales in 2017 was 35. Also North County and resort properties are faring well. Two new developments are scheduled at Purgatory and properties that had sat on the market for a long time have now sold.
In summary, it appears that the number of sales is not keeping up with our growth as a community. La Plata County grew by 1% but new construction has not kept up. It is possible that prices will ease in the future but it isn’t expected until construction and/or listing inventory starts to increase.
Do you have a question about your neighborhood? Want to check out the rest of the numbers? Call us for details. As you know, all real estate is local!