Real estate market buoyed by condominium sales |

Real estate market buoyed by condominium sales

A swift rise in condominium sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to 2013 helped the real estate market overcome a slight drop in the total number of sales of single-family homes and vacant land in the Park City area, according to numbers released by the Park City Board of Realtors.

Condominium sales in the area rose 10 percent over 2013, with big gains in Park City proper (6 percent), the Snyderville Basin (7 percent) and the Jordanelle area (19 percent). The median price of those sales increased to $542,540, a 5-percent bump.

Nancy Tallman, president of the Park City Board of Realtors, attributed the trend to the resolution of the lawsuit that pitted Park City Mountain Resort against Talisker Land Holdings, LLC and threatened to close the ski area this winter.

"Once it was announced that Vail (Resorts) was purchasing the mountain, we saw a huge spike in condo sales," she said. "That really helped our dollar volume. We also saw a few expensive homes sell at the end of year, as well."

The single-family home market did not fare quite so well. Though many areas saw median price increases, the volume of sales dropped. Park City proper saw a 6-percent decline, while sales in the Snyderville Basin fell 13 percent.

Tallman said the numbers reflect the fact that the inventory of single-family homes is hitting all-time lows.

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"It’s a problem, for sure," she said. "A neighborhood like Jeremy Ranch, for example used to have about 45 homes for sale, which would be typical. I think there are 13 right now. So when you’re showing people property, instead of showing them 15 houses they can afford, you’re showing them four."

Though the prices for condominiums and single-family homes rose, they weren’t so high as to price people out of the market.

"We don’t want to see a crazy market like in 2005 and 2006 (when prices were high)," Tallman said. "That wasn’t really good for anybody. We want people to feel confident that they can buy and sell property here."

Vacant land sale totals saw decreases in areas such as Park City proper (17 percent) but increases in others, such as the Snyderville Basin (6 percent) and Trailside (50 percent).

Overall, the market is in a good place, Tallman said.

"If you look at the trend-line for the last 10 years, the market has increased slowly and steadily," Tallman said. "The prices are still way below the peak, and it’s a great time for people to buy here. The lack of inventory should be driving prices up, but so far it really hasn’t. If you look at the median prices, they’re pretty steady."