Park City offers rare glimpse at real estate prices in hot Old Town
May 20, 2016
A property on the 100 block of Daly Avenue, a scenic street in Old Town just south of Main Street, went on the market in mid-February, selling just one day after it was listed.
The listing price was $525,000. The seller got the full amount.
Last September, a place on the 200 block of Norfolk Avenue, another desirable street in Old Town, spent zero days on the market as the buyer paid the full $1.2 million asking price.
The two full-price transactions illustrate the allure of real estate in Old Town, for decades a prime location for people moving to Park City or buying a vacation home. Old Town real estate in the years since the worst of the recession has rebounded sharply, performing particularly well in a local market that itself has made a strong comeback.
City Hall in a recent report offered an extraordinary glimpse into real estate prices in the neighborhood, providing information that typically is not publicly available. Utah is a state where real estate prices are not considered public information, known as a nondisclosure state.
The report, drafted and released as a City Hall-controlled agency was readying to acquire a vacant parcel of land at 1364 Woodside Ave. for $1.1 million, lists 25 properties that sold between April of 2014 and mid-February of 2016. City Hall staffers provided the information to Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council for comparison purposes as the elected officials considered the price of the Woodside Avenue acquisition.
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"It’s fairly indicative of a hot market," said Rick Shand, the president of the Park City Board of Realtors, describing Old Town real estate as being on the "hotter side of warm" for the past three years or so.
The City Hall list does not include each transaction in the neighborhood during the nearly two-year window it covers, but the sales involved houses and vacant land on different streets and block numbers stretching from the southern end of Old Town to its northern reaches. It is a sampling that includes sought-after locations on upper Park Avenue, places on Lowell Avenue as it nears Park City Mountain Resort and one address along a row of residences at the southern end of Main Street.
Between April of 2015 and March of 2016, the median sale price of houses in Old Town increased 14.4 percent, from $1,180,000 to $1,350,000, according to the Board of Realtors. The number of houses sold over that same period, though, fell 16 percent, the group said.
The desirability of Old Town was established decades ago. The neighborhood is within walking distance of Main Street, with many houses steps away from the shopping, dining and entertainment district, and there are many places that offer easy access to Park City Mountain Resort either via the Town Lift or the Resort Center lifts. The historic Victorian houses are a draw for buyers as are the newer places built over the course of several boom eras since the late 1980s.
Sean Matyja, an agent for Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, was the seller’s agent on a July 2014 deal on the 1000 block of Norfolk Avenue pegged at $1,540,000. The seller received the full asking price after the property was on the market for six days, according to the City Hall list. Matyja said the transaction involved four contiguous lots. The buyer was a Park City-area builder with experience in Old Town, he said.
Matyja, a real estate agent for the past 11 years who primarily sells in Old Town, said the real estate market in Old Town subsided a bit amid a lawsuit that caused uncertainty about the future of Park City Mountain Resort but then picked back up as the case ended with the sale of PCMR to Vail Resorts in 2014. The Colorado firm linked PCMR and the terrain that once operated as Canyons Resort to create the largest mountain resort in the U.S. There has been an "accelerated increase in prices," he said.
"When the right fit, the right property, comes up . . . typically, a lot of them react quite fast," Matyja said.
Some Old Town transactions on the list compiled by City Hall: