2019 another good year for residential real estate

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Robert Bray

Despite some slowing attributed in part to low inventories, 2019 ended as another good year for the residential real estate market in Mesa County.

“We’re reaching more of a normalcy in the marketplace,” said Robert Bray, chief executive officer of Bray Real Estate in Grand Junction.

Bray expects more of the same in 2020 with low inventories and higher prices hampering selection, but low mortgage interest rates and continued demand bolstering activity. “It will be another normal year.”

According to numbers tracked by Bray Real Estate, 3,891 residential real estate transactions worth a total of more than $1.1 billion were reported in Mesa County during 2019. Compared to 2018, transactions decreased 2.7 percent even as the dollar volume increased 5.3 percent.

The December and year-end numbers for overall real estate sales weren’t available from the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder as of press deadline on Jan. 7.

The year-end numbers for residential real estate reflect a decline in the number of transactions, but a continued increased in dollar volume over 2018 and some of the highest levels of real estate activity for Mesa County in more than a decade.

For 2018, 3,999 residential real estate transactions worth a total of just more than $1 billion were reported.

Bray said low inventories and limited selection continue to slow residential sales.

As of the end of 2019, there were 588 active residential listings in Mesa County. That’s 8.6 percent below the end of 2018 and the lowest level going back to at least 2008, if not before, Bray said.

As demand for houses outpaced supply, prices increased. The median price for a home sold in 2019 rose to $257,000. That’s up 9.4 percent from 2018, Bray said.

The sales of new homes priced higher than the median also pushed that number up, he said.

New home construction continues to lag, Bray said, in part because of the availability and affordability of lots upon which builders can construct houses.

Overall demand remains strong, however, Bray said.

Moreover, low-interest mortgage interest rates have helped counter higher prices in making home purchases possible for some buyers, he said.