First-half real estate sales top $1 billion in Mesa County

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Annette Miller
Robert Bray

Real estate activity continues to increase in Mesa County, topping $1 billion in sales in the first half of 2021.

Robert Bray, for one, expects the trend to continue in the second half. “I still feel good about the remainder of the year,” said Bray, chief executive officer of Bray Real Estate in Grand Junction.

Residential inventories remain low, but new construction has picked up. Large commercial transactions bolster dollar volume

Annette Miller, administrative coordinator at Heritage Title Co. in Grand Junction, said 676 real estate transactions worth a total of $255 million were reported in Mesa County in June. Compared to the same month last year, transactions increased 23.1 percent and dollar volume rose 60.4 percent.

Sixteen transactions accounted for a total of $39.4 million in dollar volume, Miller said. That included the sale of 1,460 acres of vacant land on Glade Park for $5.3 million, the Mesa Pointe Mall in Clifton for $5.2 million and a motel complex on Horizon Drive in Grand Junction for $3.95 million.

For the first half of 2021, 3,062 real estate transactions worth a total of more than $1 billion were reported, Miller said. Compared to the first half of 2020, transactions increased 29.6 percent and dollar volume rose 48.3 percent

The year-over-year increases are larger in part because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on real estate sales in 2020, she said.

According to numbers Bray Real Estate tracks for the residential market, 404 transactions worth a total of $152 million were reported in June. Compared to the same month last year, transactions edged down 1.2 percent even as dollar volume increased 22.6 percent.

Through the first half of 2021, 1,995 residential transactions worth a collective $713 million were reported. Compared to the first half of 2020, transactions rose 13.7 percent and dollar volume jumped 37.1 percent.

Bray said the numbers would be bigger if residential inventories were higher.

At the end of June 2021, there were 293 active listings, down nearly 41 percent from the same time a year ago. Bray said an average of more than 400 homes were listed in each of the last three months, but were quickly purchased.

Low supplies and high demands have purchased prices upward, he said. The median price of homes sold during the first half of 2021 increased 19.5 percent to $325,000.

Still, that’s less than statewide and nationwide median prices reported by the National Association of Realtors, he said.

The pace of home construction has increased, Bray said. 

For June, 104 building permits for single-family homes were issued in Mesa County. That’s up 70 percent from the same month a year ago. For the first half of 2021, 513 permits were issued. That’s a nearly 51 percent increase over the first half of 2020.

Looking ahead to second half of 2021, Bray said he expects real estate activity and home construction to continue to increase, perhaps to record levels. “It’ll still be a good, strong, real estate year.”

Meanwhile, property foreclosure activity continues to decrease. Miller said 11 foreclosure filings and 13 foreclosure sales were reported during the first half of 2021. Compared to first half of 2020, filings dropped 84.1 percent and sales dropped 31.6 percent.

The four resales of foreclosed properties during the first half of 2021 constituted less than 1 percent of all transactions, a fraction of the 10 percent threshold Miller considers indicative of a healthy market.