Mesa County real estate activity picking up

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Bolstered in part by several large commercial deals, real estate activity has picked up in Mesa County.

Annette Miller
Annette Miller

While no significant movement in the overall market is expected this year, the latest numbers offer some encouragement.

“We’re picking up a little speed,” said Annette Miller, senior vice president of Heritage Title Co. in Grand Junction.

Miller said 380 real estate transactions worth a combined $92.8 million were reported in Mesa County during June. Compared to the same month last year, sales increased more than 9 percent and the dollar volume of those sales surged nearly 27 percent.

Five deals worth a total of $13.6 million bolstered the dollar volume, Miller said, including the sale of the Teller Arms shopping center for more than $6.6 million and Sherwood Plaza office complex for almost $2.3 million.

The total dollar volume for June was the most for a single month since before the recession, Miller said.

Through the first half of 2014, 1,677 real estate transactions worth a collective $366.7 million were reported in Mesa County, Miller said. Compared to the first half of 2013, sales slipped almost 3 percent. But the dollar volume of those sales increased more than 5.5 percent.

While real estate activity lagged during the first quarter of 2014, it outpaced last year during the second quarter, Miller said.

That trend offers encouragement, but Miller expects the year-end numbers for 2014 to come close to matching those for 2013. For all of last year, 3,589 sales worth a total of $769.6 million were reported. Those totals were the highest since 2008, but far below what was at that time a more robust real estate market.

“It’s such a stubborn recovery,” Miller said.

Meanwhile,  property foreclosure activity continues to drop in Mesa County, Miller said.

For June, 55 foreclosure filings and 22 foreclosure sales were reported, she said. While the number of filings was the highest for a single month so far this year, it was almost 10 percent below June 2013. Sales plummeted 56 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Through the first half of 2014, 295 foreclosure filings and 232 foreclosure sales were reported in Mesa County, Miller said. Compared to the first half of 2013, filings dropped more than 21 percent and sales tumbled more than 34 percent.

The sale of 201 foreclosed properties during the first half of 2014 constituted just 12 percent of all transactions, Miller said. That proportion keeps moving closer to the 10 percent threshold Miller considers indicative of a healthy market.