Mesa County real estate activity “strong”

Bill Wagner
Bill Wagner
Annette Miller
Annette Miller

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Bill Wagner assesses the Mesa County real estate market in terms of his own business — and his business has been better over the past six months, he says, than the past six years.

Wagner, a broker who operates BW Fine Properties in Grand Junction and serves as chairman of the Grand Junction Area Realtors Association, suspects he’s not alone. “I think everyone has been busy.”

The latest numbers for real estate activity back him up with year-over-year gains in both the number of transactions and their collective dollar volume. The proportional gains are even bigger in comparing the first three quarters of 2015 to the same span last year.

“I think we are going to have a strong fall, which is a good way to end the year,” said Annette Miller, senior vice president of Heritage Title Co. in Grand Junction and a long-time observer of the local market.

Miller said 334 real estate transactions worth a combined $74 million were reported in Mesa County during September. Compared to the same month last year, transactions increased 6.4 percent and dollar volume rose 4.2 percent. Four transactions worth a total of  $4.8 million bolstered dollar volume.

Through the first three quarters of 2015, 3,050 transactions worth a collective $737 million were reported in Mesa County, Miller said. Compared to the same span in 2014, transactions were up 11.9 percent and dollar volume was up 20.6 percent.

Wagner attributed the increasing real estate activity to a number of factors, including more retirees relocating to the Grand Valley from the Front Range and growing interest among investors in purchasing rental properties, but also more confidence in the local economy. Some people who’ve been waiting for the right conditions have decided to stop waiting and either buy or sell, Wagner added.

Miller said she expects 2015 will be a better year than 2014. If the current pace continues for another three months, 2015 will end with more than 4,000 transactions worth a total of nearly $983 million.  Those levels would be the highest since 2008, although lower than what was at that time an even more robust market.

Miller said the proportional increase for dollar volume has outpaced that for transactions in part because of price appreciation, but also the number of large transactions that have occurred. Through the first three quarters of 2015, there were 31 transactions over $1 million each with a total value of $122 million. That dollar volume is nearly double the $65 million worth of large transactions reported for the same span in 2014. While some of the transactions have involved high-end homes, most have involved large commercial deals, she said.

While Wagner acknowledged he’s optimistic by nature, he said he expects increasing population and income to continue to buoy the real estate market in 2016.

Miller said she’s a little more cautious given concerns layoffs in the energy sector related to low oil and natural gas prices could affect the market. Many people who work in other areas of Colorado and other states, including North Dakota, still live in the Grand Valley, she said.

Moreover, 2016 will bring with it the uncertainty that goes with a presidential election, she said.

Meanwhile, though, Miller also remains encouraged by the overall downward trend in property foreclosure activity.

For September, 46 foreclosure filings and 29 foreclosures sales were reported in Mesa County Compared to the same month last year, filings edged up 2.2 percent, but sales slipped 3.3 percent. Through the first three quarters of 2015, 364 foreclosure filings and 230 foreclosure sales were reported. Compared to the same span in 2014, filings dropped 10.1 percent and sales tumbled 31.1 percent.

Resales of foreclosed properties constituted just 7 percent of transactions during the first three quarters of 2015, well below the 10 percent threshold Miller considers indicative of a healthy market.

One Response to "Mesa County real estate activity “strong”"

  1. Jarvis   October 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    How the nations so called “justice system” fails everyone: Meanwhile–Despite the fact that the nation’s courtrooms remain active crime scenes, with backdated, forged and fabricated documents still sloshing around them, state and federal regulators have not filed new charges of misconduct against Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, U.S. Bank, Green Tree, or any other mortgage industry participant, since the round of national settlements over foreclosure fraud ineffectively closed the issue.The BANKSTERS continue to commit fraud upon hardworking people and fraud upon the courts. The biggest Ponzi scheme the world has ever seen , where the Banksters created credit out of thin air, not for their borrowers, but for the banksters themselves via the Federal Reserve’s magic check book, with no bank account behind it. The Bankster then loaned that imaginary money to people on the security of overvalued real property with the deliberate aim of reducing the artificially raised property prices and putting people out of work.People without income cannot pay their bills, so they were guaranteed they could steal all that real property from their rightful owners. Of course you would say to yourself, that makes no sense because the Banksters would lose money when foreclosing on the security , but you’d be wrong because the banksters insured the debt with an insurance company, but just forgot to tell the borrowers that. SO they knew they could not lose. Its what you might call having your cake and eating it too. You see, just secretly insuring the debt was the way they ensured that they lost no money. First they sold investors in Wall Street on the idea of using pensions and other fund moneys to invest in the profitable housing market. Then they sold homeowners on the idea of borrowing money against their rising property values, secure in knowing that they had artificially raised those prices and knew they could reverse that trend rapidly, when the time was right. Then they found another group of investors and sold them on insuring against the unlikely risk of those secure mortgages defaulting. But, as you know, they had already insured the downside risk. So they devised a new name that no one understood called the credit default swap. These were not insurance policies regulated by the states, but were unregulated securities sold on wall street to investors. So, once they got the business of insurance outside of the regulatory realm, it was no holds barred and they sold the same investment to up to 20 different groups in respect of every mortgage pool they pretended to create in the securitized mortgage scam.But people need to lose the mindset of someone who has been brainwashed by the garbage put out by government at state and federal level and echoed in the corporate owned media.SO therefore, The banksters along side Freddie and Fannie, were and still are continuing to submit fraudulent documents to the courts in order to steal homes from homeowners. They and their substitute trustee lawyers (ie Samuel I White PC, just one of many ) are submitting FRAUDULENT papers to the courts in order to FRAUDULENTLY foreclose on homeowners across the nation. Mortgage notes with Forged Owners signatures and ta-da endorsements are being submitted to the courts in order to steal homes. Bank of america(or as they like to refer to themselves…fka countrywide) made a deal with the attorney generals to modify loans that they really had no right to modify as they were illegally acquired to begin with. They committed notary fraud, forgery, added fake endorsements and as their crimes began to come to light…………they made a deal and instead of modifications (which they LED the homeowners to believe what was happening)….they handed the fraudulent documents over to Green Tree, now known as Ditech: corporate criminals are notorious for changing their names after lights shine on their crimes…, among others, to foreclose. Meanwhile, homeowners are the ones who are paying the price by having their homes taken because of felonies that are being committed . Fraud upon the courts, racketeering, forgery, wire fraud, notary fraud…pathetic, nauseating, and just all around COMPLETELY disgusting. Meanwhile,a large majority of the so called judges are just as corrupt and right in bed with the pathetic, slimeball, evil to the core, corporate criminals and don’t care about what is right and what is wrong and what is criminal. The whole system is set up ..BY DESIGN…to let justice FLEE out the window…it doesn’t exist here. Wake up America