Phil Castle, The Business Times
Although low inventories continue to slow residential sales, Lynn Thompson remains encouraged by what he sees in the Mesa County real estate market.
Higher prices offer more money for sellers even as lower interest rates offer more purchasing power for buyers. Meanwhile, commercial activity continues to bolster the market, said Thompson, president of Bray Real Estate in Grand Junction. “I’m still feeling pretty good about the real estate market.”
The latest numbers also reflect increasing real estate activity.
For October, 497 transactions worth a combined $169 million were reported in Mesa County, according to Annette Miller, senior vice president of Heritage Title Co. in Grand Junction.
Compared to the same month last year, transactions rose 1.4 percent and the dollar volume jumped 42 percent.
Ten transactions accounted for a total of $31.2 million, Miller said, including the sale of a business and office complex at 120 W. Park Drive for $10.1 million, the sale of an apartment building at 1030 Teller Ave. for $6 million and the sale of the Days Inn at 708 Horizon Drive for $3.55 million.
Through the first 10 months of 2019, 4,583 transactions worth a total of nearly $1.4 billion were reported. Compared to the same span in 2018, transactions decreased 7.2 percent and dollar volume increased 5.1 percent.
According to Bray Real Estate, 3,310 residential transactions worth a total of almost $944 million were reported in Mesa County through the first 10 months of 2019. Compared to the same span in 2018, transactions decreased 4.3 percent and dollar volume increased 4.1 percent.
Lower inventories and limited selections continue to slow residential sales, Thompson said. At the end of October, there were 753 active listings, down 1.3 percent from the same time last year. In the lower price ranges, there are only one or two months of available inventory at the current pace of sales. Some sellers are reluctant to list their houses because they’re worried they won’t be able to purchase a house into which to move, he said.
While the year-end number of residential transactions for 2019 might not match that for 2018, he said that’s a comparison with the best year for real estate in Mesa County in more than a decade. Moreover, the 2019 numbers remain ahead of 2017, another good year.
With persistent demand and low inventories, Mesa County remains a seller’s market, Thompson said. The median price of homes sold through the first 10 months of 2019 rose 8.5 percent to $255,000.
At the same time, though, lower interest rates on long-term mortgages give buyers more purchasing power, he said. “Interest rates are still amazing.”
While there’s typically seasonal slowing in real estate activity, Thompson expects a good fourth quarter. “I think it’s going to be fairly healthy for this time of year.”
Meanwhile, the pace of property foreclose activity continues to slow in Mesa County.
Miller said 183 property foreclosure filings and 93 sales were reported in Mesa County through the first 10 months of 2019. Compared to the same span in 2018, filings decreased 18.3 percent and sales dropped 33.6 percent. The 53 resales of foreclosed properties during the first 10 months of 2019 constituted just 1.2 percent of all transactions, a fraction of the 10 percent threshold Miller considers indicative of a healthy market.