Phil Castle, The Business Times
Real estate and building activity continue to increase in Mesa County, a trend industry executives characterize as a good start for the year and attribute to strong demand for housing.
“I think this is a really good sign in our marketplace,” said Robert Bray, chief executive officer of Bray Real Estate in Grand Junction.
Annette Miller, administrative coordinator at Heritage Title Co. in Grand Junction, agreed. “I think it’s going to be a strong year.”
Miller said 384 real estate transactions worth a combined $122 million were reported in Mesa County in February.
Compared to the same month last year, transactions increased 18.2 percent and dollar volume rose 11.9 percent.
Ten transactions worth a total of $16 million bolstered dollar volume, Miller said, including the sale of 470 acres of agricultural property near Mack for $4.5 million and the building housing the Dairy Queen on Orchard Mesa for $1.6 million.
For the first two months of 2021, 775 transactions worth a collective $238 million were reported. Compared to the same span in 2020, transactions increased 20.3 percent and dollar volume rose 12.3 percent.
According to numbers Bray Real Estate tracks, 247 residential real estate transactions worth a combined $79.5 million were reported in Mesa County in February.
Compared to the same month last year, transactions increased 6 percent. Dollar volume rose 13.6 percent in part because of higher sales prices.
For the first two months of 2021, 494 transactions worth a total of $163 million were reported. Transactions rose 2.9 percent, while dollar volume increased 19 percent.
Bray said transactions would have been higher were it not for low inventories.
As of the end of February, there were 213 active listings for the market, less than half the 520 listings for the same time last year.
The combination of low supplies and continued demand continues to push up prices, Bray said. The median sales price of homes sold in February climbed to $295,000, up 10 percent from a year ago.
Bray said he’s encouraged, though, by an increase in new home construction activity.
For February, 121 building permits for single-family homes were issued in Mesa County, nearly double the 70 permits issued the same month last year.
So far in 2021, 172 permits have been issued. That’s an increase of 64.7 percent from the same span in 2020.
There’s also been an increase in construction of multi-family housing, Bray said.
New construction not only will help meet demand for housing, but also reflects confidence in the local market, he said.
While property foreclosure activity could increase as moratoriums on foreclosures end, Miller said activity continues to decrease for now in Mesa County.
Through the first two months of 2021, two foreclosure filings and five foreclosure sales were reported, Miller said. In the same span in 2020, 44 filings and 11 sales were reported.