Real estate moving to “normalcy in the market”

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Robert Bray

fter nearly a decade of growth in the Mesa County real estate activity, Robert Bray foresees a more moderate pace ahead.

“I would suggest we’re moving to a normalcy in the market,” said Bray, the chief executive officer of Bray Real Estate in Grand Junction.

Bray shared his outlook during an economic forecast forum at CMU.

The number of residential real estate transactions likely will hold steady in 2020 as low inventories curtail sales. Given low supplies and strong demand, home prices will rise. The pace of new home construction will increase slightly. Interest rates on 30-year mortgages will remain about the same, Bray said.

Bray said 3,895 residential real estate transactions were reported in Mesa County in 2019, down 2.6 percent from 2018. He expects a slight uptick for 2020 at 3,950.

He attributed the slowing in activity in 2019 in part to low inventories. For 2019, there was on average a 2.26-month supply of active residential listings given the pace of sales.

Bray said he expects more homes to come on the market in 2020, but not a lot more. “I think we’ll see a tad more inventory, but still not healthy.”

Low supply combined with steady demand pushed the median price of homes sold in Mesa County in 2019 to $257,000. That’s an increase of nearly 9.4 percent over 2018. Bray said he expects the median price to move even higher in 2020 to $275,000.

A total of 717 building permits for single-family homes were issued in Mesa County in 2019, a 10.6 percent decline attributed in part to inclement winter weather at the beginning of the year. Bray said he expects 800 permits to be issued in 2020.

Brian Bray, a broker with Bray Commercial, said he expects the commercial real estate market to continue to grow with a variety of projects and developments planned for 2020.