It’s a seller’s market this spring, marked by a few top-dollar home sales in March. Despite a continual low inventory, sales are starting to seep into the market as the warmer months approach.
“You’re starting to see some people who bought in 2008 and are putting their homes back on the market,” said Cody Thomas, of Paffrath and Thomas Real Estate. “The big sales have been trickling.”
Not only did Paffrath and Thomas make March’s highest sale, but the $5.675 million home on Shock Hill is Summit County’s second-largest residential to date (The largest, an $8.2 million house located on Timber Trail, sold back in 2010).
“This is a big sale for the community,” said Thomas, who listed the home with his father and brother. “Once this one went pending, there were a couple of others in that higher price range.”
Dubbed “Le Chatel de Breckenridge,” the 6,800 square-foot home designed by local architect Suzanne Allen Sabo was inspired by castles along the Dordogne River in France, and a mixture of mountain and mid-century modern architecture. As Allen Sabo’s first entry in the Parade of Homes, it won almost every award for its category. “She was a huge part of that home for sure,” Thomas said. “It was an absolutely spectacular home.”
The home features custom light fixtures, chandeliers, and a five-car garage. The showstopper, a custom steel spiral staircase leading to an observatory, was fabricated in Switzerland, brought over by ship and craned in through the ceiling.
“No fabricator in U.S. could make that. …It had a helix in the center instead of a solid hole,” Allen Sabo said. “Beneath that, there was a stairwell inspired by a house where we stayed in France that was all stone. It felt like you were going into an old castle.”
The oversized great room highlighted more modern elements, with large glass panels displaying a view of Peaks 6, 7 and 8, with Cucumber Gulch below.
“If you can imagine, it’s 68 feet of glass,” Allen Sabo said. “We designed it without restraint. It was speculative, our project.”
Allen Guerra Architecture oversaw every aspect of the project, from the larger pieces to the finest details. They handpicked the materials, including reclaimed wood flooring and Brazilian soapstone counters, with modern clean lines meeting the large timbers and thick stone walls found in traditional mountain homes.
“I do 100 percent of my project,” Allen Sabo said. “It’s a lot of work. But then the project is more cohesive.”
Of course, the freedom of a speculative design also allows for some extra creative features. In this case, that entailed hidden rooms built into the paneling and an all-glass wine cellar.
“We had all kinds of fun things in there,” Allen Sabo added.
Her firm worked on the project for about two-and-a-half years, before Ethan Guerra of Avalanche Construction finished construction in 2015. The sale closed on March 8, to Breckenridge Grand Vacations owner and developer Mike Dudick, according to Summit County Assessor’s records.
“It’s about the location,” Thomas said, adding the neighborhood was within walking distance of the gondola.
A RECORD-SETTING YEAR
So far, 2016 has continued to see historic lows for inventory, with property prices climbing to match the trend.
“We’ve never seen inventory at these low levels, ever,” said Jessica Miller, Marketing Coordinator with Breckenridge Associates Real Estate. “When the market was at its low point, a lot of people came in and bought it, and now they’ve come to really enjoy it.”
She added that with Denver’s booming real estate market, Summit County sees a share of the buyer demand as well.
“Basically what we’re saying to everyone, is if you want to sell, this is the time to list,” Miller said. “If you bought it at the low, you can now sell it for a pretty good profit in the high.”
Breckenridge Associates Real Estate statistics show a progressive decrease in active listings countywide from 2011 to 2016, but the number of properties sold is gradually nearing pre-recession levels. Following the trend, Summit County saw significantly fewer active listings this March, with 603 residential listings, compared to March of 2015, with 902 listings.
Countywide, the price per square foot is up, with single-family homes going for an average of $326 per square foot, and condos as high as $398 per square foot.
“There’s a huge buyer demand out there,” she added. “They’re willing to spend 4 hours on I-70 to come up and ski, because that’s what they love to do.”
TOP SALES FOR MARCH
$5,675,000 — Shock Hill Subdivision, single-family home
$5,500,000 — River’s Edge PUD, vacant land
$3,300,000 — Glenwild Subdivision, single-family home
$2,100,000 — Miner’s View Estates, single-family home
$1,925,000 — Last Chance Subdivision, single-family home