2013 Statistics from Park City Board of Realtors – First Quarter


Park City Board of Realtors
Press Release
April 26, 2013

Park City, Utah – 2013 Statistics from Park City Board of REALTORS® have just been released for the first quarter of 2013 showing the number of sales are up 17% from the first quarter of 2012. The sales dollar volume is up 28% over the same time-period last year, climbing from $239 million in Q1 of 2012 to over $306 million for Q1 of 2013. With 402 closed sales already this year, Mark Seltenrich, Statistician for the Park City Board of REALTORS® said, “This is the best first quarter we have seen since 2007.”

Inventory

The current inventory of active listings in the greater Park City area is lower than it has been since 2006. As of April 1st, there has been a 21% decrease in listings since April 1st of 2012. The current number of listings is down 47% since the high mark in July, 2008.

Distressed Sales

Foreclosures have become a less significant part of our market. Distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) now make up only three percent of active listings and accounted for only 13% of sold properties in Q1– down from 23% in Q1 of 2012.

Single-Family Homes

The number of sales for single family homes in all areas in Q1 increased 18% compared to Q1 of 2012, and the median sales price rose 30% to $619,500. The median price for single family homes in the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle area was up 28% reaching $634,500 from Q1 of last year, though down slightly from the year-end 2012 figure of $649,000. The median price of a home within the city limits for the first quarter was $1,312,500, up 12% from the first quarter of 2012 and up 22% from the year-end 2012 figure.

Condominiums

Overall, condominium sales decreased 3% from Q1 of 2012; however, the number of sales inside the city limits was up 21%. The median sales price within the Park City limits was $639,000, which is down 18% from the first quarter of 2012—though well above the 2012 year-end figure of $522,500. While the number of sales in the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle area was down 23% compared to the first quarter of 2012, the median price for a condo was $334,128, which is up 22% over the first quarter of 2012 and up 8% over the year end 2012 figure.

Vacant Land

Vacant land sales increased 45% in the first quarter of 2013 with 74 transactions compared to 51 transactions in 2012. Lot sales increased in both the city limits, up six sales (75%), and in the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle areas, up 19 sales (73%).

The median price of a vacant lot, for all areas, fell 9% in the first quarter of 2013, dropping to $182,150 from $200,000 in 2012. Lot prices within the city limits climbed 10% from $468,000 in 2012 to $514,500 in 2013. Median lot prices in the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle areas dropped from $237,000 in 2012 to $180,000 in 2013, a 24% decrease. “These lower prices will not be sustained and prices through the rest of the year should rise as there are far fewer lower priced lots on the market. Prices overall, although higher, are still a great value,” Seltenrich said.

Looking Ahead

Buyer activity continues to be strong, and historically sales in the first quarter of the year are slower than the remainder of the year. This means that competition for certain properties, especially single family homes under $500,000, will be harder to find. Though, with interest rates remaining historically low, today’s buyer has 43% more purchasing power than they did in 2006, as reported by Rick Klein of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

The low inventory is increasing the pressure on price. In some market segments, the absorption rate for a new listing is as low as 1.8 months on the market, while in others it is 144 months. Jeff Spencer notes that, “There are still specific areas within our market that are slower to respond to price increase and demand; therefore, opportunity still exists for good buys. It is important to consult your local REALTOR® to find out what the market is doing in your neighborhood.”

For further information, contact the Park City Board of REALTORS®

Jeff Spencer Marcie Davis Mark Seltenrich
President President-Elect Statistician
435.640.4770 435.602.9577 435.901.1561
Jeff@ResortsWest.com     Marcie@AskMarcie.com     Mark@MarkinParkCity.com

Make Your Home Energy Efficient and Get a Tax Break


As this year’s dreaded TAX DAY looms ever closer, many of us will be looking for any way possible to reduce our tax burden. If you had invested in one of many possible ways to make your home energy efficienct back in 2012, you’d have one less tax deduction to uncover.

Energy Star LogoWhen Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 on January 3 of this year, they extended the tax credit for “incremental residential energy efficiency improvements.” That means homeowners can receive 10-percent credit (not to exceed $500 in total credits) for energy efficiency measures installed in both 2012 and 2013. According to the folks at ENERGY STAR (which, in case you didn’t know, is a joint effort of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and U.S. Department of Energy), eligible measures to make your home energy efficient include:

  • Biomass fuel property
  • Central air conditioning units and air-source Heat Pumps
  • Electric Heat Pump Water Heater
  • Home Sealing
  • Insulation
  • Natural Gas and Propane Furnaces
  • Natural Gas, Propane, Oil Water Heaters
  • Windows
  • Window Film


To learn more about product eligibility, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency, or the Tax Incentives Assistance Project.

By making energy efficient choices, you can lop off approximately one-third of your energy bill, while also reducing greenhouse gasses. And anyone who has visited the Salt Lake Valley this winter knows, firsthand, that something has to be done to reduce our carbon footprint.

If you’re ready to begin making energy efficient upgrades to your home, you can start by assessing your home’s energy use via ENERGY STAR’s Home Energy Yardstick. Then, use the Home Energy Advisor for recommendations on energy-saving home improvements, which are customized by zip code. They also have tips for remedying common household issues, such as cold floors in the winter, drafty rooms, ice dams and peeling paint. Find out how to address these issues by clicking here.

The original DIY channel, TLC, has compiled a truly exhaustive (as in, I became exhausted just reading it) list of ways to improve the efficiency of your home, but you might want to start by perusing Rocky Mountain Power’s Energy Efficiency Tools & Resources, which are a bit less daunting, and then complete the Department of Energy’s online home audit.

As springtime approaches, be sure to have your sprinklers inspected and reset by a professional, which can save hundreds of dollars on your water bill, while also preserving that rarest of high mountain commodities. Better yet, Xeriscape your yard using native, drought-tolerant plants and hardscaping. Park City Municipal Corporation has some helpful information on getting started.

Finally, do what our parents kept reminding us to do, and turn off the lights, close that refrigerator door, and turn down your thermostat to conserve energy. Park City school kids are currently participating in the annual Cool The Earth program, and it’s high time many adults learn what is becoming second nature for our youngest residents.

Dog Friendly Park City – Where Can Fido Run Free?


With the recent hullabaloo surrounding the possible move to restrict dogs in Round Valley – a favorite Nordic skiing spot among locals – a refresher on the places dogs are welcome is warranted. Though we’re a far cry from the days when you could find a few pooches snoozing under the feet of patrons at Main Street’s watering holes, your pup is still very welcome in dog friendly Park City, which isn’t at risk of losing its “Bark City” nickname any time soon.

Though there is a countywide leash law, dogs can frolic freely at the dog park at Quinn’s Junction. Located along Highway 248 on the road leading to the Park City Ice Arena, the park is relatively underutilized, possibly owing to the surface comprised almost entirely of wood chips. When compared to other dog parks, including the one at 700 East and 1300 South in Salt Lake City, a swath of grass would make this amenity much more appealing.

Another option is Willow Creek Park, where a trail wraps cleanly around the neighborhood and circles the park itself. Dogs should really be on-leash when near the playing fields, but you’ll often find dogs off-leash on the length of trail accessed directly across the street from the park’s parking lot. This is a connector of the scenic McLeod Creek Trail, which offers a flat, wide path from Park City to Kimball Junction, winding past the McPolin Farm on Highway 224, through wetlands and past livestock. Parking is available north of 224 at the Farm Trailhead, across from the iconic white barn.

For super social dogs, head over to the Park City Library on Park Avenue, where the hillside is often overrun by dogs of all breeds playing together, while the ponds in Lower Deer Valley offer a chance for Fido to cool off and get in a quick swim. Swimmers are also welcome at the pond located just west of Gorgoza Park along Kilby Road, while nearby in Pinebrook, the Alf Engen Trail is a fantastic place to achieve a great workout for both dog and owner. This trailhead is accessed via the parking lot that services the lower playground on Pinebrook Boulevard, but it should be noted that the area is home to many, many moose, and dogs who do not react well to
these creatures should avoid the area.

For more trail information, visit Mountain Trails Foundation’s website.

2012 Statistics from Park City Board of Realtors – Fourth Quarter


Park City Board of Realtors
Press Release
January 15, 2013

Park City, Utah – The year-end 2012 statistics from Park City Board of REALTORS® have just been released and they indicate an increase in the number of sales and total dollar volume, with inventory the lowest it has been in over six years. It also shows a slight gain in median prices compared to 2011. The total volume of real estate sold for the entire market area (Summit and Wasatch Counties) reached $1,240,542,783 in 2012 — a 15% increase over 2011.

Sales

The number of sales continued to climb in 2012 with a nine percent increase over 2011 in all property types combined, reaching 1,817 total transactions. This is up 61% over the low point in 2009.  The number of sales now surpasses the early 2000’s and is approaching the number of sales necessary to be termed a more balanced market. Sales for the year were very strong after the first quarter of 2012. Each of the last three quarters averaged over 150 sales more than the first quarter. Quarter Four is up 28% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.

Inventory Levels

With only 1,879 active listings on the market for 2012 compared to 2,146 in 2011, the inventory level has decreased by 12%. The greater Park City market has consistently seen double-digit yearly decreases in the number of properties for sale since the high point of listings on the market in 2009. Based on an average of the past three months’ sales, this inventory represents about a 10-month supply — excluding the lots, it is at an eight-month supply for houses and condominiums. This is the lowest housing supply since the Park City Board of REALTORS® began systematically tracking the monthly active/pended listings in January of 2007.

Pricing

The median price, for all property types combined (single family houses, condos, vacant lots and fractional interest properties), has rebounded nicely in 2012 reaching $395,000 which is a 13% increase over last year, though this number is still below the median prices of 2010 and 2009. Median single family home prices continued to rise in most areas and had a five percent increase overall reaching $548,107. The median price for condos also increased seven percent to a median price of $343,000 for the entire market area.  Vacant lots had the best performance in 2012 with a 22% increase over 2011 reaching $213,750.

Within the Park City Limits area, median single family home prices show an eight percent increase over last year reaching $1,077,500. Condos are down three percent to $522,500 and vacant land is down two percent at $475,000. In contrast, within the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle areas, the median price for a single family home is down five percent to $649,000, while condos are up 14% to $308,543, and vacant lots are up 51% to $249,500 over 2011. Significantly, even with an increase in the median lot price, the number of sales in 2012 was the same as in 2011, showing that though lots have gone up in price, the number of sales has not decreased.

Distressed Sales and Foreclosure Report

The number of distressed properties on the market has continued to drop through 2012 and the number of Notices of Default has decreased compared to previous years. Interestingly, the prices of distressed properties that come on the market are listed very close to market price or sometimes even above market. For the fourth quarter in Summit County, distressed sales accounted for only 13% of total sales which is down 31% from the fourth quarter in 2011, according to data compiled by Rick Klein of Wells Fargo Private Mortgage.

Year End Wrap Up

The Park City Real Estate market continues to strengthen with positive signs in the number of sales, dollar volume, pricing and inventory.  The combination of all of these factors points to a continued active market through 2013. In 2012 the number of sales averaged about 35 per week finishing the year with 1,817 total sales.  Mark Seltenrich, Statistician for the Park City Board of REALTORS® says, “If this rate continues through 2013, we would be looking at sales numbers approaching 2000, which would be a healthy pace for buyers and sellers.”

Prices have continued to stabilize, with most areas and property types seeing slight price increases. There were a few areas to buck that trend — most notably: condo prices in Old Town, down two percent; and home prices in Pinebrook, down 13%.  Seltenrich notes, “This could be due to buyers snapping up the lower priced properties due to a fear that once those units are gone, they will be replaced with higher priced properties.”

Looking Forward

Prices in our market have generally been falling for four straight years, with many parts of our market 40-50% below where prices were at the peak.  However the downward pressure on prices now seems to be over. Seltenrich cautions that “Price increases need to be justified by a proper evaluation of the property’s attributes, and just like the market of the past several years, a property needs to be properly priced in order to sell. An overpriced property will continue to sit on the market.”  With inventory levels in decline, there aren’t as many choices as in the past.

There continues to be strong buyer interest and activity, and the number of sales and prices will probably increase in 2013.  With specific neighborhoods responding differently to the current market, it continues to be very important to consult with your local Realtor to understand what the market is doing in your area. President of the Park City Board of REALTORS®, Jeff Spencer, adds that 2013 is off to a strong start, “Realtors are busy and writing offers. We’re looking forward to 2013 being an excellent year for real estate in Park City.”

Sundance Survival 101


There are few images more iconic than the oft-published pic of the Egyptian Theatre marquee, its black letters spelling out “Sundance Film Festival” as snow swirls down toward festival-going pedestrians on Main Street.

The photo you won’t see is one depicting the bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling at a snail’s pace down Deer Valley Drive, winding down Bonanza, and creeping toward the Eccles Center, where the bulk of premieres are scheduled each year. Though the annual 10-day homage to independent cinema can put even the most even-tempered local on edge, a little bit of planning can go a long way to ensure the best festival experience for residents and visitors, alike.

To begin, we all know Sundance is coming, so the best approach is to just deal with it. There is no better PR for Park City than Sundance, which translates to increased global awareness and, ultimately, higher property values. So make like a Boy Scout and be prepared.

One surefire way to avoid the traffic crush is to avoid Main Street, Prospector Square and Park Avenue. At all costs. Keep to the outskirts of town, approach Kimball Junction via I-80, and if you have to go to Prospector Square, approach via Hwy 40. That said, Main
Street can offer excellent star-gazing, plus there are a few lounges open to regular folks, even those without festival credentials, so if you’ve got time on your side, head to the heart of Old Town via Park City’s expansive network of free buses.

If you scored tickets during the locals’ presale, utilizing the free buses is a necessity, especially for screenings at the Temple and Prospector theatres. But parking is often available after school hours and on the weekends at Treasure Mountain Junior High and
McPolin Elementary, both of which are an easy walk to the Eccles Theatre.

But if you missed the locals’ ticket timeframe, it’s still possible to see a few flicks. Day-of-show tickets for screenings that haven’t already sold out are released each morning at the main Box Office at the corner of Heber and Swede Alley in Old Town, and wait list
options exist at each theater. Check out this Park Record article for details about the wait list. They tweak it each year, but essentially, it entails going to the theater 90-minutes before a screening and lining up to receive a number, then returning 30-mintues before
the screening, and lining up in the same order. After ticket and pass holders are seated in the theater, they begin to fill the remaining seats with folks from the wait list line. You must have the $15 for the ticket in cash, and the chances are pretty good you’ll get in for
films early in the day and later in the festival, but the chance of getting into the hottest premieres via wait list is usually pretty slim. Many of those films end up screening at the Park City Film Series, one of many local gems.

Finally, Sundance can be one of the best times to hit the slopes. While the hotels are at capacity and films are screening to sold-out crowds, the ski areas tend to be under-utilized. And with the recent round of snowstorms, Sundance 2013 can be a skier or snowboarder’s dream.

2012 Market Report (Q3)


While the adage “slow and steady wins the race,” might give little comfort to area homeowners following four years of steady decline, there is encouraging news from the Park City Board of REALTORS®. In the 2012 Market Report (Q3), we’re seeing signs that the local real estate market is finally starting to rebound.

For the third quarter of 2012 (July – September), the community is seeing its highest number of pended and closed sales since 2007, with 617 single-family homes sold in the first nine months of 2012, versus just 585 sold by the same time last year. That equates to a 5 percent increase – a modest improvement, but one that shows the market is headed in the right direction.

Park City proper has witnessed a 3 percent increase in single family home prices, however, the median sale price for homes in the Snyderville Basin has dropped 13 percent. But prices within some of the Basin’s individual neighborhoods have risen, with Summit Park up by 25 percent and the Kimball Junction area up by 19 percent. Condo prices have increased overall by 2 percent, though Park City condo prices have dropped slightly, while condo prices in Snyderville Basin are up 13 percent.

Another positive indicator of a recovering market is the fact that the community is seeing the lowest foreclosure rate since January of 2007. In 2011, distressed properties comprised more than 27 percent of closed sales, while just 14 percent of sales for the third quarter of 2012 are distressed properties, and they make up only 6 percent of all currently listed properties.

Local realtors are also buzzing about scarcity of product, which means the number of active listings is low, creating a more balanced marketplace than the overwhelmingly buyer-biased market of the past four years. Combined with all of this positive data is the fact that interest rates at a 48-year low, making it an ideal time to purchase a home or investment property, as prices are just beginning climb and there are few better investments than real estate given the current economy.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like … Christmas in Park City?


Despite the high hopes carried in on the flakes of the first storm of the season, the dearth of snow and warm temperatures has left Park City looking unseasonably brown.

But that can’t dampen the spirits our little mountain town, where holiday festivities go on, with or without the cold white stuff. Each year, the spirit of the season prevails, with community events scheduled from the very beginning of the month, straight through to the New Year.

To make Christmas in Park City even more jolly, the town is offering free parking on Main Street from Thanksgiving through Dec. 21, though time limits are enforced. I’m going to take advantage of a meter-free Main Street when I take my kids to Old Town to watch carolers and other street entertainers transform our already quaint shopping district into a true Rockwellian scene on Friday and Saturday nights through Dec. 22, and from 3 – 5 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 15.

While we’re there, I’ll be sure to vote for our favorite decorations among the Main Street Merchants’ Holiday Window Displays, hoping to get my hands on one of the eight $50 Historic Park City Gift Cards up for grabs!

And, since this is a town where we never leave our four-legged friends behind, we’ll bring our most furry-faced family member to the Miners Hospital on Saturday, Dec. 8, where Friends of Animals is hosting a chance for pets to get their own Santa pics from 1 – 3:30 p.m. at Miners Park.

Santa pub crawl park city

On Saturday, Dec. 15, we’ll be bundling up our babes for Santa’s arrival, Park City-style, via the Town Lift, at 5:30 p.m. Father Christmas will be joined by Rudolph and the other reindeer, while carolers set the mood and everyone enjoys hot chocolate and holiday treats. That night, we grown-ups get a chance to revel with a whole bevy of Santas during the Santa Pub Crawl. Creative costumes are encouraged for this highly-anticipated locals’ event.
Finally, Disneyland’s got nothing on Park City when our very own Winter Solstice Electric Parade takes to Main Street on Friday, Dec. 21 – the shortest day of the year. Starting at 6 p.m., we’re looking forward witnessing this mobile demonstration of holiday sprit, where contestants vie for top prizes in categories like “Power to Make it Happen,” “Park City Style,” and the Best of Show “Mayor’s Award.”

Though our eternal ski-town optimism knows there will eventually be snow, we’re still able to celebrate the season in a variety of ways, with offerings for all ages, and the knowledge that this community is about just that – community. It’s the very reason each of us has chosen to live in Park City in the first place.

*Photos courtesy of Historic Park City Alliance

3 World-Class Resorts in Park City


Anyone who has moved to Park City to enjoy the famous Utah powder – especially those of us coming from the East Coast, where “ice” and “skiing” are often synonymous – will readily sing the praises of the three local ski resorts in Park City, the combination of which ensures skiers of every imaginable level and interest can enjoy a day on the slopes. Deer Valley Resort offers an unparalleled level of service; though closed to snowboarders, it boasts some of the finest on-hill dining and a legendary ski school, but it’s the little luxuries like free ski valet and tissue boxes at each lift that earn it rave reviews by visitors and locals, alike. Park City Mountain Resort, the town’s namesake ski area, attracts families and freestylers (the resort is included in the “Shaun White Snowboarding” game for Xbox & PlayStation), with the only night skiing available locally, and a highly-respected ski team that produced Olympic Gold Medal-winning racer Ted Ligety. And Canyons Resort has defied the odds, growing up from its humble origins as Park City West to its current incarnation, offering North America’s first chairlift with heated seats, along with elevated dining options, all the while maintaining its reputation as a snowboard mecca.

But nothing is more affirming than having all three resorts land among the Top 10 in North America for 2013, as ranked by the readers of Ski Magazine. Sure, Deer Valley Resort fell a smidgen from its perennial perch at No. 1 to a still-respectable No. 2, but Park City climbed two full positions to No. 4 and Canyons Resort jumped from No. 16 to No. 10 – no mean feat, considering the competition. What helps these rankings hold water is it’s the readers themselves who have spoken. Not some editor or publisher being swayed by possible advertising dollars, but honest-to-goodness skiers and boarders. Sure, they probably have some prejudices – voting for their local favorite, or voting against a resort based on a single experience that rubbed them the wrong way – but the results support the reality, especially in the case of Canyons, where millions of dollars in improvements has resulted in a complete overhaul of the resort, finally earning some well-deserved recognition after years as the town’s scruffy also-ran.

These accolades for Park City’s three ski areas translate directly into increased positive attention for our town, drawing more visitors and new residents, all of whom add to the richness of our local economy, both figuratively and literally.