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.