The La Plata County statistics comparing the first nine months of 2019 to the same period over the past three years was recently released. In general, median prices in the county were flat, Bayfield in-town values were up significantly, while median prices and sales volume for free-standing homes in the Durango Mountain area decreased.
Real estate median sales prices for the entire county in the first nine months of 2019 were down less than 1%, with median prices decreasing by $2,687 from 2018; the number of sales increased by 20 from 848 to 868. As has been the case for the past three years, sales would be higher if there was sufficient inventory in and around the Durango city limits to satisfy demand in the middle and lower price ranges.
The number of sales of single-family homes in the city limits of Durango was down by 16, from 136 to 120, which continues the downward trend; sales were down from 147 to 136 from 2017 to 2018. Median prices increased by 4.1%. Median prices for homes in the area outside the Durango city limits went up $14,250 to $494,250 which was a 3% increase over 2018.The number of sales in the period increased by 20, from 260 to 280, a 7.7% increase. The lack of affordable homes in the Durango area is keeping the sales volume lower than the demand would allow and pushing the median prices upward. The number of sales in area surrounding the Durango city limits has been generally flat over the past three years, mainly due to increasing numbers of potential homebuyers being priced-out of the market.
There were 186 Durango area condominiums and town-homes sold in the first 9 months of this year; a 3.9% increase compared to the 179 sold in the same period in 2018. The median price increased to $325,000, a .8% increase. The small increase in median prices is due to the large number of sales at lower price points.
The category with a significant decrease in sales and median price was single family homes in the Durango Mountain (Purgatory) area. Detached home median prices decreased by 13.3%, from $790,000 to $685,000 with the number of sales decreasing by 8, from 21 to 13, which is 38% lower. This category was the major reason that overall county median prices were flat, while all other categories were up except for land. The decrease in median price can be attributed to more inexpensive homes selling compared to higher priced options. The drop in sales was due to the small number of affordable homes available. Many buyers of expensive homes in this area want to vacation rent their homes when they are not using them; the net vacation rental income will only cover the taxes, fees, and HOA dues, which makes these homes less attractive. The number of mountain area condo sales decreased by 21, from 75 to 96. The median price decreased by 18.6% or $23,500 from $175,000 to $207,500. A large portion of the large increase in median prices can be attributed to the increase in sales of more-expensive condos located right at the ski area, as opposed to lower sales prices found at Tamarron and other similar communities that are part of the Durango Mountain statistical area.
Bayfield in-town and country area median prices increased substantially in 2019, continuing the trend from the 2017 to 2018 periods. Values moved upward as buyers look to their second and third location choices because of lack of inventory and becoming priced out of the Durango in-town market; the decrease in the number of sales in the Bayfield Country area indicates that the inventory was lower than necessary to keep up with demand. The median price of an in-town Bayfield home increased from $315,500 to $334,500, a 6% increase. The number of in-town homes sold increased by 16, from 32 to 48, a whopping 50% increase; in-town inventory has been increasing with considerable new construction; the newer, more expensive, homes contributed to the higher median price. Home sales in the rural Bayfield area decreased by 13, from 104 to 91; the median price increased by $12,000 to $345,000, a 3.6% increase.