When people ask, "What is the real estate market like right now?" our answer is, "Remember back in March when you were trying to buy toilet paper... Well, it's kinda like that."
What a crazy summer it has been here in Park City. With Coronavirus concerns throughout the country and the world, we have so many people relocating to our normally quiet little mountain town. Everyone who has a second home or vacation condo in Park City has been staying here all summer. Many of these residents have been buying larger properties to upgrade to living in Park City full-time. We also have many new visitors in town, buying property, making Park City their new home. Never has our market seen so many luxury home purchases, with so many record sales and new price points achieved. Who would have thought that a global pandemic would create such a frenzy for real estate in a mountain ski town?
And frenzy is the perfect word to describe the market. We continue to see low inventory, super quick sales, tons of showing activity, multiple offers, back-up offers, and selling prices well over list price. The trouble is that we also see a fair amount of contracts falling out, as buyers attempt to tie up anything new that comes available, only to have buyer remorse and cancel the deal. It's a rare time when having a back-up offer has a reasonable probability of going into first position.
Looking at the charts above and some quick numbers below, you can see a snapshot of the current market trends. The year started with a continuation of healthy activity, until COVID-19 hit us hard, closing the ski resorts on March 15th (about Week 12 in the chart above). Real estate sales immediately dropped to about half of normal activity. After a few weeks of pause, the buyers began to resurface, and things escalated quickly.
The numbers below report late spring through mid-summer sales: May 1st through August 25th, for the entire Park City MLS, all categories, comparing last year to this year.
Total Active Listings
4,034 last summer compared to 3,983 this summer - Down by 1%
Number Under Contract
1,089 last summer compared to 1,818 this summer - Up by 67%
1,003 last summer compared to 1,128 this summer - Up by 12%
$875,754 last summer compared to $1,062,479 this summer - Up by 21%
$550,000 last summer compared to $689.125 this summer - Up by 25%
Percent of List Price
96% last summer compared to 96% this summer - No Change
Wow, right?! The numbers are simply insane. Our inventory is down by about 1%, but our new pending sales volume is up by 67% - That is crazy! Closed Sales are only up by 12%, but we expect that number to grow with the enormous amount currently under contract. We also expect the Average and Median prices to jump up quite a lot as the pending sales close. There has never been a time when we have had so many properties priced over $3 Million selling so quickly. Even homes in the ultra-high range of $8 Million and above seem to be flying off the shelf.
The big question is: "Will we continue to see this level of activity throughout fall and into winter?" As of right now, it would appear so. There are still so many potential buyers watching the New Listings on MLS, waiting for the right property to come up. Many are working to find time to come and view options in person. Many have missed out on recent offerings, but hope to eventually secure a property that works for them. With the amount of demand and the limited supply, we really don't see things slowing down.
COVID-19 has forever changed the world, the country, and our town. With potential lock-downs and fears of coronavirus affecting everyday lifestyles, people are leaving the highly populated cities to relocate to rural communities and mountain towns. Park City has been a popular refuge because it is a vibrant ski & summer resort based community, close to a major city, and a short drive to an international airport. Even when daily life is challenged by the looming pandemic, Park City's mountain environment allows people numerous options for outdoor recreation. Rather than being confined to your metropolitan apartment, you can be confined to an expansive alpine community with abundant open space.
Another driving factor is that for years many people wanted to live a more work-from-anywhere lifestyle. With technology making that easier to do, and the pandemic making it mandatory, we see many industries taking advantage of this new work-from-home way of life. Over time, people may return to the office, but it looks as though working remotely is going to last for the unforeseeable future. It may be a permanent change for many. If you can work from home, why not choose to have Park City be that home?
Another critical aspect for people is time. Many people have been dreaming of the Park City life, but always pushed it off as "someday." With time becoming so valued again, as a precious commodity, people are making a move now. For many, they have finally asked themselves: "Why wait any longer."
Sean Matyja - Realtor® / Associate Broker
Mobile: (435) 901-2158 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org