New homes on Cedar

Two newly-built homes at the corner of Cedar and Evans Street. Building has soared in recent years, with permits for single-family homes issued last year alone nearly equalling the total number of permits issued between 2010 and 2015, and 2019 on pace to match or exceed that number of new single-family homes.

It’s a seller’s market for homes in Buena Vista, according to local realtors.

“It’s the healthiest I’ve ever seen for sales,” said Bill Lockett with Collegiate Peaks Realty.

“You have sellers that are getting a premium for their houses while still having buyers that are paying for them … and wishing they had bought 5 years ago.”

Ritchie Molitor, an agent with RE/MAX Mountain Vista properties, said, “The market saturation as of June is leaning towards a 3,” referring to a measure of how long real estate property stays on the market as inventory. “6 is more of a buyer’s market.”

“It continues to be strong,” Molitor said. “It hasn’t really dipped in the past 4 years … land sales have spiked in the last 3 years.”

Town Planner Mark Doering reported that, as of June 7, 33 single family dwelling unit building permits have been issued by the town, as well as three apartment unit multifamily building permits and 9 condominium unit multifamily building permits.

Mary Kale, also an agent with RE/MAX, said that the move to building on vacant land is the result of home inventory being so low.

“Our markets have gone up,” Kale said. “They started going up quite high in 2017, 2018, 2019.”

During that period, particularly in 2018, Kale said, the local real estate market sold much of its home inventory. Now, the low inventory and steady demand have caused prices to rise substantially. They have now reached what she sees as a point of stability.

Because the home market doesn’t seem to have many buyers, Kale doesn’t anticipate prices will rise, however, “because the economy is so good and the demand is so high, people still want to live here, we don’t anticipate it going down, either.”

For the entire year of 2018, 57 single family building permits were issued in Buena Vista, The Times reported in April. In the 6-year span of 2010-2015, 66 single family building permits were issued by the town in total, according to data from the county building department.

“There’s been more of an increase of people looking to invest in rural communities,” Lockett said. “It’s a place that has resonated with them for years and they’re trying to make their way back here.”

Occupancy Permit growth through the years

Year Single Family Occupancy Permits (Buena Vista) Total Building Permits (Buena Vista) Single Family Occupancy Permits (County-wide) Total Building Permits (County-wide)
2018 57 526 283 3,261
2017 18 390 227 2,971
2016 24 306 261 3,410
2015 12 229 157 2,650
2014 13 238 114 2,256
2013 11 180 99 1,750
2012 9 170 91 1,732
2011 9 190 63 1,669
2010 12 149 91 1,413

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