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Luxury Market Update Ski Season Wrap-Up May 7, 2010 Village, ovember 16, 2009 (There’s a Denali under thereVail somewhere!)


Luxury Market Update Ski Season Wrap-Up What an interesting ski season! Is this the start of a rebound… or merely a blip on the radar screen? Following a very quiet period in our real estate market (as in very quiet!), the 2009/2010 holiday season ushered in what has appeared to be a new wave of buying activity. Showing activity picked up notably at the first of the year, and continued right through the final weekend of the ski season… normally a time that we are able to get up on the mountain and enjoy the last few ski days on the hill. ‘Certainly not complaining, however, as this is a very positive turnaround from the year before! What has happened year-to-date? We have proven that there are, in fact, buyers out there… it’s largely a matter of price! When the Westin Riverfront Resort reduced their prices by 30 – 40% in December, there was some concern that no one would show up. Yet five months later, over 70 properties have been placed under contract, and a sell-out is likely by the summer. Likewise, the Penthouses at Manor Vail notably reduced their prices in March, and almost immediately placed three multi-million penthouses under contract. Year-to-date, 33 properties listed at $2.5mm or Sold in Strawberry Park $12,700,000 greater have closed, excluding “new project” sales in Vail, compared with only 21 similar sales a year ago. While this is down from 70 such sales in 2007, it is a move in a positive direction!

Sold in Spraddle Creek $9,000,000

This year’s tally includes a $9 million sale in Spraddle Creek (Vail), plus sales of $10 million and $12.7 million homes in Strawberry Park (Beaver Creek). Excluding new project developer sales, there are currently 13 properties listed at $2.5 million and more that are under contract, with closings scheduled for the summer season ahead. So while our market is notably down from the peak of a few years ago, it is clear that there are buyers who see this as a rare “window of opportunity”, and are moving

forward to take advantage of it. While accurate, broad-brush statements are tough to make, it is our observation that overall pricing seems to be down 25% - 30% from the peak, something many sellers remain hesitant to acknowledge. At the same time, many of the buyers coming in from more challenged markets (Las Vegas… South Florida… the Phoenix/ Scottsdale area) arrive fully expecting to score the “deal of a lifetime”. Successfully bridging this gap and moving forward to a successful transaction is where tenured brokers in the Vail Valley are proving their mettle. The beginning of a turnaround… or a blip on the radar? It will be fascinating to see how the coming summer season plays out!


Adding to the interest ahead... Vail’s billion dollar renaissance finally comes to fruition this summer/fall, with the pending completion of Solaris, The Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton Residences and The Landmark Towers. When added to the recently completed Penthouses at Manor Vail, the Vail Mountain View Residences and The Tower Residences at Lion Square, this may become one of the best times in the history of Vail to be considering new ski property. With almost 100 brand new units coming on the market (not including those that are already under contract) the choices will be amazing! Perhaps the central question on everyone's mind is what's going to happen as all of these new developments come on-line? How will buyers respond once they can get a first-hand look at what is delivered, and compare the new product side-by-side? Which development will come out of the gates strong, and who will be left in the dust? While most of the developers are taking a tough stance now, what will happen to pricing as the projects begin to compete head-to-head? Lastly, which buyers currently under contract will actually close, and who will walk away? Stay tuned... it's certainly going to be interesting!

Selling your property? If selling your property, know that aggressively pricing your residence ahead of the market, and ahead of your competitors, will be one of the main keys to your success. It is my experience that buyers are looking to strike a “deal”, and if they don’t perceive one is available, they’ll just move on to the next property. If you are fortunate enough to attract a buyer, be prepared for them to take a very strong approach to negotiaView from Vail Mountain View #302 tions. Buyers remain cognizant that market conditions continue to lean Listed at $3,100,000 heavily in their favor. And if you receive an offer, work it as hard as you can, all-the-while keeping in mind that you hold the final “yes/no” decision.

“There are a lot of horses in the race… but not many thoroughbreds.” An interesting phenomena I have experienced on four different occasions this year is as follows… a property has been on the market for months, if not years, without securing a buyer. Yet as the end of the ski season approached, and my buyers selected the property that they wanted, all of a sudden there were multiple buyers after the same deal. Where did that come from?

800a Potato Patch Drive Listed at $1,999,000

One of my favorite quotes is noted above, and applies well to today’s market. While there are a number of properties available, only a few will match your family’s needs and wishes.


When you locate that “thoroughbred”, don’t hesitate to make a move on it! There seems to be a bit of pent up demand amongst our buying clientele. No matter how long a home has been available, if it is attractive to you, it is likely attractive to others, too. Now that buyers are feeling a bit more confident about moving forward, you need to consider the risk that someone else will take a run at “your” property. Whether this trend will continue into the summer, or not, this is something to consider if you are in the market to buy. So again, if you find that perfect property, I would encourage you to take a strong run at it. “Make your own market”, and see what happens. Many years and fond memories from now, you’ll be glad that you did!

What does all of this mean? After veering off course for a few years, during which “investment” became the buzzword for many buyers, we’re now steering back to what I sense is the true reason to own in Vail… to build a lifetime of memories with your family and friends, all-the-while treasuring the welcome respite that our beautiful mountain community provides from the everyday world. I always find it intriguing to show the older homes in Vail. Invariably, they include what I call “the wall of memories (i.e. pictures)”… Vail 1975… 1976…1977… 1978… It is fun to see these families “grow up” over the years, right before our eyes! Fast-forwarding to today, it’s exciting to work with families acquiring their own home in Vail… introducing them to this special place in the world… all-the-while knowing what an important part of their family history this will become. It is very, very gratifying to play a small part in this. Long term, this is what owning a home in the Vail Valley is really all about.

In closing... Please feel free to call or email with any questions or comments you might have about a specific property, our market, or simply the upcoming summertime activities in town. I’ll look forward to being of service to you and your family in any way possible, and to seeing you up here in the mountains very soon! With my warmest personal regards,

Led Gardner Slifer, Smith & Frampton Real Estate, LLC Cell - 970-376-0223 Email - lgardner@slifer.net Personal Website - www.ledgardner.com Company Website - www.vailrealestate.com


(While the following is a “repeat” from my last update, it perfectly sums up what owning in Vail means. Written in the summer of 1991, it once again seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same!)

Real Estate Appreciation: An Owner’s Perspective By Rick Fall We hear the word “investment” more and more in connection with ownership of property in a resort area. Naturally, one wonders what the potential reward of owning a “home” in the Vail Valley might be. Because the economics of individual real estate investments are often difficult to assess, I would like to focus on another aspect of property ownership that we tend to overlook or fail to assign importance to – the personal satisfaction gained in bringing a family together at a vacation home in a resort area. My father, from Chicago, provided us with a vacation home in 1963 and the returns on his investment are still being realized, though he has never sold the home to reap the financial rewards of appreciation. What has his investment returned? As youngsters, my brothers, sister and I were able to learn with our parents of a sport, one which we’ve all carried into adulthood. We developed appreciation for the outdoors, respect for the forces of nature and the understanding to enjoy both the harsher and milder times. At early ages, we were given and learned to handle the independence that a town like Vail provides with its pedestrian orientation and excellent bus system. The independence and self-confidence was nourished and expanded by the freedom of movement and the levels of challenge that the fantastic expanses of Vail Mountain provide. Our world was limitless compared to the controls necessitated by growing up near a city like Chicago, yet we were always within the safe confines of the ski area. Most importantly, all of the family could get together, even though our skills progressed at different rates, to share the outdoors, the exhilaration of the mountains, and the fun of our shared sport. Whether we were all on the same run or going in different directions, we were never more together. Today, our Vail “home” is still the one constant for all of us, even though we live in different cities. It is the place where last we were all together and where we will be together again next. Has the value of homes increased? Decidedly so, but that is not the only or even the most valuable “appreciation” we have earned. For how can one ever put a value on the fun, opportunity, learning, challenge, broadening, confidence-building and sharing that our home in Vail, Colorado has given us. Return on investment? Limitless! Rick is a long-time Vail property owner now residing in aples, Florida. Reprinted from “Properties and Profiles/Summer 1991” – a quarterly newsletter published by Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate


“Vail on Sale” Some notable list-to-sale figures from the first of the year Until last fall, pricing had become more a matter of conjecture than based on fact… there simply had not been enough transactions over the prior twelve months to enable us to draw firm conclusions on where prices should be established. We have thankfully seen enough activity, and closings, over the past eight months such that we can now begin to establish more accurate pricing benchmarks throughout the Vail Valley. The following reflect transactions that are notable not only due to their size, but more specifically, to their reflection of the changes in our market. The list-to-sale prices¹ and discounts are eye-catching, and reflective of the type of opportunity that savvy buyers may find in today’s market. Arrowhead single family

Listed @ $6.25mm

Sold @ $3.6mm

42% off high list price

Beaver Creek duplex Beaver Creek townhome Beaver Creek condominium Beaver Creek single family

Listed @ $8.68mm Listed @ $3.975mm Listed @ $5.2mm Listed @ $17.85mm

Sold @ $4.8mm Sold @ $2.95mm Sold @ $3.6mm Sold @ $12.7mm

45% off high list price 26% off high list price 31% off high list price 29% off high list price

Cordillera single family Cordillera single family

Listed @ $6.995mm Sold @ $4.78mm Listed @ $4.1mm Sold @ $2.7mm

32% off high list price 34% off high list price

Vail single family Vail single family Vail single family Vail single family Vail single family Vail condominium Vail/Lionshead condominium

Listed @ $7.49mm Sold @ $5.625mm Listed @ $10.395mm Sold @ $5.2mm Listed @ $6.8mm Sold @ $4.375mm Listed @ $13.8mm Sold @ $9mm Listed @ $8mm Sold @ $5.25mm Listed @ $3.4mm Sold @ $2.162mm Listed @ $7.295mm Sold @ $5.75mm

25% off high list price 50% off high list price 36% off high list price 35% off high list price 34% off high list price 36% off high list price 21% off high list price

The above prices reflect the difference between each property’s high (and often, its original) list price and it’s final closing price. Many of these properties had been on the market for extended periods, with listing prices rising at the peak in 2006/2007, and thereafter chasing the market down as things began to turn in October of 2008. One-by-one, we are beginning see many sellers become more accepting of these changes in the marketplace, adjust their pricing accordingly, and thereafter accomplish a sale. From a buyer’s perspective, the above transactions represent the type of opportunity that is available on select properties throughout our market. While it would be wrong to expect this type of discount across the board, the opportunity does exist to find a property, and to negotiate a deal, that you will be thrilled with for years to come. Patience and persistence, along with the knowledge of an experienced broker, will be the keys to your success!


Thanks so much for your review of my ski season wrap-up! I hope you have found it to be of value, and again, encourage your call or email if you would like to discuss more details. In the meantime, all of us are looking forward to the summer season ahead, and to the “picture” changing from that on the front page to that below! Take care, and have an enjoyable spring season!

2009 Triple ByPass Ride Evergreen to Avon 120 miles… 10,300 vertical feet… three mountain passes… and this is fun?


2010 Spring Luxury Market Report / Ski Season Wrap Up