Town of Mountain Village 1Q Sales Numbers

In January, there was a large vacant lot sale in Mountain Village - Lot 104 & Lot 89-2C sold as a package for $3.975M. This represented the highest price paid in the vacant land market segment. The neighboring lot 89-2B also sold at the same time - price paid was $1.5M. These lots were purchased by a neighbor who wished to control any future development on the properties.

The condominium market in Mountain Village was the true bright spot in the first quarter, accounting for over $27M in gross dollar sales, translating into a very good payday for the Owners’ Association via the 3% transfer assessment. The top price paid for a condominium in the first quarter was $3.7M for Penthouse 135 at See Forever Village.

Activity in the single-family home market was restrained with only three sales.

Here is a quick breakdown of the 1Q results for the Town of Mountain Village:




                                Single-Family           Condo/Townhome               Vacant Land

# OF TRANSACTIONS                   3                           21                                   4


$ OF TRANSACTIONS                   $8M                       $27.2M                            $6M


AVERAGE SALE PRICE        $2,675,000                  $1,296,599                  $1,581,250


MAX SALE PRICE                $4,025,000                  $3,700,000                  $3,975,000


# OF PENDING TRANSACTIONS      0                            8                                    2

Town of Telluride 1Q Sales Numbers

There is a popular saying that a busy December can often forecast a slow January. This view was born due to people who might speed-up their property sale/purchase decisions at the end of the year for tax purposes, causing a number of transactions that would have naturally occurred in January to instead close in December. That maxim held true this year as a robust December was followed by a quiet January.

Overall, the 1Q did see a decrease in the number of transactions closed when compared to 1Q2018, and that was true across all property categories, but some significant sales helped to push the actual dollars transacted above the same quarter from last year.

The large vacant lot just north of the post office - home to many Shasta trailers and various construction vehicles over the years - finally closed at $12.75MM. A hotel had been envisioned on the property, and vested development rights for that concept are still in existence, but this author heard the new owners have a different plan in mind. I will share an update when available.

Among in-Town condominiums, the sale of the Plunge Landing building was the most significant. A couple of contemporary residences - one the penthouse with a tremendous rooftop deck - sit above a large, ground-floor commercial space. The whole package closed for $5.7MM.

Here is a quick breakdown of the 1Q results for the Town of Telluride:


  Single-Family          Condo/Townhome     Vacant Land

# OF TRANSACTIONS                    3                           18                          3

$ OF TRANSACTIONS                   $7.5M                    $23M                      $15M

AVERAGE SALES PRICE                $2.48M                  $1.27                     $5M

MAXIMUM SALES PRICE                $3.63M                 $1.96M                $12.75m

Wilson Mesa Ranches - Vacant Lot Profile & Sales

There were two vacant parcels inside Wilson Mesa Ranches that sold in 2018:

  • Lot 71 on E Anderson Rd measuring 7.2 acres sold for $348,000

  • Lot 87, a 7.0-acre piece also on E Anderson, sold for $262,000

WMR has a total of 32 vacant parcels remaining. There are 58 homes that have been built to date. That translates into a build-out rate of 64%.

The neighborhood is located 15 miles from the center of Historic Telluride and enjoys some of the most breathtaking views in the entire area. Good roads and a great team maintaining them. Wilson Mesa Ranches delivers great value to its owners.

Wilson Mesa Ranches - A Gem 15 Minutes From Telluride

The last home sale to occur in the Wilson Mesa Ranches neighborhood was our listing at 220 Elk Wallow.

The property – a 4-bed/3-bath home measuring 3,128 square feet that was built in 1991 – sold for a purchase price of $674,550.  The home is located at the first (and lone) switchback on Elk Wallow, just above Wilson Mesa Ranch Circle.  We marketed the home for two years and the Sellers reduced the asking price on two separate occasions to achieve the sale.

Four additional homes in Wilson Mesa Ranches changed hands in 2018:

  • 654 Woods – 3-bed/2-bath – 1,232 sf – 10.36 Acres - $530,000

  • 1195 E Anderson – 3-bed/2-bath – 1,501 sf – 7.0 Acres - $779,000

  • 727 W Anderson – 3-bed/3-bath – 3,198 sf – 11.04 Acres - $1,620,000

  • 1075 Wilson Mesa Ranch – 5-bed/4-bath – 5,675 sf – 9.63 Acres - $1,850,000

Many factors beyond home-size and acreage are determinants of a property’s final value so please let us know if we can provide any additional details on any of these home sale transactions.

Controlled Avalanche - Bombing of Ajax

Click here to view a quick slideshow showing the helicopter dropping three bombs on the west/southwest flank of Ajax Peak this past Saturday in order to kick loose an avalanche. The area had already slid twice previously this sxeason, endangering the town crew that drives the road below it to access the Bridal Veil water plant, so it was decided to control the area with bombs. We steer well clear of the box canyon and other trails/areas that sit below historical avalanche and slide areas and we suggest all of our friends do as well…you included! The actual avalanche was a full 2+ miles from where these photos were taken on Main St Telluride.

2018 Finishes With a Surge

Several high-dollar single-family home sales occurred in December, pushing the full-year transaction numbers above the most recent 5-year average. Total Dollars transacted equaled $537.5MM, a 13% drop from 2017, a reduction being attributed to the general tight supply of inventory. There were 499 closed transactions in 2018, a 19% drop from 2017, further supporting the conclusion that tight inventories are the primary explanation for the small retreat from last year’s records numbers.

Town of Telluride - Single-family Home Market

As of today, there are only 32 homes listed for sale in the Town of Telluride. That is a low number historically and indicative of what we are seeing in most segments of the marketplace - namely, tight supply

There were a total of 26 single-family homes sold in town in 2018 with a handful pending. A healthy one year absorption rate.

A lot of buyers are still investing additional dollars post-purchase to get the more modern designs that most homeowners are seeking. Those dollars are big drivers of the values in our local real estate market, particularly in the Town of Telluride home market segment, as investments in labor and materials are reflected in the improved property’s ultimate value. It is not an easy time to get a talented tradesperson to look at any small jobs…everyone with a worth is very busy on bigger projects.

Happy New Year!

Founders Estate - A Property That Cannot Be Recreated

In the Mountain Village single-family home market, there are currently 33 homes listed for sale that (1) measure over 5,000 square feet and (2) sit on lots greater than 0.5 acres. Within that group, only one of these homes (1) is listed for sale under $3.8MM, (2) is blessed with big mountain views over the still waters of Elk Pond, and (3) boasts an easy on-grade walk to the grocery store and the free gondola. That home is the Founders Estate, located at 101 Benchmark in the Telluride Mountain Village.

The home’s ranch style design and long interior view lines, plus all day sunshine at a reasonable elevation with convenient ski access, make the Founders Estate one of the best values and most unique opportunities in the entire Telluride area. Click here to view photos and additional details on this one-of-a-kind property.

Ski Co. Announces Terrain Opening Schedule

Lift 9 Community Preview on Wednesday
Additional Lift and Terrain Updates

Plunge Chair (Lift 9) Community Preview – Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Snowmaking and natural snow terrain will open for a one day preview.

Lift 9 will open for the season on Wednesday, December 19th.

Saturday, December 15th Lift & Restaurant openings:

1. Prospect Bowl (Lifts 12 & 14) will open for the season.

2. Alpino Vino will open for lunch.

3. High Camp will open for the season.

Wednesday, December 19th Lift & Restaurant openings:

1. Lift 9 will open for the season.

2. Oak Street (Lift 8) will open for the season. Lift 8 closes daily at 1:30 p.m.

3. Telluride Trail, ski access to Oak Street Base and Coonskin Base will open.

4. Coonskin (Lift 7) will open for the season.

5. Giuseppe's will open for the season.

Upcoming Dates & Priorities:

1. Sunshine Area (Lifts 10, 11 & 13) – "targeting" a pre-Christmas opening.

Get the Daily Snow Report here -

Telluride Region YTD $ Sales Volume

Through November, the Telluride area real estate market has seen a total of just under $500MM in transactions. That is 10% off of the near-record pace set over the same time period in 2017. But the $47MM transacted in November did push our YTD totals above the previous 5-year average. This was accomplished with an average number of Closings, evidence of our appreciating values.

The available supply remains tight with inventory levels at historical lows across most every market category. The lack of supply can be attributed to a number of factors but primarily it all comes down to people being happy with their situation and not looking for a change. Our market contains a sizable percentage of legacy and generational properties…those home and ranches that are unsaddled with debt that will remain in their current families for many decades to come. That characteristic of our area creates a very solid under-footing to our market, creating stability and resilience in slower times.

The snow is falling as I type this and the ski hill crew have been doing a great job getting new terrain open fairly quickly. Chair 6 will open Saturday so we can finally start skiing from the top of the mountain. Lots of smiles in town. Think Snow!

November 2018 Election News

Here is a recap of the voter results earlier this month on several ballot initiatives that are relevant to the Telluride Real Estate Market (as compiled by the Telluride Association of Realtors):

Affordable Housing Proposals see Mixed Results on Election Day.

Three issues specifically facing voters in Telluride on Election Day saw mixed results. The hotly debated proposals for a property tax increase for Affordable Housing seem to have passed by the narrowest of margins. Measure 2A, which levies a 2 mil increase on Telluride residential properties seems to have passed by about 32 votes. 2C, which requires voter approval to bond the money collected passed by a slightly larger margin. One affordable housing measure that did not pass was measure 2B, which proposed a sales tax increase and would have likely raised more money for affordable housing than the property tax measure.

The Telluride Association of REALTORS® will continue to monitor new developments in the affordable housing discussion and will always be an advocate for housing for all.


Property Tax Proposals Pass in Telluride, other Local Areas

In addition to the ballot questions regarding affordable housing, a number of different property tax proposals that raised money for specific needs/purposes all received approval from area voters.

Voters said yes to property tax hikes requested on this election’s ballots that will help support the fire, school and hospital districts. Each of those measures passed with convincing margins, ensuring that voter approved funding will be in place to compensate for funding shortfalls brought about by declining property tax revenues.

The Telluride Fire District won a 2 mil increase and a Gallagher Amendment adjustment that makes up for revenue gaps in lean tax years. The proposal won by a 70-30 margin.

The Telluride Hospital District won a similar increase and adjustment by a slightly larger margin. Officials say the revenue will assist with better emergency facilities and better overall service to the public. 

Finally, the Telluride School District won their question by a slightly smaller 64-36 margin. The $1.2 million in annual revenue the district will receive as a result of the approval of Ballot Issue 4A will be used for attracting and retaining high quality teachers, general operations, programming, and maintaining class sizes.

San Miguel County Real Estate Sales

October 2018 saw the largest dollar volume of sales of any month since July 2007. The big month has bumped up the YTD sales numbers…putting us on pace to finish 2018 with the second highest sales volume total of the past six years.

The large dollar sales that contributed to the big month of October came from multiple segments of the single-family home market - a $6.5MM home in Mountain Village, a $5.9MM home in Aldasoro Ranch, and a $7.4MM home not far from Mountain Village on Turkey Creek Mesa.

Happy Thanksgiving! We were blessed with 6” of the white stuff overnight with more in the forecast so no shortage of smiles in Telluride this morning.

Mountain Village Single-Family Home Market - Healthy Numbers

As of Wednesday the 13th, the sale and listing numbers for single-family homes in the Town of Mountain Village were as follows:

49 Active - 4 Sales Pending - 24 Sold (in Previous 12 Months)

An absorption rate approaching two years might be cause for concern in a highly-populated suburban and/or exurban area with a healthy economy; but not in our remote, niche marketplace. Particularly in single-family homes scattered amid the Telluride ski area and golf course, an absorption rate below two years is considered quite healthy. It takes a certain amount of time for the agents and the marketplace to learn the details of Mountain Village homes, many of which are quite unique in design and in function, so extra days on market are to be expected. Also consider the additional factors of our remote locale with no urban centers anywhere nearby, plus our significant off-seasons each spring and fall that essentially carve 4 - 5 months out of the selling season, and you can begin to understand why that absorption rate is viewed positively here.

There are not a plethora of build’able vacant lots remaining, particularly among those with the best ski access, so buyers have responded by demonstrating a willingness to take on older homes located on compelling lots that might need an infusion of remodel dollars. Still plenty of great long-term opportunities along these lines in our current inventory of active MV Homes.

Cimarron Lodge - Ski-in/Ski-out

Cimarron is a great word, both in appearance and in sound. Derived from the Spanish word of similar spelling, it means “wild” or “untamed”, and it is the name the early Spanish explorers gave to the Seminole tribe in present-day Florida. Nothing wild or untamed about the Cimarron Lodge in Telluride…just a great name for a unique project.

Cimarron sits at the base of Chair 7 for a true ski-in/ski-out location. Chair 7 itself is not much to look at - being a long-in-the-tooth double chair that was likely brand new when Eisenhower was in the White House - but it portends a great future. Classic ski runs like Stumper and O’Reilly’s, plus the beginner-friendly Telluride Trail, all terminate on Cimarron’s doorstep. The Town of Telluride owns a large parking lot adjacent to Cimarron. I am not making any promises or warranties, but it would not be outlandish to envision a mixed-use development on that lot that would finally motivate Telluride Ski & Golf to replace Chair 7 with a high-speed Quad. It might be wishful thinking, certainly, but this author still hopes to be ringing a cow bell in that spot on some future date while standing at the finish line of a World Cup skiing event.

But even if no new nearby development occurs, Cimarron still represents a great value for a mountain condo in an irreplaceable location. In fact, most Cimarron owners would probably be most happy if nothing in the area ever changed.

A total of two units at Cimarron Lodge have changed hands since the start of the year - units R32 and R40 at $657,000 and $750,000, respectively.  There is currently one Cimarron unit active on the MLS – unit R30 has been active on the MLS for 2+ months at an asking price of $865,000. No other units pending at the moment.

Riverside Condos - A Step Above

When compared with other condominium projects in Town that were built/developed at about the same time, Riverside units have consistently traded at a higher price per sq ft. The materials used at build time were not superior and the project cannot boast of any compelling design elements that set them apart. The reason they have been able to attract this premium is fully attributable to the project’s compelling location. It sits at the entry point to the Bear Creek Preserve and its natural riches. The free gondola and the center of Historic Telluride are less than three blocks away. Telluride’s crown jewel of Town Park is a short stroll on the river trail. When taken together it is not surprising that Riverside is valued as highly as it is by the marketplace.

A total of two units at Riverside have changed hands since the start of the year.  Unit D03 closed last spring at $830,000 and just three weeks ago unit B201 sold for $1,475,000 . 

 There are currently zero Riverside units active on the MLS and no sales are pending. Everyone at Riverside appears to be quite comfortable where they are.

Lulu City Condos - Why We Like Them

After an extensive remodel of their building exterior and many of the exterior common spaces, the Lulu City ownership group demonstrated to the marketplace that they are serious about protecting their values and creating the best Lulu City possible. The Board that manages the homeowner’s association has been very “hands on” and involved, a critical component in protecting property values and quality of life in a shared-interest-community. It is not hard to spot those projects that have an ineffective and/or non-involved Board - deferred maintenance goes unaddressed, projects that keep the utility and attractiveness of the project up to date never seem to get done, lack of care for the common areas pervades. None of these issues are the case at Lulu City, a project that offers larger-than-average living spaces, a pool and hot tub, and a great location very close to the ski slopes and the grocery store.

A total of five units at Lulu City have changed hands since the start of the year.  The most recent, Unit 5G a 2-bed/2-bath measuring 971 sq ft, closed early last month for $625,000.  The building continues to see investments being made by owners in the form of kitchen and bath updates and in full blown remodels.  A lot to be encouraged about when you also consider how well the property is looking in general.

There are currently three Lulu City units active on the MLS – all in the #5 building and ranging in asking price from $589,000 up to$885,000. No units pending at the moment.

Town of Telluride Condo Market

Currently, the condominium market inside the Town of Telluride would be described as “balanced”. Over the previous 12 months, there have a been a total of 82 condo closings in town, while there are 15 contracts pending as of this typing. With only 55 condo units currently active, that equates to an absorption rate of approximately 7 months. That might sound like a a long time to people more familiar with urban markets, and the numbers those markets exhibit relative to ‘days active’, but a 7-month absorption rate in any market category in our remote mountain burg is a sure sign of strength/balance.

The project collectively known as the Telluride Transfer - 12 luxurious units spread across four separate buildings on portions of two town blocks - is one of the few sources of new inventory coming to market on the immediate horizon. Three of the 55 active condos in Town are from this project so we know up to an additional nine more will ultimately be available. It is a sensational concept in an unbeatable location, that was imagined and conceived by a world-class design team, so we are quite confident of its ultimate success. When complete, it will be some time before another 12-unit development occurs inside town borders.

Lots of profit taking has occurred in the equity markets over the past two weeks. Often those funds find their way into hard assets like resort real estate - a terrific hedge against inflation. And you are not going to create any family memories cuddling up in front of a diversified bond fund…so think about a new home in Telluride.