Amid plummeting inventory, median and average home sales prices have climbed in Montezuma County.
It’s a trend that is materializing throughout the state – and likely here to stay, said Jason Witt, agent with Regents Real Estate Group Inc. and president of the Four Corners Board of Realtors.
“I’m positive the hardest thing we’re facing right now as an industry is lack of housing,” he said. “On top of that, affordable housing.”
Home prices in Montezuma County, comparatively easier on the pocket than in other areas of the state, are attractive to those seeking the sanctuary of a more rural lifestyle, said Terry McCabe, a broker with RE/MAX Mesa Verde Realty and Four Corners Board of Realtors member.
Witt echoed the sentiment.
Montezuma County’s lower prices are a “bright and shining” draw of the area, he said.
“There's a lot of people trying to get out of the Front Range, and I think it's just they're looking for a more relaxed atmosphere than what they’ve seen in a lot of bigger places,” McCabe said.
In Cortez, the median home sales price is $257,750, up 17.7% for the year ending in December 2021. The average is $289,307.
The statistics were released by the Four Corners Board of Realtors, which facilitates residential property sales in Montezuma and Dolores counties.
And in Dolores, the median home sales price in 2021 was up 20.8% in Dolores at $385,000 and 13.4% in Mancos at $400,000.
The average home sold for $422,760 in Dolores and $479,556 in Mancos.
Overall in Montezuma County, the median home sales price is $300,063, up 16.3% for the year ending in December 2021. The average is $349,069.
In Dolores County, the median home sales price is $217,000, up 27.6%. The average is $257,417.
In Dove Creek, the median home sales price is $175,000, up 55.6%. The average is $201,022.
Altogether, Montezuma County has seen about a 16% rise in homes sold compared with 2020. In the rural areas of the county, 191 homes were sold last year. In the towns themselves, 206 homes were sold in Cortez, 25 in Dolores, and 22 in Mancos, McCabe said.
“I think we have a wonderful place down here. ... We welcome that growth,” Witt said.
The sales reflect a swell of about 20% in Cortez and 29% in Mancos from the previous year, while Dolores saw a dip of about 10% for homes sold, McCabe said.
Current inventory is scarce.
Witt believes prices will “soften a little bit” this year, but he doesn’t foresee a dramatic dip in home costs, in line with the laws of supply and demand.
However, homes are beginning to experience slightly longer stays on the market, he said.
McCabe remains uncertain about what real estate trends may emerge this year.
“My crystal ball’s broken,” she said. “With the overall inflation rate going up it makes it a little hard to speculate what’s going to happen,” she said.
This, along with elevated infrastructure costs, has left those desiring to enter the market “leery,” she said.
“That makes it a little harder to make the decision to jump in and build because the cost of everything is up,” she said.
So far this year, 18 homes have sold in Montezuma County, with a median sales price of $292,450, McCabe said. For the same date range in 2021, 24 homes sold with a median sales price of $277,450.
While it is still early in the year, this reflects a change of 5% in the median sales price.
With an influx of city dwellers to the expanses of land in Montezuma County, McCabe placed an emphasis on developing relationships with local brokers.
“There's nothing more local than real estate,” she said.
The housing market in Montezuma County is seeing an influx of people from more populous areas in the state, as well as outside of Colorado, McCabe and Witt said.
McCabe said she receives numerous calls from agents on the Front Range.
“These people, they have no clue about the area,” she said.
A newly transpiring trend is the conversion of agricultural land to residential land, which can be traced back to the lack of inventory, McCabe said.
“The potential is there for development,” she said.