Auctioneer Cookie Lockhart works the crowd Sunday at the Dry Creek Village land auction in Hayden.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Auctioneer Cookie Lockhart works the crowd Sunday at the Dry Creek Village land auction in Hayden.

Low bids, few buyers at land auction

Sales of Dry Creek Village sites slow at Sunday event in Hayden

— A Sunday land auction in Hayden featured few buyers, low bids and decreasing prices that attendees and property sellers alike attributed to the recessionary value of real estate in Routt County.

Forty-three lots at the Dry Creek Village residential subdivision were up for grabs at the Hayden Community Center, but after about two hours of auctioneering, just 12 of the lots were spoken for, most at a price of about $25,000.

The day's highest bid was $43,000 for two lots at the subdivision, which is just south of U.S. Highway 40 between downtown Hayden and Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

"I would say the numbers are an unfortunate reflection of where Routt County land is now," said Jim Woods, a partner in the subdivision with Jon Peddie.

Peddie has said he and Woods have about $70,000 invested in each of the 54 lots of the subdivision's Phase 1.

The lots average 7,000 square feet in size and feature infrastructure accepted by the town of Hayden including water, sewer and paved roads. Sales on 11 of those lots have closed since 2008, but no sales occurred during the second and third quarters of 2009.

Peddie said Sunday's auction was an effort to reach prospective buyers.

"Our hope was that if we offered a really good value that we'd get people out who were otherwise on the fence," Peddie said.

Steamboat Springs resident Gary Waneka and his wife, Nanette, placed high bids on three adjoining lots, at $25,000 each. Gary Waneka called the price "extremely good" and said that he and his wife weren't yet sure of their plans for the sites should the sales be finalized.

Dale Kruse, who lives south of Hayden, also placed a high bid of $25,000 on a Dry Creek Village lot.

"I'm a builder, and I'm hoping to put a house on there and sell it at a really good price to somebody," said Kruse, of Kruse Builders.

But those bids might not hold up. Woods and Peddie have until Tuesday to notify prospective buyers whether their high bid was accepted or rejected.

Closings will take place within 25 days after the auction. Peddie said Sunday's event, auctioneered by Cookie Lockhart, was successful as a means to begin conversations with interested buyers.

Peddie said in addition to the 12 deals Sunday, as many as six potential buyers expressed interest in a Dry Creek Village lot.

"I think we can work with some of our bidders," Peddie said. "I don't think we can accept some of the low numbers."

Woods said interested buyers can contact him at 719-510-8778 or visit www.drycreekvillage.com.

Former Routt County assessor Amy Williams, now with Colorado Group Realty's Hayden office, was on hand Sunday and acknowledged that the bids were "pretty low." Colorado Group was the listing agent for Dry Creek Village before Sunday's auction.

"It's a tough market," Williams said about Sunday's bids. "Nothing would have surprised me."

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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