Trump bump: Sales of real estate in Craig double from this time last year | CraigDailyPress.com

Trump bump: Sales of real estate in Craig double from this time last year

Real estate professionals credit President Trump’s support of coal to creating confidence

— Property sales doubled in February 2017 compared to the same month last year and area real estate professionals credit President Donald Trump's support of the coal industry as the reason behind buyer confidence.

"People have decided to get off the fence when they saw who won the election," said Brass Key Realty Broker and Owner Vicki Burns.

The upward trend is strong.

"We are seeing an increase in home sales, and a decline in refinances," said Northwest Title Company Branch Manager Rachel Green.

In February 2016, 13 properties changed hands, compared to 27 properties in February 2017, according to sales data from Northwest Title Company.

Additionally, sales in January 2017 were down slightly by three properties from the prior year; however the first two months of 2017 show 11 more sales than in 2016, also according to sales data from Northwest Title Company.

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Sales data from the title company does not include sale by owner or properties closing elsewhere and this means that sales in the area could be even stronger.

"With the election results and the president's stance on coal, people that may have been reluctant to purchase a home due to an income from the coal industry, now feel more secure about their jobs and the Craig economy and may now be willing to put those roots down," Green said.

Recent sales mean there are fewer properties on the market.

As of the second week of March there are 144 residential properties available through the Aspen Glenwood Multiple Listing Service that area relators use to list and track property sales.

That is 76 fewer properties than in July 2014 when there were about 220 traditional single-family homes for sale in the Craig area, according to a report by the Craig Daily Press.

There are also fewer new foreclosures.

From January to March 14, there were nine new foreclosures compared to 14 for the same time the prior year, according to data from the Moffat County Treasurer's Office.

"I think the election, the economy and Trump coming in gave more confidence to people. If they can't sell they let it go, but if sales are up then there are less foreclosures," said Teresa Smith, public trustee assistant for the treasurer and the person who files the paperwork for forecloses.

The result of a stronger market is seeing a stabilization to residential property values after a large drop from a peak in 2009.

"Home values seem to have leveled off, meaning that although home values are not necessarily increasing, we aren't seeing a huge decrease in prices or values as we have seen in prior years," Green said.

Market values and the appraised values used to assess residential property taxes are not the same and at this stage market values are not expected to change residential tax valuation.

"Residential has stayed very consistent and we expect that to trend forward," said Moffat County Assessor Chuck Cobb.

The rental market is also strong leaving few vacancies.

"The rental market is very tight right now," said Country Living Realty Broker Associate Marylou Wisdom, who has practiced real estate since 1978 in Craig.

The housing needs of contract crews from Tri-State Generation and Transmission is a factor contributing to the tight rental market.

"We have been full all winter long for the second winter in a row from all the temp workers and subcontractors out at the power plant," Burns said. "That is starting to change, to shake up."

The tight rental market may further boost the market for residential home buying.

"Property is the best investment there is… they are not making any more dirt," Burns said. "As long as we have our coal mines and power plant we are going to have a market and a great place to live."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

At a Glance

February 2016

Total reported sales — 13

Total reported sales volume — $1,251,700

Average reported sales price — $96,285

Median reported sale price — $87,500

February 2017

Total reported sales — 27

Total reported sales volume — $3,544,300

Average reported sales price — $147,679

Median reported sale price — $116,700

Source: Northwest Title Company

Active listings for Craig as of March 8, 2017

144 residential properties, 20 are pending sale

24 commercial properties

110 vacant land, residential

19 vacant land, commercial

Source: Aspen Glenwood Multi Listing System covering Northwest Colorado