The first question prospective buyers usually ask me is, “How is the Schweitzer real estate market?”
Thankfully, the market seems to have leveled out. Right now, there are no more foreclosure or short sales on the market and I don't see any in the pre-foreclosure pipeline. In the past 6 months, one out of fourteen closings was a distressed property. I’m glad to see that because distressed properties is what depresses the market.
There is more activity now and the volume of sales has increased by 23 percent from 2009 to 2011. Properties are selling at 91.8 percent of asking price, a vast improvement over previous years where we were seeing a much larger gap between asking price and selling price.
I represent Schweitzer’s real estate holdings and was having this conversation with CFO Rod Engel last week and he agreed; we’ve been waiting a long time to say this but we are finally looking at the bottom of the market.
We’ve seen an 18 percent decrease in equity in the village real estate. As you move out of the village area, we’ve seen up to a 32 percent decrease in equity.
I predict in two years we will have a shortage and here is why: Our total inventory has declined by 1/3 in the past 18 months. There has been no builder development, so we are depleting the inventory. In years past there have always been 20 to 30 starts each year. In the past three years we’ve had 6 starts total.
What does this mean? For buyers, it’s the opportunity to get something at the bottom of the market, and for a developer, it’s an opportunity to get ahead of the game. Just like in the stock market, you have to be looking and predicting the trends to come. You can’t wait and react to what you see or you’ll miss the boat.
I realize this sounds self-serving. Of course, I’m going to tell you it’s the bottom of the market and to buy now. But the facts back up my argument. Additionally, the price per square foot has held up and as far as I’m aware, I don’t know of any developments that will be moving forward this summer. Those are very positive indicators.
Best Deals on Schweitzer Mountain Today
If you were to ask me what are the best deals right now, I’d offer a few suggestions depending on whether you were looking for bare land, a condo, or a single-family home.
- The Mountainside lots. They are priced aggressively given their location adjacent to the village and lake views, and with a density of two and the sewer is pre-paid. That’s a value of $19,000 right there for the two hook-ups. Disclosure: These are my listings, but I truly believe them to be the better deals on the mountain.
- Selkirk Lodge: The Selkirk is a condotel in the resort village. I like these units because they have a positive cash flow. For an investor, they are a great deal.
- Single family home: Single family homes are fairly uncommon at Schweitzer This is another one of my listings and is ski-in/ski-out. This home is priced at $261/foot. A similar home, with not as good ski-in/ski-out access recently sold for $404/foot.
That is a quick overview of the state of the market. I’d be happy to answer questions specific to your situation. Please, call or email, or ask in the comments, and I’ll respond quickly.