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1268 Paintbrush, Mountain Star, Avon CO

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Escape to 8,150’

The State of Vail Valley Real Estate with Local Expert Tye Stockton

Article by Lisa Van Horne

Photography by Photography Provided by 360 Productions

Originally published in Cherry Creek Lifestyle

It’s an understatement to say that Vail Valley is a popular destination in which to live, work and play. It always has been—between the year-round outdoor recreation and unique mountain lifestyle that it provides. And in the face of a year unlike any other, Vail has likewise seen real estate activity unlike any other time in its history. We spoke to Tye Stockton, real estate advisor with The Stockton Group—part of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty—to get the 411 on the area’s record real estate season and his thoughts on its future.

Lisa: Can you provide a brief snapshot of the Vail Valley real estate market today?

Tye: We’ve had a historic summer that’s truly been unlike any other. I moved here almost 30 years ago, and it’s a decision that feels more important than ever today. So many things have come into alignment this year that have amplified how desirable a location Vail is, and we’ve seen recent sales volume more than double over that of a typical summer. And we’re not seeing signs of it slowing down either.

Lisa: How has the pandemic contributed to such a landmark season?

Tye: Between the pandemic and other social unrest, we’re seeing a lot of people from our feeder markets—namely Chicago, California and Denver—come here seeking a sort of safe haven. Many have previous experience here and, given remote work capabilities, feel like Vail is an ideal place to be—especially if we enter another quarantine period. We’ve also seen people who have taken the “slowdown” to reflect on where they want to be, and in many cases have uprooted their lives to relocate here full-time. I think people find that, even if the future is uncertain, they feel they can see into the crystal ball a little more clearly when they look into it with Vail as the backdrop.

Lisa: What are some notable current trends you’re seeing?

Tye: The ideas of quarantine and lockdown are fresh in people’s minds, so many buyers are looking for in-home amenities like home gyms and swimming pools—things that were less in-demand for a while because of the popularity of out-of-home fitness classes. Home offices are also hugely popular. When looking at the possibility of running a business from home, many people are looking for home office spaces and properties where they can spread out and be more comfortable. Homes in the outlying areas of Vail with this extra acreage are particularly prevalent. Many sellers who thought the process could take two to three years are seeing their homes sell very quickly for great prices—in many cases with multiple bids and full-price offers.

Lisa: Any particularly exciting recent sales?

Tye: In the span of just eight days in August we had two record-breaking sales. The first was the highest priced sale in Vail Valley history at the time for $24 million. One week later we had a wonderful family from Boulder purchase a duplex in the heart of Vail Village for $57 million—a sale that garnered national media attention. We’ve really had unprecedented recent sales activity.


Lisa: Wow! Any tips that potential buyers and sellers in the Vail Valley could benefit from?

Tye: For buyers, given the flurry of activity, there could be multiple offer situations that you find yourself in. Have your financial picture clear beforehand and try for very clean offers, which will put you in a more favorable light. For sellers, turnkey still wins the game and can net you a premium price. Some buyers are looking to close in 30 days or less, so being as prepared as possible can get you top dollar—and quickly.

Lisa: What do you expect to see in the area’s real estate in 2021?

Tye: We’re expecting to see lower inventory, pressure on pricing and more new construction coming online. Vail always has a scarcity problem, as people love to be here in all seasons, and there will continue to be limited supply with such high recent demand. There will absolutely be continued strength in the market, but the current pace is just not sustainable, so more buyer opportunities might arise.

Lisa: Why do you feel like Vail Valley is such a special place?

Tye: Community. Vail has a small-town feel with a strong sense of community in both good times and bad. When someone is going through a tough time, the community rallies around them. There are so many answers I could give—the lifestyle in which you can go on a two-hour hiking, skiing or biking vacation, the idyllic setting, the magnificent dining options, the cultural events, the international diversity. That tight-knit closeness is just such a special thing to me.  

Tye Stockton

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