In 2023, the prevailing theme for the Telluride Real Estate market was one of scarcity. Scarcity that emboldened Sellers and left many Buyers scratching their heads, even in the face of macroeconomic softening. The simple fact in Telluride is that we still have a significant lack of inventory for a consistent and even growing demand base. Consequently, Telluride area real estate values have largely returned to a steady rate of overall appreciation similar to pre-pandemic trends. The numbers bear this out: in 2023, San Miguel County’s total dollar volume was up 31% over 2019, despite 18% fewer transactions.
The lack of inventory underlined a steep decline in number of transactions dropping from a total of 944 trades in 2021 to a modest 445 in 2023, a 53% drop. However, despite being less than half the number of transactions, dollar volume has only fallen 39% in 2023 from 2021. Clearly, Buyers have continued to find value in our market, many becoming happy owners understanding that the “top of the market” is nearly impossible to predict and of course, is always temporary.
The aftereffects of 2 years of record absorption were evident and persistent throughout 2023. At the start of 2024, we only have 12 months’ worth of single-family home inventory between both the Town of Telluride and the Mountain Village. Condo inventory in Town is at a mere 50% of what the market demanded in 2023, while Mountain Village inventory stands minimally at 33%. Meanwhile, new construction and recently remodeled inventory continues to drive values higher at the upper end. The trend is evident: sophisticated buyers in Telluride want new, high-end product and are willing to pay the necessary premiums for it.
Looking forward, what is the ultimate result of this protracted period of low inventory? The opportunity and advent of new product in our market.
Projects including the Four Seasons Telluride Private Residences, Mountain Village’s forthcoming Highline Residences, and the Post Office Lot/Telluride Hotel & Residences in the Town of Telluride (even potentially the TKV project near the Gondola) provide a spectrum of impending options for a broad demographic of Buyers. This is all in addition to a multitude of single-family spec product that continues to trickle to market. On a large scale, it has been a long time since we have had new development projects in Telluride and the new pricing that comes with these projects is well in-line with comparable products in similar resorts. With this higher level of finish, property values will continue to elevate Telluride to the proper place near the top of North American Ski Resorts.
Values, appreciation, and future growth notwithstanding, Telluride remains one of the most desirable locales and communities in the world. Even if all the proposed development inventory is brought to the market, the maximum capacity of the immediate Telluride area will only increase fractionally. Over the holidays, peak ski days were enjoyed with no lift lines, while comparable resorts saw hours-long wait times. Telluride is poised to remain an exclusive and community-centric club for those with the forethought and passion to thoughtfully invest for their happiness and enjoyment.