Dear Joan, I am very confused about what kind of real estate market we are in right now.  I have been looking for a single family home I can afford and I have had friends tell me not to buy now, for heaven’s sake, because it is a “Seller’s” market and I should wait for a “Buyer’s” market.  What exactly does that mean, and how do I know when it will become a “Buyer’s” market so I can get the best deal possible?  Will that take a long time?  I am juggling signing another lease the end of winter, or going forward with a purchase of a house, if I can.  Please give me some direction.  


Dear Looking for Clues,  I can answer all your questions, except for exactly when the market will change, in the area you are interested in.  Although the Valley from East Vail to Dotsero is all Eagle County, and the areas have some similarities, the real estate market is obviously different in pricing with different locations and therefore often the sales volume is very different.  The definition of a “Seller’s” market is when there is less than 6 months of inventory (homes for sales) and a “Buyer’s” market is when there are over 6 months of inventory for sale.  Therefore, if you look at single family homes for the whole Valley, there were 499 single family sales in the last 365 days, or approximately 42 single family homes sold every month.  Right  now there are 266 single family homes for sale in our entire Valley and so that is approximately 6+ months of inventory, so you could say we are neutral, or just barely a Buyer’s market.  However, if you just look at single family homes in Beaver Creek, there were 11 sold in the last 365 days and there are currently 28 on the market, or almost 30 months supply.  This would definitely be called a Buyer’s market.  Now if you skip down to Eagle, there were 87 single family homes sold in the same time period and there are only 28 available now, making it a little less than 4 months inventory and a Seller’s market.  Finally, if you look at Gypsum that had 128 single family sales in the last 365 days and now only has 15 single family homes for sale, you can see that it is a Seller’s market with less than 1.5 months of inventory.  Now, all this being said, there are always many other variables to think of when you are making your purchase decision:  location, condition, functionality, and of course what amount of rent you are paying.  If you choose a knowledgeable Realtor, that is here for the long haul and is willing to help you find what you need, then your Realtor, who watches the market daily, can keep you informed and help you find the right property for you, at the best time.  Best of luck!