June 1, 2012
"BACK IN THE BLACK"
Business Journal for Southwest Montana editor Jason Bacaj takes a look at the real estate marketing in Big Sky in this March 27, 2012 cover story...
March 8, 2012
REAL ESTATE ON THE REBOUND by Ernie Hall, Broker, Big Sky Properties (BSP)
It’s no secret that the Big Sky area has experienced similar real estate market woes as the rest of the nation in recent years. The question on the mind of every buyer is, “Have we reached the bottom yet?” After examining sales figures for the calendar year ending 12/31/11, I’d like to offer evidence that yes indeed, the worst may be behind us.
SUMMIT THE HOT ITEM
Prices, for the most part, have stabilized over the past two years while sales pace has increased dramatically. Consider the Summit Hotel as a prime buying opportunity. A year ago, there were over 20 units available on the market and only two had sold in the prior 12 months. Today, only nine units are on the market, four have closed since Christmas, one is under contract and at least three have active offers being negotiated. Combine that with recently released 2011 rental figures showing increased revenues, reduction in HOA dues, and the best Condo-hotel lending terms available in 14 years, and clearly the time to buy in the 213-unit Summit is now.
NEW POWDER RIDGE V PRE-SALES
Another compelling sign of a recovering market is the sale of new construction product. For the first time since 2006, reservations are being taken on Powder Ridge Cabins prior to groundbreaking. Released during Christmas Week 2011, the fifth and final phase of Powder Ridge will consist of ten cabins and eight duplex “Lodge” condominiums. Three cabins are currently under contract with groundbreaking planned for spring 2012 as weather permits.
50% INCREASE IN TRANSACTIONS & DOLLAR VOLUME at BSP
Overall, closed sales completed by Big Sky Properties, Inc. in 2011 as compared to those completed by the company in 2010, showed a nearly 50% increase both in terms of number of transactions and total dollar volume of properties sold. Closed sales completed by all offices reporting to MLS in 2011 as compared to those reported in 2010 showed approximately a 25% increase both in terms of number of transactions and total dollar volume of properties sold. In both cases, average price per transaction remained virtually the same. In both BSP sales and MLS sales, you have to go back to 2008 to find a more productive year.
RESIDENTIAL UP 40%, LAND DOWN 30%
More careful examination of MLS figures provides insight into a number of interesting trends. As stated before, total sales reported to MLS in 2011 were up 25% over the prior year, but if you separate residential sales (single family homes, condominiums, and townhouses) and undeveloped land sales, the results are markedly different for the two market segments. Residential sales reported to MLS in 2011 were up nearly 40% over the prior year. In stark contrast, undeveloped land sales reported to MLS for the same period were down almost 30%.
A wise man once said that you will know that the market has reached bottom…six months after the fact. But the facts stated above, along with availability of financing and shrinking inventory point toward a potential for appreciation in the market place. Have we reached the bottom yet? If not, we’re certainly headed in the right direction.
Download the 2011-12 edition of Vision newsletter
Download the 2010-2011 edition of Vision newsletter
Download the 2009-2010 edition of Vision newsletter
Big Sky's parent company, Boyne Resorts, completed the next step in its planned $400 million capital investment with the opening of Village Center in 2008. The approved Overall Development Plan of the Big Sky Resort Mountain Village is designed to maintain the unique characteristics of Big Sky while incorporating the best design elements of the premier ski villages in Europe and North America. View the illustrated Master Plan pdf (subject to change)
View our interactive Mountain Village Plaza Map
Many improvements have been made to the core plaza area since summer 2008 to create a sense of community and enhance the village environment. From children's playground equipment to activities, to a "teaching tipi" in cooperation with the Big Sky Institute, visitors and owners based in the Mountain Village can feel the energy.
This effort is on-going with the Big Sky zipline added in February 2009 for a totally unique tree-top experience.
Summer 2009 included the addition of a climbing wall, high ropes course and paintball adventures.
Coming in 2012 will be the Lone Peak Expedition: Tram to the Top.
Ski Terrain Improvements
- Winter 2008 skiers and riders enjoyed additional terrain on the south face of Lone Mountain accessed by the Dakota Lift.
- Winter season 2011-12 saw the addition of 5 new gladed ski runs bringing Big Sky's skiable acreage to 3,832.
The Village Center includes:
- 10,000 sq. ft. for shops and restaurants creating an active pedestrian village
- New slopeside ski/entertainment suites on upper floors.
Big Sky has already seen investment in excess of $100 million in the resort including:
- Collaboration with Moonlight Basin to form the nation's largest ski complex with 5,512 acres and 4,350 vertical feet.
- High-speed lift upgrade for Southern Comfort Lift (2004)
- The Mountain Inn (2002)
- $50 million Summit at Big Sky, 213-room luxury condominium hotel (2000)
- Construction of an extensive hiking and biking trail system and alternative recreation (1998-2005)
- Phases 1-3 of the Powder Ridge Cabins
- New White Otter, Cascade and Little Thunder Lifts accessing Cascade ski-in, ski-out homesites
- Employee housing for staff members
- Medical facility, roads, utilities, infrastructure for Cascade Highlands recreation homesites and Powder Ridge Cabins (1998)