Last year set real estate records in Steamboat as the pandemic accelerated what was already a market experiencing increased demand and low inventory. With Steamboat Resort announcing it’s $180 million renovation at the base area and terrain expansion that will make the resort the second-largest in Colorado, demand will continue to grow.

Over the past year, real estate within the town limits of Steamboat Springs has seen a phenomenal increase in activity and appreciation. One must wonder what is happening in the communities surrounding Steamboat – have single family homes fared better or worse? There are surprising results…

The Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service, which primarily covers Routt County, uses several geographic regions to help categorize market activity. Steamboat Springs typically captures two-thirds of the MLS market every year. Five other areas collectively capture the remaining amount (33%).

  1. Stagecoach (9%)
  2. North Routt (8%): includes the areas along the Elk River and around Steamboat Lake, Clark, Columbine, and Hahn’s Peak Village
  3. South Valley (6%)
  4. Hayden (6%)
  5. South Routt (4%): the towns of Oak Creek, Yampa, Phippsburg, and Toponas

Dollar per squarefoot is a common denominator used by many real estate practitioners. Because the size of a single-family residence (SFR) varies, this number determines the average value of a SFR on a per square foot basis of the structure.

The graph below shows what price-per-square-foot values have done since 2006 and shows SFRs in the South Valley sold for an average of $477/sf in 2020, a substantial increase from 2019. SFRs in North Routt fetched an average of $298/sf, a 12% increase from 2019. Stagecoach, which typically enjoys the second most activity in the MLS, only saw an increase of 4% to $229/sf. South Routt averaged a 14% increase to $188. Hayden, which has seen good activity over the past two years (in part from the new public school being built), saw a mere 4% increase to $198.

Also shown in this chart are the price-per-square-foot values from the first five months of 2021. North Routt SFRs have seen an amazing 74% increase in $/sf from $298 to $520. The South Valley, which is home to some of Northwest Colorado’s most exclusive developments, enjoyed another 23% annual increase to $586/sf. Stagecoach, had a nice 8% bump, and Hayden had a similar 4% increase to $205/sf.

These locations are seeing significant demand from the high prices Steamboat Springs homes had in 2020 and is continuing in 2021. The 2020 average $/sf of a Steamboat SFR increased 11% to $402, and the first five months of 2021 has posted a 29% increase to $520/sf and median price of $1,420,000. The half-hour drive to Steamboat may not be a bad idea for many considering it may allow the ability to either enter the market at a lower price point or buy a larger home for the same cost as a SFR in city limits.

Each of these communities in Routt County offers something special and unique. Hayden’s new public school, wonderful community center, county fairgrounds, and a milder climate appeal to many. Stagecoach offers a wonderful Reservoir with boating, fishing, and a myriad of other summer and winter recreation…not to mention the potential resurrection of the Stagecoach Ski Area. Further south, Oak Creek, Phippsburg, Yampa, and Toponas offer spectacular views and recreation in the Flattop Wilderness Area, then heading to North Routt, you have the Zirkel Wilderness Area and Steamboat Lake, offering similar options. For those looking to make the Steamboat Springs area a primary or part-time residence, these more affordable options are well-worth considering. // Information provided by Doug Labor, Broker/Downtown SSIR Office GM

For more information on real estate or Steamboat Springs in general please don't hesitate to call or email me at 970.819.5581 or