Real estate investment potential in Utah


Friday, 17 January 2014
Image Whitefish Mountain in Montana has been named as the best ski resort town in the United States for real estate investors in a report that ranks locations according to their investment potential.The report from property firm Realty Trac identifies 19 towns with high quality ski resorts after taking into account the health of the local housing market and the possibility of acquiring profitable investment homes.To create the rankings, RealtyTrac identified all towns with a population of at least 2,500 that had at least one ski resort that ranked in the top 50 of the 182 ski resorts ranked by ZRankings as featured in Forbes magazine for their ‘Pure Awesomeness Factor’ in terms of the quality of the skiing and snowboarding experience.It ended up with 19 towns on that list and these have been ranked again based on their combined ranking for the PAF along with estate related factors such as distance from the closest airport, unemployment rate, median list price of a residential property, foreclosure inventory percent of all housing units, rental vacancy rate, gross yield on a rental property, 2013 foreclosure rate, and percent change in foreclosure rate from 2010.

Whitefish comes out top followed by Vail in Colorado, Truckee next to the Squaw Valley resort in California, Avon near Beaver Creek in Colorado, and Jackson Hole. The rest of the top 10 include Bozeman near the Big Sky ski area in Montana, Mount Bachelor in Oregon, Mammoth Lakes in California, Park City in Utah, Tellerude in Colorado.

The rest are Steamboat Springs in Colorado, Red Lodge Mountain in Montana, South Lake Tahoe in California, Aspen in Colorado, Ketchum near the Sun Valley Ski Resort in Idaho, Taos in New Mexico, Crested Butt, Breckenridge and Snowmass in Colorado.

The firm says that buyers considering investing in a property should find one that is easy to get to for themselves and potential rental visitors and look carefully at gross yields as the higher the yield the better the chance of covering the cost of the property.

Whitefish had the lowest median list price of any of the 19 towns, the lowest rental vacancy rate, and the biggest drop in foreclosure rate between the peak foreclosure year of 2010 and 2013. The remaining top five towns were boosted by ski resorts that all rated among the top 11 nationwide for their PAF along with solid real estate metrics.

Other towns with high rated ski resorts ranked lower for real estate investing for a variety of factors, including high unemployment rate, high median prices for housing, high rental vacancy rate and low gross rental yield.

‘Most buyers consider the purchase of ski resort real estate a lifestyle investment and Park City certainly delivers as an amazing all year round destination with three world class ski resorts in town as well as 11 other ski areas nearby,’ said Steve Roney, president of Prudential Utah Real Estate, covering the Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, markets.

‘The area also offers a charming historic district and countless summer activities, all within 30 minutes of Salt Lake City’s hospitals, universities, and most importantly, a major international airport. These factors also make Park City real estate a fantastic financial investment as indicated by demand and increased recent sales activity compared to other ski destinations, and although prices have stabilized they haven’t increased significantly making now a great time to invest,’ he added.

Craig King of Chase International pointed out that the Lake Tahoe Basin is home to more than 15 ski resorts and more than 300 days of sunshine a year, and is split between California and Nevada with Nevada having a very favourable tax climate for investors.

‘Supply is historically low causing values to hold and appreciate and the rental market is very strong and a great way to recoup investor’s holding costs while the market appreciates,’ he explained.