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The game in Vail Valley real estate these days is gauging when the market has hit rock bottom and will start another meteoric rise to levels not seen since 2007–08. That’s when a fifteen-year bubble burst and values plummeted 30 to 50 percent, and in some cases even more.

One sign of renewed life is an analysis by Trevor Theelke of Land Title Guarantee Company showing that March 2011 saw the highest number of monthly transactions (129) since October 2008, which is about the time everything sailed off a collective cliff. Theelke says the middle of the market is still soft but that recovery may be coming from the super high end and the relative low end.

“The driving force through the first quarter of 2011 has been the two diametrical spectrums of our real estate market—the high end and the lower end,” Theelke says. “The high end, including residential properties over $4 million, has accounted for 38 per-cent of our total dollar volume. The lower end of the residential range—properties under $500,000—accounted for 50 percent of all transactions.”

Five properties sold for more than $4 million in March, including one Vail home that sold for $10.35 million. That’s big, but it’s still a far cry from Vail’s single-family home sale record of $24 million for a Forest Road property back in the glory days of 2006.

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