Shawn Manwaring's Blog

Climate Change and Real Estate

Posted on September 25, 2018 by shawn_manwaring

So you are sitting on a sunny ski lodge deck, goggles on, in a t-shirt and ski pants, drinking a beer and like everyone else in Colorado, you think to yourself “what’s going on with our weather?” If that has not happened to you this year, then I would suspect it is because you haven’t hit the slopes yet this year because where is the snow? or… you don’t drink beer.

I think it’s important to discuss global warming and climate change in all walks of life given the current situation Mother Earth is facing. Today I wanted to share a few thoughts about how that impacts my profession, Colorado Real Estate.

Whether in Colorado, California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, North Dakota, Michigan or any state in our country, you have likely been impacted by the drastic change in weather patterns over the last couple years.  Floods, Fires, Droughts, Hurricanes, Mudslides, Avalanches, and more continue to dominate news headlines nationwide.  Although each state faces their own challenges in regard to climate change, there is no doubt Colorado is a destination that many coastal residents are considering for their futures after suffering through recent events.

While most of Colorado continues to be a top contender for primary and secondary properties as compared to most states, there is no question that we can contribute some of this towards our higher elevation resort areas and our “300 days of sunshine.”  Just in this past year I have worked with folks from Alaska, California, Kentucky, Oregon, and New Hampshire who – at one point in our negotiations to purchase their property, sited our climate as one of the major factors they considered when deciding to relocate to Colorado.  But how is this climate change affecting Colorado?

With our current lack of white on the ground and in the hills, the short-term impact has been more stressful on our tourism and hospitality markets than anything else.  While Coloradans still face threats of drought, fire, avalanche and more, we certainly do not battle the same extreme elements as our neighbors in coastal and inland communities.  As we may notice a few less visitors around town and hospitality is seeing more vacation cancellations than normal, we can be assured that the Garfield County real estate market will continue to thrive through 2018.  By the year end of 2017, Glenwood Springs single family home prices increased an average of 9% with 7% increase of price per square foot.  Similarly, townhomes and duplexes increased 6% in sold price and 33% in sales volume.

Even though our base snow depth is a few inches short from where it was last year, I challenge myself and my readers that the next time we want to complain about skiing with no snow, let’s instead have gratitude for being fortunate enough to live in the high rockies of Colorado where we have many things to be happy about. Now I am headed out to do my snow dance…

Shawn Manwaring is a Broker Associate with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s International Realty in Glenwood Springs.  Shawn services Western Garfield County and the lower Roaring Fork Valley.  He can be reached at 970-389-6069, or

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