— High-end residential and large commercial sales drove the recovering real estate market in 2014, resulting in the highest gross volume in transactions for the year since 2008.

The year finished with just less than $600 million in transactions reported for Routt County, an increase of more than 18 percent from 2013, according to market analysis from the Land Title Guarantee Co.

The volume comes from 1,360 transactions during the year, a three-year high for Routt County, which has been slower to recover from the economic downturn of the last several years than many areas

The $17 million sale of Wildhorse Marketplace was the largest commercial transaction of the year in Routt County.

Residential broker Darrin Fryer, of Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, thinks the high gross volume is driven in part by the renewed buyer interest in new, high-end construction in neighborhoods like the Sanctuary or Graystone on the Green.

“The high-end buyers are prepared to pay the maximum premium to obtain the newest product,” said Fryer, who sold the highest priced home in Steamboat in 2014, a five-bedroom newly constructed home on Heavenly View in the Sanctuary subdivision for $3.6 million.

Fryer said numerous buyers were interested in the home, which is digitally iPad and iPod controlled, allowing the homeowner to control heat, mini-blinds, the oven and other features remotely.

“They actually got pretty amazing value for what they bought,” Fryer said. [READ MORE]