Aspen Real Estate Market Reports 2005

Pitkin County Real Estate – September 2005

Pitkin County enjoyed its best month of 2005 with $313.8 million in volume on 188 transactions, new records for both categories. These figures represent a 49% increase in volume and a 30% increase in the number of closed transactions over September of 2004.

For the year, volume stands at $1.67 billion verses $1.15 billion at this time last year and $1.60 billion for ALL of last year. YTD transaction count is 1,331 verses 929 at this time last year during which 1,268 were closed during the entire year.

The figures represent year over year increases of 45% in dollar volume and 43% in the number of transactions. The figures also represent new highs for both dollar volume and transaction counts since Land Title began compiling records.

Interval ownership units, which are included in the above numbers, totaled $25.6 million representing 8.15% of overall volume on 41 units accounting for 22% of total closed transactions.

With mud season now upon us in a market expansion that broke out 27 months ago in July of ‘03, what can we expect during the last quarter of this year? In all probability, the answer is, “more of the same.” During the fourth quarter of 2003 when the recovering was well underway, Q4 volume represented over 32% of the annual total. Q4 volume in 2004 was over 28% of the annual total, even with an unusually low volume December in that year. Given the results thus far in 2005, it would appear that much more is in store for the remaining months of this year that, based on almost any traditional standards, can only be described as spectacular.

Reports courtesy Land Title

More Records Broken — Spring 2005

April saw real estate sales records being broken throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. In Pitkin County there were 157 sales transactions, more than in any single month since Land Title started keeping records back in January of 2003. Significant in terms of the results were 37 interval sales during the month representing 24% of the total and a 164% increase over April of last year. The average price of interval sales units increased 30% from 2003 to 2004. The average sales price for an interval sales unit in 2004 was $281,810. For 2005 year to date, that average has increased to $367,346.

Snowmass also saw the largest number of transactions in April of any month in the last 2 years with 51 sales representing a 46% year over year increase from April of last year. Sales volume in Snowmass Village also hit a new record with $60,492,700 during April. This represents the second month in a row that the dollar volume is 77% higher than the corresponding months last year. For the year, sales volume in Snowmass is 63% over the same point last year at this time. Judging from the rapid increases in sales volume for Snowmass Village during the last two months, it’s difficult to believe that it’s not attributable, at least in part to the approval of Base Village. One of the claims made by Intrawest and the Base Village supporters was that this project would raise everyone’s property values. So far, it seems that claim may be proving correct.

Garfield County also posted outstanding sales figures in April. For the first time ever, there were two consecutive months in which the number of sales transactions in Garfield County exceeded 200 units. This kind of momentum has led to more than a 40% year to date increase over 2004 in terms of both dollar volume and sales units.

Obviously all of these numbers are very significant and seem to represent a true tide change throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. These increases are resulting in some scarcity of new listings as compared to prior years. MLS data reflects only 1.2 new listings for every sale during the month April. This ratio represents a new low for the year and contributed to a year to date average of only 1.7 new listings for every sale. In the upper end of the Valley the situation is even more extreme. In April there were nearly 2 sales for every new listing that came on the market. Based on traditional norms, such market imbalances typically force prices up which in turn, may induce others to list their properties. Only the future can tell if this situation will materialize.

Aspen Real Estate Market Not Slowing to Catch Its Breath
If the first two months of 2005 are an indication of what’s to come, the Aspen real estate market is on pace to equal or better 2004’s record sales figures. Through March 28, 2005, the Aspen MLS reports fifteen single family homes closed with an average sale price of nearly $4.6 M. Homes on average take two hundred days to sell. There have been 40 condominiums sold in town with and average sales price of about $1.1 M. Average days on market for Aspen condominiums is running at about 280, although properties that are really priced correctly sell in a much shorter time period.

Market Report – Jan/Feb 2005

The first 2 months of 2005 bode well for the year

After two months, 2005 dollar volume for Pitkin County real estate is up nearly 28% and the unit count is up almost 21%. This is especially surprising since 2004 was a record year for real estate volume. When compared to the results of just 2 years ago (2003), we see a whopping 90% increase in YTD dollar volume. February’s results were a bit of a mixed bag with the total dollar volume down for the month, while the unit count measurement was up. This may be explained in part by relatively strong interval ownership unit sales in February. The average sales price of an interval ownership unit is typically lower than that of other real estate in Pitkin County, but in spite of this fact, interval ownership sales still represented 21% of total sales volume for the month, continuing the trend that emerged in 2004. The St Regis Club began closing on its interval ownership product in February. Of note are the prices paid which ranged from $250,000 to $836,500 for a four-week interval. This is believed to represent a record-high price paid for an interval unit in Pitkin County.

Strength being shown in the Snowmass real estate market thus far in 2005 is also noteworthy. Compared to a rather anemic February of last year, dollar volume for the same month was up 63% in 2005. While only time will tell, it seems likely that Snowmass real estate will continue to do well in 2005 based on the current level of MLS activity occurring in that area.

The Garfield County real estate market also continues to grow with a 61% YTD gain in sales volume and a 49% gain in the number of units compared to last year.

Contrary to what one might assume regarding listing inventory, it appears that the number of new properties being offered for sale YTD actually exceeds the number of properties that have sold so far in 2005, perhaps a response by sellers to the strong demand for Pitkin County real estate.