While not every indicator points in the same direction, the overall picture of Aspen’s real estate market is one of continued improvement as we enter 2017. While overall sales were down in 2016, new tax revenue, development activity and record offerings all indicate a strong future going forward.
2016 saw total sales of Aspen real estate come in at $1.4 billion, a drop from 2015’s robust showing of over $2 billion.
Gareth Williams and other local experts believe that while the total sales had a surprisingly significant decline from the prior year, they nevertheless reflect a solid showing over the past 10-year span. 2015’s high total sales (second only to the market peaks of 2005, 2006 and 2007) were due to economic recovery and pent-up demand for Aspen property. One notable silver lining in the numbers was that the last few months of the year showed the greatest gains in sales.
Countering the picture painted by the overall sales decline, Aspen’s increased revenue from building permit fees provides better news for the local real estate market. More building activity has generated both new revenue and new economic activity in town.
In Snowmass Village a new partnership of Aspen Skiing Company, KSL Capital and East West purchased the assets to Base Village and are restarting construction on the transformative, yet long delayed project next month. This powerful consortium should provide the necessary boost to generate more activity. Other ancillary evidence of increased economic momentum include robust December sales tax collections in Snowmass Village. Gareth expects permit fees to trend upward in the first half of this year.
One other notable highlight is the remarkable listing of a 3,000 square foot penthouse in downtown Aspen for a record $30 million! Originally listed as a fractional ownership property, the fully-furnished penthouse is being sold as a full-ownership residence and resides in Dancing Bear’s newly-built Mountainside building on Durant Avenue, just two blocks from Aspen Mountain’s Gondola Plaza and one block from Lift 1-A (the finish arena for this year’s FIS World Cup Finals).
According to the Aspen Daily News article, other Dancing Bear fractional-ownership residences, including one recently sold by Gareth, have increased in price by over $200,000 since 2012, a positive trend for current and future fractional purchases in the Aspen Snowmass area.
For more information including a detailed analysis of Pitkin County, Colorado real estate sales since 2010 (including the Aspen Snowmass area), please click here.
All in all, Aspen’s building activity in 2017 should easily eclipse last year. Clients interested in securing a new home or vacation residence could benefit by closing on their properties sooner as most trends point to higher prices on the horizon.