The Estin Report: State of the Aspen Snowmass Real Estate Market
1st Half 2009 versus 1st Half 2008

(First Half is January 1 – June 31)

Executive Summary: 1st Half 2009
(See The Estin Report: 1H09 Chart)


Aspen Single Family Homes Sales (includes Woody Creek):
– (20) sf homes sold 1H09 in Aspen versus (34) in 2Q08, a -41% drop in the number of homes closed and -44% fall in dollar sales volume of $110M in 1H09 compared to $196M in 1H08.
– The average single family home price decreased -8% from $5.93M in 1H08 down to $5.49M in 1H09
– The median price fell -21% to $4.7M in 1H09 from $6M in 1H08
% Sold Price to Original List Price*: The average home selling price closed at 66% of original list price (not ask price) in 1H09 versus 89% of the original list price in 2Q08.

Aspen Condos
(includes Woody Creek):
– (20) Aspen condos sold in 1H09 versus (32) in 1Q08, a -38% decline in units sold.

– The dollar sales volume for Aspen condos was off -34% to $30.5M in 1H09 compared to $46.4M in 1H08.
– The average selling price of an Aspen Condo is up 7% in 1H098 from 1H08. This may be attributed to the fact that the average size of a condo sold in 1H09 was 22% larger in sq. ft. than in 1H08. This is another reason why average price data is unreliable and can be skewed disproportionately by irregular events. Because of this, median pricing info is often considered more reliable.
– The median Aspen condo price is off -19% in 1H09 at $946K from 1H08 at $1.165M.
– The median price per sq. ft. for an Aspen condo fell -25% to $1,214 sq ft in 1H09 from $1,519 sq ft in 1H08.
– The average days on market for an Aspen condo increased 77% to 263 days in 1H09 from 149 days in 1H08.
% Sold Price to Original List Price*: The average Aspen condo closed at 83% of original list price (not ask price) in 1H09 versus 89% of the original list price in 2Q08.

Aspen Townhomes & Duplexes (includes Woody Creek):
– There were (11) closings in 1H09 versus (10) in 1H08.
– The average townhome and duplex selling price closed at 85% of original list price (not ask price) in 1H09 versus 91% of the original list price in 1H08.
– The average price of an Aspen townhome/dupex fell -11% in 1H09 to $3.4 versus $ 3.8M in 1H08.
– The median price increased 2% to $3.6M in 1H09 from $3.55M in 1H08. There were two notable 2Q09 townhome sales in $1500-$1600 sq. ft range, particularly strong prices given the market’s overall weakness.

Snowmass Single Family Homes

– There were (6) home sales in Snowmass Village in 1H09 versus (10) in 1H08, a -40% change. All (6) of the Snowmass home sales took place in 2Q09; there were no home sales in 1Q09. But in 1Q08, there were only (2) home sales.
– The dollar volume of sales in 1H09 was off by -76% from 1H08, $26.6M in 1H09 versus $118.2M in 1H08.
– The average price of a Snowmass single family home fell -35% in 1H09 to $4.77M from $7.4M in 1H08.Two reasons for this: 1) There was a $36M Snowmass/Divide home that sold in May 2008 vastly skewing averages upwards in 2008; 2) The average size of Snowmass homes that sold in 1H08 was approximately 10% or 500 sq ft larger at 5,071 sq. ft. than the average sold Snowmass home in 1H09 which was 4,588 sq. ft,
– The median price of a Snowmass home increased 5% to $4.67M in 1H09 from $4.43M in 1H08.

– The average days on market for a Snowmass home increased by +172% to 368 days in 1H09 from 135 days in 2Q08.
% Sold Price to Original List Price*: The average  Snowmass home selling price closed at 79% of original list price (not ask price) in 1H09 versus selling at 93% of the original list price in 1H08.

Snowmass Condos – The market is moribund, but represents incredible opportunity if one believes, as I absolutely do, in Snowmass Base Village’s imminent resurrection. It is still destined in my eyes to become the “new” pre-eminent North American Family Ski Resort of the 21st Century, it will just take longer than originally planned.
– There were only (11) sales in 1H09 versus (47) in 1H08, an 77% drop in total units sold.
– Dollar sales volume was off -84% to $8.99MM in 1H09 from $56.2M in 1H08.

– The average price of a Snowmass Condo was $768K in 1H09 versus $1,1M in 1H08, down -31% year over year.
– The median price of a Snowmass Condo was $479K in 1H09 versus $991K in 1H08, down -52% year over year.

– The median price of a sold Snowmass condo is approximately 1/2 of the median price of a sold Aspen condo. More typically, the Snowmass “discount” to Aspen prices historically have been closer to 30-35%

% Sold Price to Original List Price*: The average Snowmass condo selling price closed at 72% of original list price (not ask price) in 1H09 versus 97% of the original list price in 1H08.
 

* Note: % Sold Price to Original List Price

I am using % Sold Price to Originall List as a barometer of where closing prices are settling because % Sold Price to Ask ask prices is too variable in this present sales climate to be reliable. Assuming an “original price” is roughly 10-12 months old or older, that price (even if the property was initially overpriced) represents a more stable pricing base with more data available from which to judge how far off we have come from those levels. If a property has come on the market in the past 180 days, in the 1st Half of 2009, I would assume that its original list price is closer to a realistic selling price than a property listed before the economic crisis began in early Oct. 2008, although this is often NOT the case as well… There are some sellers who are putting their properties on the market at 2007 peak prices shrugging off buyer and broker disbelief at their altered reality.The only explanation I have for this attitude is that they don’t really have to sell and are thinking, “Let’s just put it out there and see if we can get that one-in-a-million buyer who’s willing to pay full 2007 retail for our once-in-lifetime property.” Buyers remark, “Only in your dreams.”

At present, pricing and perceived value is a moving target and they are falling. Inventory of all types of Aspen and Snowmass Village properties are up considerably, prices are coming down . Although the summer season is nearing its prime-time selling period, August, we are roughly one-half way through summer and realistic sellers are getting anxious as summer’s end is around the corner..

Disclaimer: The statements made in The Estin Report represent the opinions of the author and should not be relied upon to make real estate decisions. Information concerning particular real estate opportunities can be requested from Tim Estin at 970.920.7387 or at [email protected]  A potential buyer is advised to make an independent investigation of the market and of each property before deciding to purchase. To the extent the statements made herein report facts or conclusions taken from other sources, the information is believed by the author to be reliable. However, the author makes no guarantee concerning the accuracy of the facts and conclusions reported herein. For  reproduction use of any parts of The Estin Report,  the author requests direct attribution to him as,  “The Estin Report: State of the Aspen Snowmass Market, By Tim Estin mba, gri  Broker Assoc/Mason Morse Real Estate Aspen, www.EstinAspen.com” or please contact him directly. All rights are reserved and the articles and blog posts are copyrighted.