ASPEN REAL ESTATE — The number of vacant homes in Aspen soared during the last decade even though the town showed a slow, steady increase in population, U.S. Census data released last month shows.There were two polar opposite trends developing in Aspen during the 2000s — areas of subsidized housing were responsible for the population growth and free-market neighborhoods continued to lose permanent residents.The 2000 census found that Aspen had 4,354 housing units. About one third of them — 1,451 — were vacant.The 2010 census determined that Aspen had grown to 5,929 housing units. Of those, 2,413, or 41, percent were vacant.That means that 61 percent of the houses added between 2000 and 2010 were not primary residences.
By Scott Condon, March 14, 2011, Aspen Times

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