Defying the national housing slump, Aspen’s prices are rising. Why the glitzy ski enclave is outpacing the Hamptons, Beverly Hills and Palm Beach…but Aspen hasn’t missed the housing bust altogether: The number of homes sold last year was about half the level of 2006, and there have been foreclosures and notable fire sales, according to Mason Morse Aspen broker Tim Estin, who writes a regular economic analysis called the Estin Report. One house that sold for $16 million on Feb. 15, for example, was originally listed for $32 million.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – The lowest-priced single-family home on the market in Aspen is listed for $559,000. It’s located in a trailer park.While most housing markets in the rest of the country continue to struggle with anemic demand and foreclosures—and sales at many other luxury ski resorts are still sluggish—Aspen has forged its own orbit. The average home price in this mountain town has increased over the past four years, to $6 million in 2010 from $5.4 million in 2006, according to multiple-listings data. The median price for single-family homes is now the highest in the country at $4.6 million, says San Francisco-based Altos Research, surpassing the Hamptons, Beverly Hills and Palm Beach. Sales of luxury Aspen estates—the sorts of over-the-top places with leather walls and outdoor heated infinity pools—have remained remarkably healthy, thanks in part to foreign buyers. Of the 25 real-estate transactions recorded by Pitkin County for the week of Jan. 19 to 25, five were buyers from abroad, including three Australians and people from Turkey and Hong Kong.
By Nancy Keates, March 4, 2011 WSJ

Link to article

Link to (6) recent Aspen Property Transactions over $14MM

03/04/11 WSJ: Downtown Aspen and Comparison Chart