Letter to the Editor, Aspen Daily News:
April 15, 2009

Link to letter

An Aspen Times April 15 article titled “Pitkin County values continue to Rise” is simply inaccurate and terribly misleading. This is the kind of irresponsible, poorly researched journalism that perpetuates the current stand-off between buyers and sellers in our local real estate market.

Sellers will read this feeling emboldened with unrealistically high prices, buyers will read this and avoid our marketplace until pricing sentiment gets real. Their chorus of, “I think the market still has a lot of room to fall” will continue to reverberate non-stop through our valley as sellers cling to yesterday’s peak prices and sing “But we are insulated” and wonder why their properties languish one to two years on the market.  Sellers deserve the truth.

There are many reasons to believe that long term, the Aspen area (Pitkin County) real estate values will firm and appreciate significantly over time. But short term, as of April 2009, our local market is moribund with the number of transactions off 50-55 percent year over year (see www.EstinAspen.com: The Estin Report 1Q2009: State of the Aspen Market and Feb 22-Mar 1, 09 blog post, On MIsleading Pricing Data.)
How this can mean “Pitkin County values continue to increase” simply defies common sense and present reality.
Look at the data; the facts tell the truth.

Tim Estin