While first-quarter sales in all of Pitkin County were down compared with a year ago, they increased in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley communities of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Woody Creek and Old Snowmass. So far this year, 79 residential properties have closed, a 49 percent increase over the same period a year ago, said Aspen broker Tim Estin of Mason Morse Real Estate."There are some significant bargains here based on trends and prices," Estin said. "I would definitely say the smart money is recognizing that and there are transactions occurring."

COLORADO MOUNTAIN RESORT REAL ESTATE – The mountain real estate market plunged so far last year that it seemed there was practically no place for it to go but up this year.Turns out, that perception is proving to be true.During the first quarter, many resort areas have seen the number of homes sold rise substantially compared with the same period a year ago. While it’s a step in the right direction, the market is still not as good as in 2007 or 2008."2009 was so rank and so off, it was just scary," said John Helmering, a broker in the Vail Valley. "Realtors in the Vail Valley have been through the worst time period ever in the history of Vail real estate. This is an improvement, but not from 2008."Still, it’s too soon to call the first-quarter rebound a recovery, said Byron Koste, executive director emeritus of the University of Colorado Real Estate Center."It’s going to slowly recover as people get confident that the wealth erosion that occurred in ’08 and early ’09 is really behind them, and they’re back to making more money," Koste said. "If there is a rebound to that erosion, it may be short-lived. It’s not clear to me that we have any reason to be rebounding, other than we all want to rebound."Still, the improving first-quarter sales have given many mountain real estate professionals a reason to be optimistic.
By Margaret Jackson, May 22, 2010, The Denver Post

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