Realtors cautious about declaring recovery because of poor 2009, lingering uncertainty…Tim Estin, a broker associate with Mason Morse, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the upper valley real estate market as recently as six weeks ago. Now he labels himself “day-to-day hopeful.” His outlook has been tempered by the ongoing uncertainty over the national economy.Poor employment numbers in June led economists to declare the recovery has slowed. Estin said ongoing uncertainty over macroeconomics affects the psyche of buyers, even deep-pocketed ones shopping in Aspen.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – Real estate sales in Pitkin County surged ahead of last year’s pace over the first half of 2010 but many realtors remain cautious about claiming recovery…There’s reason for both optimism and caution. On the positive side, the dollar volume of sales from January through June was $573.82 million compared to $471.48 million for the same period in 2009, according to a report released Friday by Land Title Guarantee Co. and research by The Aspen Times. That is an increase of $102.34 million, or 22 percent. Bob Starodoj, owner and CEO of Mason Morse Real Estate, said he considers the Aspen market in “recovery mode.” The property owners who were forced into distress sales because of the Bernie Madoff scam and other economic woes have completed their transactions. Now there is slow, steady improvement in the upper valley market, he said.“Historically what happens is rich people come back into the market first,” Starodoj said. Wealthy buyers are feeling better about their financial situations, so they are shopping for real estate in desirable markets like Aspen, he said.
Scott Condon, July 3, 2010 Aspen Times

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Related:

See The Estin Report: 2nd Quarter 2010 Aspen Snowmass Residential (released July 2, 2010)

See:Land Title Guarantee May 2010 Pitkin County Market Summary (released July 2, 2010)