Latest Aspen Real Estate Market Summary

This real estate market update in mid-Nov 2023  YTD shows we are down 2% in total unit sales and off 16% in dollar volume compared to same time last year for Aspen and Snowmass Village residential sales which includes single family homes, condos, duplexes, townhomes and vacant land sales. The local market real estate prices are driven by a continuing significant lack of local inventory from downtown Aspen rippling outward throughout the entire Roaring Fork Valley. It has been a challenging period for buyers: few offerings and still record prices. While inventory of available properties for sale bottomed a year ago, listings remain at historic lows even though more came to market for the summer 2023 selling season. Still, the increase has been incremental. (See the Charts Section). In Oct 2023, the median sold price of a single family home in the Aspen market was $16.5M/$2,737 per sq ft; a year ago, they paid $15.75M/ $3,535 sq ft,  an increase of 5% YOY in price. The Oct 2023 median sold price of an Aspen, CO condominium was $3.3M/$3,050 sq ft; a year ago it was $2.525M/$3,032 sq ft, up 31% in price. In the past (3) mos., Aug-Oct, there were (20) total Aspen single family homes sold versus (18) a year ago: (15) were under $20M, (3) were between $20M-40M and (2) sold over $40M. These continue to be staggering numbers. In general, Aspen today probably has amongst, if not the, most expensive median home prices on a price per square foot basis in the United States. Prices of many newer homes easily fall with in the $4,200 – $4,500 sq ft range with a number of A++ located newer homes selling over $5,000 sq ft. The record thus far is $6,998 sq ft for a ski home directly on Aspen Mountain, called The House on Little Nell, and $7,546 sq ft for a penthouse condo in downtown Aspen. Luxury homes in this housing market are the capstone of high dollar volume and Aspen homes rank among the highest median sale prices throughout the country in 2022. Conversely, the Pitkin County taxes are amongst the lowest in the US. They are inversely related: highest property valuations; lowest taxes. The past year has been one of housing shortages and real estate deals that favor sellers in the extreme. And clearly, the billionaire influence has been a significant driver in the Aspen market: A highly regarded local appraiser determined in spring 2023 that we probably have 100-125 Aspen billionaires who own property here compared to NY with 107, Beijing 83, Hong Kong 68, London 66, Palm Beach Island 54 (Source: Forbes, World’s Richest Cities 2022). While prices arguably peaked sometime late spring 2022, they remain strong with small or incremental price decreases. This is in spite of steady mortgage rate increases and substantially slower unit sales off 26% YTD in Aspen but up 42% in Snowmass Village as a slew of pre-construction condominiums that went under contract two years ago, closed in spring 2023. Over 70% of Aspen property transactions close with cash even though lenders or investment groups are typically behind these deals offering up super-low lending rates to build relationships with affluent Aspen clients. Real estate agents have no problem selling a home if they can actually find a seller. As we come to the end of summer 2023, there have been incremental Aspen home price adjustments but sellers remain firmly in control.  Prices are property and neighborhood specific rather than some general seller capitulation that would be of real impact for buyers. Prices continue to dwarf prior local real estate market peaks. Looking ahead, my forecast is for more of the same. Inventory will remain tight and prices high as we continue to experience steady economic progress on inflation and stability in the jobs market.  Yet Ukraine and Israeli-Hamas conflicts are obviously unsettling and disturbing.  Much can happen to affect our real estate values. If one’s timeline is conservatively 7 years or more, history has shown that Aspen real estate has been a proven safe harbor and a profitable portfolio diversification play for the past 70 years. Property owners get double the return: They get to enjoy both their physical investment and an unsurpassed quality of living in a gorgeous environment with world class sports, art and culture while experiencing time-proven appreciation. Tim Estin (970.309.6163 or email).

This Section contains Estin Reports: Aspen Snowmass Real Estate Market Reports and Monthly Snapshots for the past 12 months. Prior year reports and monthly snapshots are archived in the Past Reports section.

The reports are:
1) Bi-Annual/Annual: State of  the Aspen Snowmass Residential Real Estate Market Report.
2) Monthly Aspen Snowmass Residential Market Report Snapshots: Aspen Snowmass real estate summary (10 pages of detailed monthly stats and ‘bottom line’ commentary) released on or near the 1st Monday of each month. Includes sales stats by neighborhoods in 6-month periods that includes the subject month (Pgs 7 & 9).
3) Weekly Blog: Aspen Snowmass Weekly property closings and under contract activity is posted every Monday morning, sometimes in-between. Lots of photos, details and comments. At the bottom of the Blog Section are the Blog Archives by year from 2006.
4) Aspen Snowmass Real Estate Historic Pace of Sales Charts: updated every quarter showing Aspen and Snowmass Village residential dollar and unit real estate sales by area and property types (past 10 yrs) and trend lines.

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