[“There has been a dramatic increase in vacant land sales in 2012. Typically, when land sales start to pick up, it is a marker of a market transition, a tipping point. For the year, vacant lot sales increased 149% to $84M from $34M in 2011; unit sales – the number of residential land sales – increased 107% year over year. These increases should be even higher in that the numbers do not reflect the sale of older teardown properties which show up in the MLS as residential property with improvements rather than vacant land. Demand for land has accelerated for a number of reasons: generally lower land prices; the low cost of capital; more competitive construction bidding (reducing building costs more on the labor side than materials side); reduced development times to build as the Pitkin County approval process has shortened to approximately 18-24 months now from 24-36 months during the boom days; and finally, the absence of new-built product. As written numerous times in The Estin Report in the past 1-2 years, there is presently a vacuum in the marketplace of new built residential product, and anything new – whether brand new or significantly remodeled, homes or condos – has been selling relatively quickly at premium pricing. Buying land and building new offers a good hedge against any lingering market uncertainty and the slow pace of an improving marketplace. By the time one completes construction of a new Aspen home, demand for this scarce ‘new’ product should continue to be high, supply low and premium pricing a realistic outlook – unless construction takes off significantly in the next 1-3 years and new built properties flood the market.” The Estin Report: Q4 2012 and Year 2012 Aspen Snowmass Real Estate – released Jan 16, 2013 ]

ASPEN REAL ESTATE — Vacant land for single-family homes in the Aspen area was the first segment of the real estate market to get smacked by the recession, and it’s been one of the slow areas to recovery, but it’s finally turning around, according to sales data.Twenty-six vacant lots in Aspen and surrounding neighborhoods sold in 2012, far exceeding any of the prior four years, according to an Aspen broker.
By Scott Condon, Jan 23, 13 AT

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Posted on the The Estin Report blog Nov. 25 – Dec 2, 2012: MLS #116529, Tbd Bullwinkle Place Aspen, off McLain Flats Rd, Sold Date: 11/19/2012; Sold Price: $1.85M/7.8 acres.Ask Price: $2.095M; Original Price: $4.7M and 1,490 days on the market since 05/01/2008. 2011 Taxes: $58,592. 7.8 acre residential lot. Located in Aspen’s premier single-family development, and easy driving distance to Aspen, Snowmass and Woody Creek. This small Exclusive subdivision has exceptional views, ponds on every corner and borders perpetual open space. Underground utilities are in place and home sites are ready for building plan submittals.(Photo credit: Tim Estin)