Nationwide, property values are declining. In Colorado’s tony ski town, Aspen, vacation-home seekers continue to spend millions. Plus, a peek at the country’s 10 most expensive ZIP’s.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – There was plenty of snow on Aspen’s much-skied Buttermilk Mountain this season, and that helped three local neighborhoods to record property prices. The 81611 ZIP code–home to sprawling wood beam and stone ski lodges and on the south end of Aspen–is currently the most expensive neighborhood in the country, boasting a whopping $6.5 million median home sale price. Neighboring Snowmass Village (81615) and Snowmass (81654) aren’t far behind: They landed at fourth and seventh place on our list of priciest ZIPs with median prices of $3.99 million and $3.7 million respectively. Even so, it’s hardly a diamond market in the Rockies this year. "In 2007, the market in our valley was $2 billion in sales, this year it’ll be between $500 million and $1 billion," says Steve Walker, a broker at Leverich & Carr in Aspen. "In volume and dollars, it’s been a 50% drop." So what gives? How did Aspen end up at the top?

By Matt Woosley, April 22, 2009, Forbes Magazine

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