Aspen-area real estate market heats up in August |

Aspen-area real estate market heats up in August

ASPEN – The Pitkin County real estate market bounced back from tough July with a robust August.

Sales in the county totaled $90.4 million in August, up 21 percent from the $74.47 million they racked up in August 2010, according to deeds filed with the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

After a strong first half of the year, the market had appeared to run out of steam in July when the dollar volume sagged 47 percent from the same month the prior year. However, numerous real estate agents said during August that it felt like activity was picking up again. The numbers have proven them correct.

Renee Bowden, a broker with Mason Morse Real Estate in Aspen, said the upper end of the market was particularly busy in August. Buyers are spending time investigating what’s on the market, she said, and pulling the trigger once they are convinced they found a good deal.

Bowden was the listing broker for a luxury condominium that sold Aug. 26 for the highest amount per square foot of any residential property in Aspen this summer. The 1,618-square-foot Aspen Penthouse at Koch Park sold for $3,595,000 or $2,222 per square foot. That’s also the highest sales price per square foot for a condo in Aspen’s core area since January 2010, Bowden said, citing research in the Aspen Multiple Listing Service.

The property had been on the market for just less than one year when three offers were submitted on the same week, Bowden said. The buyers, Budge and Carol Collins of Newport Beach, Calif., looked at more than 50 luxury condos near the core before settling on the Aspen Penthouse at 104 W. Cooper Ave., Bowden said. The unit is one of six in the Aspen West condominium complex. It has unobstructed views of Aspen Mountain and had been extensively remodeled by the former owners and sellers, John and Ricki McHugh.

Bowden said many real estate agents were “astounded” by the sale because of the price per square foot: “They said it will never sell, never sell,” she said.

“This shows that buyers who are looking for the very best in finishes and very best in location are still willing to step up and purchase,” Bowden added.

Heading into the fall, the Pitkin County real estate market is running well ahead of the year-to-date pace of 2010 through August. The sales volume of $839.35 million is about 16 percent higher than at the same point the prior year.

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