Aspen real estate market starts out strong |

Aspen real estate market starts out strong

ASPEN – The Pitkin County real estate market started 2012 with a bang compared with the prior two years.

Property sales of all types totaled $96.65 million in January, according to a report by Land Title Guarantee Co. That was an increase of 15 percent from the $84.14 million in sales in January 2011, the report showed. Sales were only $55.35 million in January 2010.

The number of transactions dropped by 29.5 percent, from 78 in January 2011 to 55 for the same month this year, according to the firm’s market analysis.

The performance in January turns around a poor finish to 2011. Last year looked strong going into the fourth quarter, but poor sales in October and December doomed chances to post a big gain over 2010. Sales totaled $1.26 billion in 2010 and $1.27 billion last year, an increase of 0.5 percent. The market in Pitkin County bottomed out in 2009 with sales of about $1 billion. Sales were well over $2 billion annually prior to the Great Recession.

Real estate agents have said they expect continued slow but steady improvement.

The median single-family-home sale price in Pitkin County was $3.11 million, an increase of 12 percent from the 2011 full-year median, according to Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report. The average single-family-home sale price was $3.19 million in January, a decrease of 22 percent from the full-year average in 2011, the report said.

There were four sales of bank-owned properties in Pitkin County in January, one each in Aspen, Snowmass Village and Basalt, plus a fractional-unit sale. The four sales combined were for $1.72 million.

Sales of fractional units crashed in January compared with the same month in 2011. The dollar volume was $2.64 million, a decrease of 74 percent, Land Title Guarantee Co. reported. There were 12 transactions of fractional units, down 71 percent.

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