Aspen real estate outgained other state resort-area markets in 2011 |

Aspen real estate outgained other state resort-area markets in 2011

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – A flat year for the Pitkin County real estate market in 2011 is looking good compared with the performance in Eagle County and other resort areas in Colorado.

A report by Land Title Guarantee Co. shows Aspen and Pitkin County had one of the strongest real estate markets last year even though the total dollar volume crept up only 0.5 percent above the 2010 level. In contrast, the total dollar volume in Vail and Eagle County fell by 23 percent in 2011 compared with the prior year, according to the report.

Routt County, which includes Steamboat Springs, and Grand County, which includes Winter Park, were down by double digits in 2011 compared with 2010, Land Title Guarantee reported. Summit County, which includes Breckenridge, was down 2 percent.

Of the six counties the report examined, only Garfield County’s real estate market showed a strong resurgence in 2011. Total dollar volume was up 12 percent from 2010, the report showed.

The report didn’t contain any commentary, just the data. Realtors are famous for slicing and dicing statistics every which way, but a prominent real estate agent in Aspen said he doesn’t compare the Aspen market to Vail or any other area in Colorado and doesn’t know of any peers who make that analysis. Each market is unique, so comparisons have limited value, he said.

However, the data do provide a valuable glimpse into how an important sector of the economies of the resort counties are faring. The report shows:

• In Pitkin County, real estate sales cracked the $1 billion barrier once again in 2011. The annual sales volumes stayed above that level throughout the recession and slow recovery. Total dollar volume reached $1.27 billion last year, up 0.5 percent from $1.07 billion the prior year. Despite the modest growth, Pitkin County’s total sales volume is still half of what it was during the go-go years of the past decade.

• Eagle County is the only other county in Colorado’s central mountains with sales close to Pitkin County’s level. Eagle County ended the year at $1.16 billion, down 23 percent from $1.5 billion in 2010. An official with Land Title Guarantee Co. noted that the company’s reports for Eagle County don’t include sales of fractional ownership units, while Pitkin County’s report does include those units.

• Summit County’s dollar volume dipped 2 percent to $684.23 million.

• Routt County’s dollar volume fell 12 percent to $450.88 million.

• Grand County’s dollar volume fell 10 percent to $214.96 million.

• Garfield County posted the only sizable gain in 2011 over 2010. The 2011 total dollar volume was $279.07 million, or an increase of 12 percent. Garfield County had 921 real estate transactions of all types, an increase of 32 percent from 2010.


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