`Average’ home price soars to $3.5 million
The average price of a home in Aspen is more than $3.55 million, up from $2.7 million in 1999, according to a local report.Not only that, but for the first time ever, the average home price in Snowmass Village has surpassed Aspen’s, according to broker associate Phil Miller of the Mason & Morse real estate office in Aspen.And the current price of a lot or “building site in Aspen more than doubled over last year’s prices,” he wrote.Miller based his analysis on the Aspen Multiple Listing Service, which covers free-market home sales for the months of January through June, 2000.In his summary, Miller reported that the average price of a house in Snowmass is $3.57 million, roughly $150,000 higher than in Aspen. He also noted that the price of lots in Aspen rose from $1.1 million last year to more than $2.4 million this year.And the same trends, Miller reported, are true in the condominium, town house and “time share” markets. Lumping the three together, he reported that the average condo in Aspen went from just over $800,000 last year to just over $1 million this year; in Snowmass the condo prices rose from $571,000 last year to more than $600,000 this year.One overall effect of all this, Miller said, is that while there were fewer sales this year (140 so far this year, compared to 171 at the same time in 1999), the total value of sales went up. He said total sales in Aspen amounted to $270 million this year, compared to $261 million last year.The same has been true in Snowmass Village, he wrote. Overall, real estate sales to date this year number 100, totaling $154 million in value, compared to 98 sales at last year’s halfway mark, valued at $111 million.”The real `meat’ to me is in the five-year numbers,” Miller wrote. “Just think, if you had bought the average Aspen home five years ago it would have appreciated 95 percent. While, in Snowmass, that investment went up 269 percent.”In 1995, according to Miller, the average house in Aspen cost $1.8 million, and in Snowmass it was $968,000.An inspection of Miller’s figures shows that the average value of a lot in Aspen in 1995 was $1.12 million, and that the price of a lot actually dipped slightly to $1.1 million in 1999. That average price more than doubled in the past year, however, to $2.45 million.”The big picture, in my view, is this,” Miller concluded in his memo. “The combination of wealth here matched by the ever-present and so far successful battle to maintain the valley’s character is succeeding.”In addition, Miller said, “I applaud and support city and county officials who fight to provide more affordable housing (in or near town) and want to reduce the number of `monster’ homes. It seems to me this is definitely a time to put the community’s interests ahead of self-interest. What is good for the construction and real estate industries is not necessarily what’s best for Aspen and the valley.”
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