Fewer property sales in Snowmass, but prices climb
The number of single-family home sales in Snowmass Village was down 33% for the first four months of 2019 compared with the same period last year, but sales prices have increased, according to the most recent statistics available from the Aspen Board of Realtors.
Fifteen homes sold in Snowmass from January through April of last year, compared with 10 for the same period this year.
The median sales price for the first one-third of this year, however, was $4.46 million — more than double the $2.21 million in 2018. The average sales price for the first four months of 2019 was $4.48 million — 63.8% higher than the $2.74 million last year, according to the Aspen Board of Realtors.
Total townhouse and condo sales in Snowmass, meanwhile, amounted to 34 in the first four months of the year, in contrast to 48 during the same period last year. Similar to the market for single-family homes, the townhouse and condo sales prices increased significantly — the median sales prices was $678,150, up 47.4% over $460,000 from January through April of 2018; the average price jumped 111.8% from $514,910 last year to $1.09 million this year, statistics show.
Sellers also stayed mostly true to their listing prices from January through April. In the village’s single-family market, homes sold for 94.3% of their asking price; that figure was 97% on the townhouse-condo segment, according to the report.
Take for instance the new Lumin building next to the Limelight Hotel in the expanded Base Village, which debuted in December. The four Lumin luxury condos have sold out.
The husband-and-wife Benvenuto Team of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty noted one of their clients made an offer of $4.8 million for a $6 million Lumin condo simply to test the waters. The seller didn’t budge on the price, they said.
“There was a little bit of nervousness if the Snowmass real estate market would take a hit,” said James Benvenuto, who works with his wife, Jennifer, on the Benvenuto Team. He noted that national and global economic uncertainty fueled that concern. “That was extremely short lived, with the stock market and the economy producing jobs.”
Sellers aren’t in a rush to sell, they said.
“I think people are really enjoying their assets,” Benvenuto said. “There’s always some overpriced listings in the market, and what you’ll see when the seller gets serious, then you’ll see price reductions.”
Supply has tightened. Snowmass had 21 new single-family home listings for the first four months of the year, down 22.2% from the same period last year. Likewise, townhouse listings are down 34.3%, with 69 on the market from January through April of this year, compared with 105 last year, according to the Board of Realtors.
Real estate sales account for roughly 25% of the Pitkin County market, data show.
Aspen carries the bulk of that, and broker Andrew Ernemann of Sotheby’s noted that a wide disparity still exists between prices in Aspen and Snowmass.
Even so, in his April 11 newsletter, Ernemann said the gap between Snowmass and Aspen property prices has narrowed this year.
Ernemann reported that Aspen home prices per square foot were 68% higher than those in Snowmass through March. That represents a significant drop from being 110% higher in all of 2018 and 113% in 2017. From 2005 through 2010 — some of those years were during the height of the Great Recession — Aspen prices per square foot hovered from 22% to 39% higher than in Snowmass.
“The last two years Aspen was more than double the Snowmass prices … and is typically about 30 to 35% higher,” Ernemann said. “With the recent Base Village sales the premium has dropped down into the 80% range, and over time I would expect it to normalize somewhere closer to 40 to 50% higher, but it is still a significant gap right now. Snowmass prices have some catching up to do.”
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Aspen City Council made moves on Monday that will improve pedestrian and vehicular traffic at various locations throughout town.