Business Monday: Aspen’s luxury real estate market holds its ground |

Business Monday: Aspen’s luxury real estate market holds its ground

Carrie Wells, Cooper & Aspen St. Victorian, June 29, 2017
Steve Mundinger

Since May 7, the residential property market in Pitkin County has seen sales transactions worth $11.1 million, $12 million, $15 million, $21.2 million and $22.7 million, figures that harken back to the days before the Great Recession.

The luxury real estate market in Aspen and Snowmass is doing just fine this year, noted property broker Steven Shane of the Aspen office of New York-based Compass real estate, despite opposite trends in like markets such as Greenwich, Connecticut.

“Nationally, bigger homes and luxury estates have been more difficult to sell,” he said. “Aspen has been bucking that trend.”

“Luxury real estate” in Aspen can come with different definitions, but it typically means sales prices ranging from at least $7.5 million to $10 million.

Shane represented Owl Creek Ventures LLC, the sellers of a nearly 81-acre piece of land at 1500 Owl Creek Road in Snowmass. The transaction, which closed May 21, was worth $21.2 million.

The sale translated to $1,808 a square foot for the home that was built in 1998.

“There had a been a couple of rooms remodeled,” Shane said, “but for the most part it was an older home.”

“Someone with the financial wherewithal to spend $21.5 (million) on this will be doing some remodeling,” he added.

The property most recently was marketed for $25.5 million and originally was listed in 2012, with a different broker, for $37.5 million, Shane said.

“There have been incremental price reductions since I took the listing (in 2017),” Shane said.

Sellers of older homes, depending on their motivation level, are more willing to drop prices, “but with new homes it’s a different story,” Shane said.

Another notable deal, this one worth $21.95 million, closed in January with the sale of the J.M. Dixon house and guesthouse at 135 E. Cooper Ave., which was built in 1890 and remodeled in 2004.

On the flipside, two undeveloped lots with development rights at Rubey subdivision have changed ownership this year, including the $24.2 million sale of 4.4-acre lot from Red Mountain Estates Three LLC to Rosy Finches LLC, according to property records.

Indicators also show luxury sales are up in Pitkin County.

Chris Klug of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, in his May 10 newsletter, noted that April saw 10 residential sales of at least $10 million between Aspen and Snowmass Village, compared to eight in April 2018.

And in its first quarter report, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, also headquartered in New York, said luxury home sales — as defined by at least $9 million — were up 7% in the first quarter over the fourth quarter of 2018 in Aspen. The average sales price for luxury property in the first quarter was $13.45 million, compared with the average sales price of $6.8 million for single-family homes in Aspen, according to the report.

Aspen paced ahead of last year’s property sales for the first four months of the year, with $351.7 million in total sales volume compared with $263.9 million, according to a report from Andrew Ernemann of Sotheby’s.