Pitkin County real estate market shows signs of life

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times

Pitkin County’s real estate market showed signs of life in April after the dollar volume of sales plummeted during the first three months of the year.

The total dollar volume of all sales in the county in April was $111,269,029, according to a review by The Aspen Times of all deeds filed with the Pitkin County clerk and recorder for the month. That is an increase of 12 percent from the $99,180,781 in sales for the same month in the prior year.

After a torrid end to 2012, the real estate market had a tepid start to 2013. January sales were down 17.36 percent. Sales were off 15.37 percent in February and another 30 percent in March, according to a report by Land Title Guarantee Co.

For the first quarter of the year, sales were at $191.35 million. That was down nearly 22.5 percent from the 2012 first-quarter mark of $246.70 million, the title company’s report showed.

April improved those numbers a little bit. Total sales dollar volume from January through April was $345.88 million this year. That is a deficit of 12.5 percent, or $43.3 million, compared with the year-to-date figure through April 2012.

There were 72 transactions in April, according to deeds filed with the county clerk. They ranged from the large deals, such as the $8.5 million sale of the Windstar property in Old Snowmass, to affordable-housing sales in Aspen. The total number of transactions was up slightly from 64 last year.

April was the strongest sales month of the year so far. Sales totaled $79.87 million in January, $38.39 million in February and $73.08 million in March.

Last year also started slow, but the real estate market was on fire for most of the second half. It was punctuated by a December that rivaled the industry’s strong months before the recession. December sales were so strong because of tax changes implemented this year.