Property sales shatter old record |

Property sales shatter old record

The final statistics for 2005 real estate sales in Pitkin County confirmed suspicions since the end of last ski season that it would be a monster year.

The old record wasn’t just topped, it was shattered. The dollar volume of all real estate sales was $2.24 billion in Pitkin County, according to research by Land Title Guarantee Co. That’s an increase of 40 percent from 2004’s sales volume of $1.60 billion. Last year’s mark was the previous record.

The title insurance firm has the definitive record on performance because it looks at all sales from mansions to studio apartments sold through the affordable housing program. It includes transactions where a real estate broker wasn’t used.

December sales placed an exclamation mark on the year. Sales for the month alone were $190.58 million, an increase of 126 percent over December 2004.

One reason for the strong performance was the on-going appeal of fractional ownership units. “The popularity of fractional ownership in Pitkin County has made Aspen ‘affordable’ for a new segment of the population and should drive more sales in 2006,” wrote Mark Pisani, director of marketing for Land Title Guarantee Co. in an overview of the year.

Fractional ownership sales in November and December alone topped $43 million on 154 ownership interests, according to the firm’s report.

The total number of real estate sales transactions were also off the charts in 2005 in Pitkin County. The deals soared 41 percent from 1,903 to 2,612.

The boom wasn’t confined to Pitkin County. “The real estate market kept its blistering pace in Garfield County for the month of December in both total dollar volume and number of units sold,” Pisani wrote in his report.

The total sales dollar volume shot up from $599.50 million in Garfield County in 2004 to $855.97 million last year. That’s an increase of 43 percent. The number of transactions was up 37 percent.

Real estate brokers repeatedly said throughout 2005 that the only factor that will cool the local market is a lack of inventory.

Scott Condon’s e-mail address is

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