Real estate alive and well | AspenTimes.com

Real estate alive and well

As members of our community argue over the straight shot, retailers versus landlords (and real estate office locations) and the myriad of other public and private issues facing any dynamic town, I can’t help but think how much more productive the dialogue would be if calmer, more positive voices dominated the conversation.

While residents bemoan the falling number of skier days, the frequent drop in retail sales, the less-than-sterling service level in shops and restaurants, there is one area of importance that is holding its own: real estate.

The proof of this is not always realized in the numbers thrown at us by agents and newspapers alike, but rather through an analysis of just “where, if any, the action is.” The quality in the numbers.

We basically have two selling seasons in Aspen/Snowmass: February and March, and late July through mid-September. And while many assume that the other issues I have mentioned here, plus the national economy, lead to fewer sales, the truth is that we had a stellar February and March, and that this summer has been quite active as well.

You can’t always expect the market to support 400 agents, but it usually does support the 100 or so full-time, hard-working realtors.

As I review what has sold this summer, I see a number of closings in all price ranges. I am more impressed when our lower-priced inventory ($1 million or less) is active than when the trophy properties move. It shows me a greater degree of confidence in our market.

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And, with few exceptions, that is exactly what has happened since July. Plus, only a very few of the sales have been strongly discounted. In most cases, the price reductions of listings are only bringing property prices back to the market.

So, if real estate is holding its own, why is it? The simple answer, and you know what it is, is that Aspen is a terrific place to own property now. Do we really want to get back to beating each other up over a difference in point of view? You know the answer to that, too.

Philip Miller

Aspen