Real estate market appears destined to break record | AspenTimes.com

Real estate market appears destined to break record

The Pitkin County real estate market appears well on its way to setting another record in 2006 despite stumbling in September.Through the third quarter of this year, sales were at $1.87 billion, or an increase of 12.5 percent over the same period last year, according to a monthly report by Land Title Guarantee Co. The firm examines all sales – from affordable housing units to gentleman ranches – recorded at the Pitkin County clerk’s office.Through September 2005, sales were at $1.67 billion – on the way to a record year. Sales for all transactions settled at $2.24 billion last year.With three months to go, that mark appears destined to fall. The market is so strong that the sales through the third quarter this year ($1.87 billion) is better than the year-end mark in 2004 ($1.6 billion), Land Title Guarantee’s report showed.The number of transactions, so far this year, is also up over last year’s pace. The 1,425 transactions, recorded in Pitkin County through September, is up seven percent from last year’s 1,331.Nevertheless, the market hit some turbulence in September, according to the company’s report. Sales for the month were at $231 million, down 26 percent from last year’s mark of $314 million.That was the first decline the market experienced in four months compared to monthly performance in 2005, noted Mark Pisani, marketing director for Land Title Guarantee Co.The number of transactions in September dropped from 188 last year to 163 this year, a decline of 13 percent, the report showed.Garfield County also saw a decrease of 7 percent in dollar volume in September compared to last year, although transactions were up nine percent.Pisani noted in his report that Garfield County is still displaying incredibly strong growth. Dollar volume year-to-date is $726 million, up 21.5 percent from last year.”Year-to-date dollar volume when compared to 2003 shows a staggering 117 [percent] increase,” Pisani wrote. “In three years total dollar volume has gone from $333 million in 2003 to $725 million in 2006.”The local market is driven by a lack of inventory, while the national market is burdened with a glut of homes on the market, Pisani wrote.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com