Real estate market bounces back |

Real estate market bounces back

After a blip in July, the real estate market in Pitkin County roared back to its record pace last month.Strong sales in August boosted the sales volume for the first eight months of the year to $1.35 billion, according to a report by the Land Title Guarantee Co. It bases its report on the Pitkin County clerk’s data, which includes sales of everything from ranches to employee housing.Last year established a record for sales in Pitkin County, but this year is dwarfing that amount. The dollar volume of all sales so far this year is up 44 percent compared with the same point last year, the report said.The 1,143 real estate transactions in Pitkin County also are up 46 percent from last year’s rate.Assuming this year’s pace continues, sales will top $2 billion for the year, according to Joe Carpenter, sales and marketing manager for Land Title Guarantee Co. That would be the first time sales would top the $2 billion mark. Last year’s record was $1.6 billion.Sales volume has cracked the $1 billion barrier only twice – last year and in 2000. Now that benchmark could become less significant.The only notable disappointment for the upper valley real estate industry this year came in July. The sales volume of $91.89 million that month was down 26 percent.But sales bounced back in August. The $190.87 million in activity was up 40 percent.Carpenter wrote that his company’s exam of the Garfield County sales activity showed that just about every segment of the market is booming. He noted a “hot residential market that began accelerating in early 2004 and has continued nearly unabated through the present time with few signs of slowing down anytime soon.”The high end of the downvalley market is also evolving. Seven properties topping $1 million in price have sold in Garfield County.For the year to date, sales are up 30 percent in Garfield County, according to the title insurance company’s report.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is

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