Real estate sales march toward $2 billion |

Real estate sales march toward $2 billion

Real estate sales have already set a record for dollar volume in Pitkin County this year, so the only mystery remaining is whether they will crack the $2 billion barrier.A report Land Title Guarantee Co. released this week shows total sales volume through October was $1.88 billion. That has already beat last year’s record sales of $1.60 billion for the entire year.”Barring unforeseen circumstances, aggregate sales for Pitkin County should easily top the $2 billion mark for, as best anyone can tell, the first time ever,” the title company’s report said.Land Title Guarantee Co. bases its study on deeds records with the Pitkin County clerk and recorder. It accounts for all transactions, ranging from sales of employee housing to ranches, and includes deals that weren’t handled by real estate agents. It is considered a broader view than the Aspen Board of Realtors’ data.A record is easily attainable in Pitkin County this year, even though October sales activity slowed off this year’s frenetic pace. Sales of $214.4 million were flat compared with the same month last year, according to the title company’s report. Sales typically slow down in the offseason, but the performance might also reflect “a shortage of attractive inventory at median price levels,” Land Title Guarantee Co. said in the report.There were 1,463 real estate transactions in Pitkin County through October. That’s up about 35 percent from the same period last year. The number of transactions has already exceeded the levels for both 2004 and 2003, two of the hottest years ever in the market.While Pitkin County remains hot, the real estate market in Garfield County continued to sizzle in October. Dollar volume and transactions were up by a “considerable amount” for the month over prior years, the title company said.Sales of $76.8 million were up 50 percent from October 2004, and transactions were up 26 percent in Garfield County.For the year to date, sales in Garfield County were at $674 million, an increase of 37 percent over last year and already higher than total sales for 2004.There have been 2,158 transactions, an increase of 39 percent, Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report said.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is

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