Real estate sales set blistering pace |

Real estate sales set blistering pace

First-quarter real estate sales in Pitkin County shattered last year’s record pace, according to a monthly report by Land Title Guarantee Co.The dollar volume of all sales – from “McMansions” to employee housing – was $466.03 million, according to the company report. That is an increase of 8.3 percent from the sales volume in the same period last year.Last year established a record of $2.24 billion. The record appears vulnerable despite a dwindling inventory of property to sell.Year-to-date sales in Pitkin County were down at the end of February, but the performance in March removed doubt that this year would keep pace. March sales of nearly $230 million were 31 percent more than last year’s strong mark, noted Mark Pisani, marketing director for Land Title Guarantee Co.The firm produces a monthly report that is one of the most comprehensive looks at local real estate sales. It tabulates all sales recorded at the Pitkin County clerk’s office, not just those logged through the Aspen Board of Realtors.Sales of a few big-dollar properties often skew the numbers in Pitkin County, but that hasn’t been the case this year. The number of real estate transactions in Pitkin County also increased. The 503 transactions through the first quarter were 36 percent more than during the same period in 2005.Sales of fractional ownership property continue to play a huge role in the market. They accounted for 39 percent of all transactions in Pitkin County during March, according to Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report.There were $19 million in fractional ownership sales, an increase of 35 percent from March 2005, Pisani said.The blistering pace isn’t confined to Pitkin County. The downvalley market also remained on a roll.”Hold onto your hats, Garfield County blew past the numbers from March 2005,” Pisani wrote in his report. “Dollar volume came in at $88 million, representing an increase of 71 percent over 2005. There were five transactions that totaled more than $25 million alone.”Scott Condon’s e-mail address is

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