September surges for Pitkin County real estate market

Staff report

Sales of two expensive houses and interval ownership units turned September into the best month of the year for the Pitkin County real estate market.

“September was the strongest dollar and transaction month of the year — even without the interval transactions,” said a report by Land Title Guarantee Co.

The total dollars of all sales for the month were $237.62 million, an increase of 2 percent from September 2012, the report said. Two big sales influenced the surge: There was a $44 million sale in Wildcat Ranch and a $27 million sale in Aspen Valley Ranch.

There were 409 sales transactions for the month, ranging from mansions to affordable housing units. That was an increase of 438 percent from September 2012.

Within that total were 324 transactions involving interval ownership units, according to the title company’s report. That was up a whopping 1,443 percent from September 2012, the report said. The dollar volume from interval sales was $21 million for the month. There were 300 interval sales at the Innsbruck alone, which was a big influence on the month’s sales data.

Despite the strong September, year-to-date dollar volume is down slightly compared to last year, the report said. Sales totaled $987.72 million from January through September, a decrease of 2 percent. That dip came even though transactions are up 156 percent from the same period in 2012, the report showed.

With the increase in transactions and decrease in dollar volume, it’s no surprise that the median single-family-home price and average price is down so far in 2013. The report said the average single-family-home price in the county is $3.67 million, down 13 percent from full year 2012.

The median price through September is $2.35 million, down 16 percent from full year 2012.

Last year ended with a strong fourth quarter because of changes in tax laws. That spurred real estate sales, particularly in December. Total dollar volume was $1.49 billion last year, which may be hard to match in 2013.