Condos boost Snowmass real estate sales
November 22, 2013
Condominium sales in Snowmass Village through the first half of the year already have exceeded the total number sold in 2012, but two-thirds of the units sold were not in the market last year.
Seventy-four condo units sold from January through June of this year versus 29 in the same time period last year. While that is a big increase, the Viceroy Snowmass has sold 49 residences since Dec. 2.
"It sounds just tremendous, but when you look at it and say, 'OK, Viceroy was a significant contributor to that,' I think it's a very good thing because obviously it's nice to have Viceroy and Base Village back on track again, but it would be misleading to say the condo market has just taken off compared to before," said real estate agent Andrew Ernemann, of B.J. Adams and Co.
The other parts of the market are land and single-family homes. Land sales continue to be quiet in Snowmass.
"Part of that is there just aren't a whole lot of land listings in Snowmass in general, so you wouldn't expect to see a huge number of sales," Ernemann said. "It's also a part of the market that you'd like to see a little more activity than we've had."
Land sales in Aspen took off last year, he said.
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"If Aspen as a market is a little bit ahead of Snowmass, you want to see some of the same signs taking place in Snowmass, and I think the two things that are missing in Snowmass is activity at the upper end of the market in terms of price point — so really very little or almost no activity above $5 million — and very little activity with land," Ernemann said.
However, home sales under $2 million have been strong, he said. There have been 14 single-family homes sold through the first half of this year compared with 11 in the same period last year.
"We're not talking big numbers, but at least it's encouraging to see that the single-family market is doing better than it was the year before," Ernemann said. "It's not going backwards."
Sales-dollar volume through the end of June totaled $81 million, not including fractional sales, according to Ernemann. It totaled $70 million in the same timeframe in 2012.
"To see something go up 3 or 5 percent right now is encouraging, so 16 percent is very encouraging," Ernemann said. "A big part of that is certainly thanks to condos."
Twenty-five non-Viceroy sales doesn't sound that great compared with 29 sales the first half of last year, but many of the Viceroy buyers could have bought units in other markets, Ernemann said. If Viceroy units were not part of the discussion, he said he would call the growth rate of Snowmass' real estate "incremental."
"Sales are getting better, sales-dollar volume is getting better, but we'd like to see more activity on the high end, and we'd like to see more activity with land sales," Ernemann said. "I think if you start to see those two segments of the market come back, then Snowmass will really start picking up like Aspen has, and you'll start to see prices pushing up again. It'll feel like a complete recovery of the market."
Ernemann expects those segments of the market to come back over the next year.
Price per square foot of condos is up 11.4 percent. So far this year, ski-accessible units are selling for $757 per square foot versus $640 last year. Off-slope condos are averaging $533 per square foot versus $436 in 2012.
Ski-accessible single-family homes have averaged $670 per square foot this year compared with $926 last year. However, some homes sold for more than $5 million in 2012, and this year all sales have been under $3 million. That's just another sign that there haven't been enough high-end sales this year, Ernemann said.
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