Warm stretch for Aspen-area real estate sales hits end in July

Aspen Times staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Coloado

ASPEN – A warm streak for the real estate industry in Pitkin County hit a bump in July.

The dollar volume of all real estate sales in the county dropped 41.5 percent in July compared to July 2009, according to an analysis by Land Title Guarantee Co. The sales volume was $74.16 million this July compared to $126.62 million last year.

For the year-to-date through July, the dollar volume is up nearly 8.5 percent with sales of $647.97 million this year compared to $598.09 million last year, Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report showed. The total transactions on sales of everything from high-end homes to employee housing is up 3 percent this year.

July’s slide ended a four-month stretch where sales were significantly stronger than recession-plagued 2009. Dollar volume was up by triple digits in March and April, and double digits in May and June. It could be considered a warm streak rather than a hot streak since the 2009 sales were so weak.

Many real estate agents said earlier this summer they were cautiously optimistic that the upper-valley market was slowly turning around. That might still be the case, despite July’s fall. Industry insiders said the number of real estate shoppers was up this summer compared to 2009. The question is will the showing of property translate into sales?

Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report highlighted additional findings such as:

• The dollar volume from sales of fractional ownership units fell to $5.97 million for the month, down 43 percent from last year. Year-to-date fractional sales are off 61 percent from last year.

• There were two transactions in July where a bank was the seller and there have been six such sales for the year. That suggests the owners lost possession to the bank.

• The average single family home price in sales was $4.48 million, a decrease of 9 percent from the average during all of 2009; the median single family home price through July was $4.15 million, an increase of 32 percent from all of 2009.