Snowmass real estate ‘healthy’ |

Snowmass real estate ‘healthy’

Jill Beathard
Snowmass Sun

The Snowmass Village real-estate market continued to recover in 2014, even as the Base Village development fell stagnate and condo sales saw a drop.

Overall sales dollar volume through November totaled $191 million, up from $151 million in the same period of 2013, an increase of 27 percent according to MLS data gathered by local broker Andrew Ernemann. Even as condo sales — which surged in 2013 when the Viceroy Snowmass residences were first released onto the market — dropped, single-family home and land sales were up, and the price point for homes and condos increased.

“Overall, the Snowmass market is a very healthy, functional market, whereas it wasn’t two or three years ago,” Ernemann said.

In following the Snowmass Village market, Ernemann doesn’t include transactions in Wildcat Ranch, which he says are priced so differently from the rest of the village that it can throw the data out of proportion.

Tim Estin, another broker in the upper Roaring Fork Valley, did include Wilcat Ranch in a 2014 summary he sent out Dec. 22, but left out any Snowmass Village units under $250,000. He said total sales-dollar volume was $203 million in 2014, down from $212 million in 2013.

Condo sales are down due mostly to fewer sales of the Viceroy residences this year, which both Ernemann and Estin agree was expected.

“Their sales program launched aggressively in early January 2013, and the fall off is due to the natural maturation of that program,” Estin said.

Ernemann thinks more investors bought up multiple Viceroy units when they were first released and that now families and people who actually intend to use the residences as a second home have become interested.

Forty-four Viceroy units sold in 2013, compared to just 15 this year. The property is now sold out of three- and four-bedroom residences, according to a statement. Related Colorado, which developed the hotel/condominium complex, recently redesigned two units in order to make the one- and two-bedroom units more appealing to current buyers.

“The Viceroy outperformed in 2013, and in 2014 they probably performed at a more normal pace,” Ernemann said.

The number of non-Viceroy condo sales was similar in both years. Ernemann thinks next year and in the future, comparing to 2014 will be a more honest representation of changes in the market.

The success of the Viceroy has also increased seller confidence, as more owners have put their condos on the market, Ernemann said. Something else that has buyers and sellers talking is the continued stagnation in Base Village.

“I get calls all the time from my sellers and owners,” Ernemann said. “Base Village really is just a part of the overall psyche for the Snowmass Village economy, not just real estate.”

As soon as a positive announcement comes out about Base Village, it seems bad news follows, Ernemann said, such as when Skico first applied to build a Limelight hotel there but then withdrew its plans. Skico is now back in with the hotel, which is included in the broader application to amend the plans for Base Village, submitted Dec. 1.

As much as buyers pay attention to Base Village news, they are starting to invest at higher price points, which indicates confidence, Ernemann said. And, Snowmass is still a great value compared to the Aspen market, he said.

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