Success of condo sales holds in 2013

Jill Beathard
Snowmass Sun

The Snowmass Village real estate market saw an uptick this year, thanks in large part to the success of Viceroy Snowmass condo sales.

As of Nov. 30, 118 condominiums in Snowmass Village had sold in 2013, compared with 48 in 2012. Dwayne Romero, president of Related Colorado, said on Dec. 23 that 56 Viceroy units had been sold since they were put on the market in December 2012.

During the first six months of the year, Viceroy units were accounting for about two-thirds of condo sales in Snowmass Village. Now they’re accounting for more than 40 percent of condos sold this year.

“Even if you took those (Viceroy units) out, you’re still up significantly,” said real estate agent Andrew Ernemann, of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Even if you took those (Viceroy units) out, you’re still up significantly.”
Andrew Ernemann
Real estate agent, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

Ernemann said buyers give a variety of reasons for buying condos in Snowmass Village. The Viceroy’s amenities make it a unique product, he said. The rest of the condo inventory in Snowmass Village had built up, making it a good time to buy. And the investment that the Aspen Skiing Co. is looking to make with a new hotel in Base Village and the continued unveiling of Related’s plans for the stalled project are increasing buyers’ confidence.

Another factor is that prices increased on average in Aspen last year, so some buyers might see more value in the Snowmass Village market. That’s not to say Snowmass isn’t also seeing an increase: Price per square foot is up 15 percent for Snowmass Village condos.

There are 96 wholly owned residences in the Viceroy remaining to sell. So far, the holiday week is suggesting that this ski season will be “just as strong” for sales, Romero said. He also pointed to the high amount of snowfall, the reception of the “Viceroy experience” and buyer incentives as motivating factors. Almost all owners participate in the Viceroy’s rental program, which allows the units to be rented like hotel rooms.

Related is poised to begin construction on the second phase of the Viceroy this spring. Romero said Related will begin to introduce those units to the market next ski season.

When Related acquired the Base Village assets in 2012, it also received nine units in the Capitol Peak and Hayden Lodge buildings. Three of those have sold in 2013, and Related recently remodeled the penthouses in each building, Romero said.

Single-family and land

Twenty-six single-family homes had sold as of Nov. 30, up from 20 in the same period in 2012.

“That’s a very healthy increase,” Ernemann said.

The prices of most of the homes sold have been below $3 million, with the majority below $2 million, until recently, Ernemann said. Recent sales in the higher price range make it appear that segment of the market is coming back, he said.

Land is a smaller market in Snowmass Village. There have been eight land sales this year, up from three in 2012. Eight sales is more than any other year in the past five years, Ernemann said.

The fact that, overall, sales are up and inventory is down year over year is good news, Ernemann said. Increased snowfall, high occupancy and activity in Base Village all bode well for real estate activity this season, he said.

“I really do try to be objective,” Ernemann said. “I’m very excited for this winter.”