Mountain mayhem: real estate gone wild
Resort counties on record pace for combined sales despite fourth-quarter cooling
Aspen, CO Colorado
December 24, 2007
ARTICLE COURTESY OF ASPEN TIMES
ASPEN — Five Colorado mountain resort counties will set a combined record for real estate sales this year even though the market has cooled in recent months, a recent report indicates.
The home counties of mega-resorts such as Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge and Steamboat, plus Garfield County, reached $8.56 billion in sales by the end of October, a report compiled by Land Title Guarantee Co. showed. That is an increase of 24 percent over combined sales of $7.41 billion through October 2006.
Eagle County had sales of $2.54 billion through October while Pitkin County was close behind at $2.22 billion. Sales in Vail and Beaver Creek fuel the Eagle County market while Pitkin County is dominated by Aspen and Snowmass Village. Pitkin County is having its second-best year for sales and could break the record set last year. Eagle County is on pace to challenge its record year of $2.8 billion in 2005.
The dollar volume of other resort counties lags far behind. Routt County, where Steamboat is located, had sales of $1.39 billion through October. That already eclipses the total sales for all of 2006, Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report said. The real estate market there has more than doubled in dollar volume since 2004.
Sales in Summit County — home of Copper Mountain and Keystone in addition to Breckenridge — were at $1.34 billion through October.
Garfield County has a real estate market fueled by the natural gas production boom in Rifle and Silt, as well as second-home sales. The county’s dollar volume of $1.03 billion through October was close to topping last year’s record $1.05 billion.
The five counties combined for total sales of $9.19 billion last year. Sales in Pitkin, Eagle and Routt counties cooled considerably in the fourth quarter of this year compared to 2006. Even so, the counties remained on pace for a record for dollar volume.
Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report showed why affordable housing is harder to find in mountain resort towns than a seat in church at Christmas. The lowest average home price in the region was Garfield County at $450,240, the report said. The highest average price, by far, was in Pitkin County at $4.52 million.
Elsewhere, the average home price was:
• $1.41 million in Eagle County.
• $928,776 in Routt County.
• $794,391 in Summit County.