Year in review: Another real estate sales boom in Aspen with over $ 4 billion sold in 2021


The dollar volume of residential and overall real estate sales in Pitkin County continued to innovate in 2021, but the groundbreaking construction of a home will be a different story in 2022.

Pitkin County property sales – which included mansions, commercial buildings, hotel fractions, vacant lots, horse stalls, employee quarters, and all other types of priced real estate – crossed the $ 4.6 billion mark in 2021.

Based on an Aspen Times review of real estate transactions filed with the Pitkin County Clerk and Registrar’s office, the December sales total was $ 586.1 million.

And total sales for the first 11 months of 2021 were $ 4.1 billion, according to data from Land Title Guarantee Co. Most of that sales volume included residential real estate transactions – through November. , 822 fences combined for $ 3.3 billion in sales, according to Land Title Guarantee.

Any local real estate broker will tell you these are garish statistics. But behind the flashy numbers for 2021 was the increased difficulty, if not the impossibility, of working and living in Aspen and Pitkin counties.

The housing crisis forced Aspen City Council on December 8 to pass emergency legislation banning residential development within city limits. The moratorium was created in the form of Order 27, which noted that “due to unprecedented increases in house prices and a lack of supply over time, the residential real estate market in Aspen is failing. provides more meaningful housing for local residents, therefore, affordable housing system is used to provide the vast majority of housing for residents and workers.

Until November, the average selling price of a single-family home in Aspen in 2021 was $ 11.8 million, according to the Aspen Council of Realtors. The median price over those 11 months was $ 9.6 million.

For all residential deals across Pitkin County from January through November, the average sale price was $ 4 million, according to Land Title Guarantee.

The city’s moratorium bans residential development until June 8 and also bans the issuance of new short-term rental permits until September 30. City council and staff said they plan to use this period, with the help of consultants, to create land use affordable housing regulations and mitigation measures that meet the community’s wishes. expressed in the Aspen Region Community Plan, which deals with employee housing and quality of life and other aspects of life here.

The city council’s moratorium action garnered both praise and disapproval from the community.

A lawsuit by the Aspen Estate Agents Council is currently challenging the city council’s justification – that continued construction activities with an impact on the climate were urgently needed – for adopting the moratorium. A petition is also underway to have the council overturn the order or bring the matter to Aspen voters.

“Until the ramifications of the moratorium are better known and understood, the result is great uncertainty in the process of developing and redeveloping residential properties in Aspen,” said broker Tim Estin of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty in his end-of-year Estin report. .

Uncertainty does not inspire confidence in buyers, Estin said.

“Uncertainty is not good for the markets and, in addition to a lack of inventory, can cause the housing market to slow down, at least until more clarity emerges. Already, in the 7 to 14 days which followed the announcement of the moratorium, I heard about real estate transactions in crater ”, he wrote.

Despite that, $ 186.2 million in sales was deposited Monday through Thursday at the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder Office, which was closed for the holidays on Friday.

These deals included home sales for $ 10.5 million, $ 12.5 million, $ 19.5 million and $ 29.8 million. Still, last week’s biggest deal was $ 44.5 million for a house in Red Mountain and undeveloped land next to it. The buyer was a company controlled by former NHL player and Canadian businessman Patrick Dovigi.

In most years, that would be the most expensive sale in Pitkin County, but not in 2021. In June, another Red Mountain home sold for $ 72.5 million, the highest on record. for a residential sale in the county. The buyer? Again, it was Dovigi.

Lack of inventory is one of the culprits of the price escalation, noted Brittanie Rockhill of Douglas Elliman.

“The Aspen / Snowmass real estate market did not disappoint in 2021, setting an even higher sales and dollar volume record than the previous year’s record,” she said in an e- mail sent Friday. “Inventory scarcity continues to bolster prices in Aspen and Snowmass.”

Compared to 2020, listing inventory is down 24% in 2021 between the residential markets of Aspen and Snowmass Village, Estin said. It is also down 9% from 2019.

“Residential property prices in Aspen and Snowmass Village have skyrocketed over the past two years,” he said. “The local inventory of properties for sale is at its lowest level in the past 12 years, and although prices have steadily increased, the past two years – linked to the pandemic – have been a rocket. Demand upwards; declining supply; prices – depending on stocks – going up and down. “

Demand is high enough that owners of open market homes not listed for sale have reported receiving unsolicited calls from real estate agents who say they have potential buyers on hold.

Prior to 2021, 2020 was the standard bearer for overall sales volume in Pitkin County, with $ 4.1 billion in transactions recorded, according to Land Title Guarantee.

For comparison, 2018 and 2019 recorded a total sales volume of $ 1.8 billion, which rose to $ 1.9 billion in 2017, $ 1.4 billion in 2016, and $ 2 billion. in 2015, according to Land Title Guarantee.

Business highlights for 2021 included the $ 68 million sale of Mountain Chalet to Aspen, the $ 37.5 million sale of the Aspen Hotel, and the $ 17 million sale of the Casa Tua building.

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