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Pitkin County real estate sales down 21.5 percent in ’09

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado – Real estate sales topped $1 billion in Pitkin County last year despite falling 21.5 percent from 2008’s total, according to a year-end report by Land Title Guarantee Co.

The local market in late 2009 appeared to have started to recover from the recession – posting gains in sales volume in September, October and November compared to the prior year. The rally ended in December. Sales were down 27.5 percent for that month, Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report shows.

For the year, sales totaled $1.07 billion in Pitkin County, compared to $1.37 billion the year before. That followed the real estate market’s three best years ever from 2005 through 2007, when sales topped $2.24 billion each year.

The number of transactions fell 15 percent in 2009, the title company’s report shows. There were 702 transactions recorded with the county clerk in 2009, compared to 828 the prior year. The peak was reached in 2006, when there were 1,879 transactions. That was also the record year for dollar volume.

Sales of fractional ownership residences buoyed the Pitkin County market in 2009, even though some of the projects hit tough times. Total sales by fractionals were $181.88 million, or 260 percent over 2008, according to Land Title Guarantee Co. The strong performance matched 2006 in dollar volume.

The number of transactions involving fractionals increased 19 percent, from 228 in 2008 to 272 last year. The Residences at The Little Nell led the way with 95 sales for $133.07 million in 2009. The Hyatt Grand Aspen had 72 sales for $11.98 million.

The Aspen Highlands Ritz-Carlton Club had 40 sales for $6.32 million. The Dancing Bear Lodge had 30 sales totaling $21.65 million.

Land Title Guarantee Co.’s report shows the average price for a single-family home in Aspen dropped 14 percent last year. The average was $2.5 million in 2008 and $2.16 million last year.

Countywide, the average home price nudged up 3 percent from $1.84 million to $1.9 million, the report shows.

The median home price in the county fell 5 percent in 2009 to $1.19 million.

Land Title Guarantee Co. produces a monthly report based on transactions recorded with the Pitkin County Clerk’s Office.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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