SKI – ASPEN

04.05.18

Aspen is one of the U.S’s most popular high-end ski destinations, and its luxury property market reflects that, according to Thursday’s first quarter sales report from Douglas Elliman.

Sales of luxury properties are soaring in the tony Colorado town, helped largely by sellers reigning in their over-ambitions price expectations, according to Jonathan Miller, chief executive of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the Douglas Elliman report.

In the first quarter of 2018, the median sales price for a luxury home—defined as the top 10% of the market—in Aspen reached $18.34 million, an impressive 162.1% increase from the same time last year when the median was logged at a comparatively measly $7 million.

“We’ve been seeing these big numbers because the backlog—what I call the ‘aspirational priced inventory’—is coming off the market, either expiring, or sellers are realizing they need to meet the buyers on price,” Mr. Miller said.

In high-end housing markets, sellers are far more comfortable meeting the buyer, “making the market, generally speaking, in much better shape,” he said.

The clearing of the backlog Mr. Miller referred to is demonstrated in the first quarter’s listing inventory, down over 31% compared to the same time last year, according to the report.

Despite the big price growth, closed transactions in the town were flat compared to last year, remaining at just five luxury transactions, but a shift to much bigger properties has high-end prices continuing to rise.

The average luxury property size increased 27.2% to 8,781 square feet in the first three months of the year, the report said, and the price per square foot crept up 9.2% to an average of $1,873.

Nearby Snowmass, another ski destination, isn’t experiencing the same luxury boon—median prices were down 19.3% to $4.4 million in the first quarter, while inventory rose 41.4%.

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