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By Linda B. Hayes | February 6, 2017 | Home & Real Estate
Time to invest or sell, sell, sell? Three real estate authorities take town's pulse.
“The price-per-square-foot holding [firm] shows how solid our market base is,” says Carol Dopkin. Here, one of Dopkin’s properties, 1200 Kessler Drive ($18 million).
Venerable Matsuhisa (303 E. Main St., 970-544-6628) played host to a roundtable discussion between three of town’s top brokers. Between bites of beautifully prepared sashimi, they discussed the ins and outs of the Aspen real estate market, from the effects of the building moratorium to bright spots for 2017.
What, in your opinion, is the current state of the Aspen market?
Doug Leibinger: It’s pretty healthy. My sense is that all of a sudden there was a lack of good inventory, and everybody went into a pause. People who had $10, $15, $20 million said, “Maybe I’ll wait for a while to see how things shake out.” All that money is still on the sideline and will come back on the market.
Will Burggraf: People say, “Oh, we’re off.” But it’s comparing it to one of the most robust years ever . We’re seeing steady and slightly increased average prices-by-square-foot in the core, the West End. Townhomes and penthouses are selling at all-time highs.
Where do you have adequate inventory?
Carol Dopkin: Older homes in the $10 million-plus range have five years of inventory. Everything else has one to three years. Volumes are down in $20 to $30 million sales.
DL: Between [Aspen] and Carbondale, 1,000 properties are on the market. Where downvalley had been held at bay, it’s [now] in resurgence. There are some new properties on the market.
1581 Wood Road ($8 million), in Snowmass, represented by Leibinger.
What are they and who’s buying them?
DL: There are 11 properties over $9 million under contract right now, nine in the core or West End. All new products—townhomes, new build. All fresh, new mountain contemporary style.
CD: Five of those were bought by developers to finish off…
WB: There are a lot of group investors buying properties, but we’re [also] seeing people taking the reins. It’s hard to jump through all the hoops to get approval to do construction. People are willing to pay a premium not to do that.
What effect has the building moratorium in the West End had on the market? The community?
WB: Anytime there’s limited supply, the demand doesn’t fluctuate that much, so you’re going to see increasing prices.
DL: Moderation in the building cycle rather than on-and-off-again would help the community.
How do you feel about the state of downvalley communities at the moment?
DL: Snowmass Base Village finally sorting itself out will really help that market go back into an upswing.
CD: I’m finding the Basalt area in particular is good for investment properties because the rental market is strong.
Are you optimistic about where the Aspen real estate market is heading for 2017?
CD: I’m the eternal optimist. I think because the price-per-square- foot has held, it shows how solid our base is.
DL: There are some key markets people flock to, and one of them is Aspen. This is one of the most desirable places in the country, [even] globally. Why wouldn’t we be okay long-term?
Will Burggraf Broker, Frias Properties of Aspen. 730 E. Durant Ave., 970-920-2000; Carol Dopkin Broker, Engel & Völkers Aspen. 415 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-8400; Doug Leibinger Vice President and Broker, Compass. 117 S. Monarch St., 970-925-6063
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROSS DANIELS (ROUNDTABLE); BRENT MOSS PHOTOGRAPHY (INTERIOR)