Editor's note: This story originally ran as part of the Aspen Daily News' 2019 April Fools edition. It is purely satirical and all references to real life people and businesses are fabricated.
Whether you’re living in affordable housing, a trailer park, squatting in a tent on National Forest lands, hiding out in a backyard treehouse on Red Mountain while the owner is away, or living out of your car, we can all agree that what’s going on in the over $20 million home market is very, very important. We know all of you care a lot about the market forces affecting those who are so rich that market forces don’t really affect them.
So what’s going on in the palace, coliseum, villa and sprawling plantation market?
As crazy as it is for us to say, there’s a limit to what even the most Snidely Whiplash-ey or Scrooge McDuckey tycoon will pay for a place to live for less than two weeks a year.
At a certain level, there just isn’t a lot of movement at all in the market. Housing priced at over $5,000 a square foot is just sitting on the market ripe for the picking, but no one’s biting. Which is a bummer, because if a real estate agent unloads one of those gargantuan eyesores it’s like winning the lottery.
Now once we reach the $7,000 a square foot range, or what we call the “I can retire tomorrow” level, there have been two sales.
Compare that to a year ago when there were no sales whatsoever in that range. All the Saudi princes and oil tycoons were well-situated I guess.
With Jackson Hole and other “lesser-known” ski towns attracting more and more of the cool kids, it seems like the recent movement in the highest echelon of the local real estate market is due to foreign interest in obscene displays of wealth.
Recently we’ve seen an uptick in interest from buyers such as: Russian oligarchs, Chinese factory owners, South American hacienda owners, Middle Eastern oil sheiks, Jeff Bezos, Richie Rich, Daddy Warbucks, emperors, dictators of small island nations, gold mine taskmasters, telecom entrepreneurs, the inventors of joggers, Mr. Krabs, Congolese grocery store merchants, the boards of the major international aglet manufacturers and Tony Stark.
Can the market sustain this level of interest?
That depends on a variety of factors not the least of which is developer greed and valley residents’ willingness to put up with it. We know of at least a few former Aspenites who are finding great value in Wyoming. Cheyenne is looking more and more appealing as a future bedroom community for Aspen. At just a five-hour drive, we’re predicting big movement from that market if values continue to climb as expected around the Roaring Fork Valley.
In summary, things are expensive. Things are going to continue to be expensive and you can probably expect to be driving three hours or more to work in Aspen if you haven’t already secured the housing here that you plan to die in.
Willy and Tori Big are both luxury real estate brokers, beautiful people and the founders of companies that make lots of money.