Lori and William Small

If you’re a buyer or seller of residential real estate in the Aspen Snowmass area, it’s helpful to understand what’s currently happening in the market. To figure that out, let’s take a deep dive into some key numbers.

The total Aspen Snowmass real estate market consists of roughly 8,600 privately owned residential units of condos, duplexes, town homes and single family homes. Approximately 60 percent of those properties (i.e. 5,200) are located in the Aspen segment of the market, and the remaining 40 percent (i.e. 3,400 properties) are located in Snowmass Village, Old Snowmass and Woody Creek.

At any given time, a certain percentage of these properties are listed for sale. Currently, roughly 611 of these residential properties are listed for sale in the Aspen Snowmass area, representing about 7 percent of the total inventory of existing residential properties. Throughout this market cycle which started in 2009, the percentage of residential properties on the market for sale has fluctuated between a low of about 6 percent to a high of just over 9 percent that was experienced during the depths of the economic downturn in 2009 and 2010. When this percent is at the high end of the range, it’s generally a buyer’s market, and when it’s at the low end of the range it’s generally a seller’s market.

Of the 611 active listings, 64 are currently under contract, representing roughly 10 percent of listed properties. The percentage of properties under contract in the Aspen Snowmass market has historically ranged from a low of about 4 percent during particularly weak points in past market cycles such as the Great Recession years of 2009 and 2010, to as high as 14 percent during strong market periods like 2017 and 2018.

These market averages can be helpful, but the story gets more interesting when you start to dissect the market along value segments.

At this time, there are roughly 118 property listings priced at $10 million or more throughout the Aspen Snowmass market. Of these listings, only five are currently under contract. This represents about 4 percent of the total inventory of $10 million and over listings which is well under the 10 percent market average.

In the $5 to $10 million range, there are 127 active listings in the Aspen Snowmass area. In this price range, there are currently only four under contract, or about 3 percent of the listings in this price range.

This is also somewhat below the 10 percent under contract market average. In the $2.5 to $5 million price range, there are 115 active listings with about 15 percent of those listings currently under contract, five percentage points above the market average.

In the $2.5 million and under price range, there are 255 active listings. This price range represents about 42 percent of the current active listings in the Aspen Snowmass market. Of these listings, 36 are under contract, or about 14 percent of the inventory in this price range.

On the surface, when 10 percent of listings in the Aspen Snowmass area are under contract, the market has historically been in a stronger phase of a real estate cycle.

But as we look at the different price segments in the market, it appears there is significant weakness in demand for properties priced over $5 million, and a very strong and active market for properties priced under $5 million.

At this point in time, it appears a buyer’s market exists in the $5 million and above segment of the market, and the complete opposite, a seller’s market, seems to exist in the under $5 million market segment. It’s difficult to determine if the overall market is trending from a seller’s to buyer’s market starting from the higher priced properties and moving down the price scale; or if the market is just experiencing a temporary phase of weakness in the higher priced segments of the market. The answer should become clearer over the next few months.

Lori Small is an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker Mason and Morse. William Small, CCIM is the Founder and CEO of Zenith Realty Advisors, LLC, a commercial-investment real estate advisory and investment firm.,