Small

The summer of 2020 has been a crazy time for the Aspen-Snowmass real estate market. For the 36 months leading up to this spring, the average monthly residential property sales volume for the market was around $115 million. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, the Aspen-Snowmass market hit the skids as the total monthly sales volume bottomed at just $14 million in the month of May.

In June, the total market sales volume exploded like a rocket as the numbers grew from $97 million in June to an all-time record monthly high of $546 million in August. Based on 178 pending sales at the beginning of September, this month’s total sales volume is likely to be another record month mirroring the August results.

As the sales market exploded over the past four months, we’ve also seen a record number of residential property listings come on the Aspen-Snowmass market. At the end of May the number of active residential property listings in the Aspen-Snowmass market declined to about 436, a 12% decline from the end of February, as sellers removed their listings due to the coronavirus.

As the market turned the corner at the beginning of June, we saw a record 376 new residential listings come on the market to meet the insatiable demand for properties from buyers seeking to buy residential properties in the Aspen-Snowmass area.

So, what has all this market activity meant for property values in this area? The unprecedented demand from buyers is the result of a nationwide migration caused by the pandemic from major cities to suburbs, smaller cities, rural areas and resort areas with the Aspen-Snowmass market being one of the primary beneficiaries. As you would expect, the Aspen-Snowmass area has seen a spike in real estate values as the demand for properties this summer has outstripped the market supply.

Throughout 2019 into the spring of 2020, the median sale price of a residential property in Aspen has hovered around $2.5 million. From May through August, that median sale price spiked to about $4 million, a 62% increase. The primary reason for that dramatic increase was the large number of high-priced homes that went under contract and closed this summer.

In 2019 throughout the entire year, 27 residential properties sold for a price over $10 million. So far this year, a record 48 properties have sold for prices over $10 million, of which 39 have sold since April. This is twice the volume of 2019 and we still have almost four months remaining in the year.

Perhaps a better metric of how much property values have increased in the Aspen-Snowmass area due to the pandemic impact is the increase in prices per square foot.

At the beginning of 2019, the median price per square foot of a residential property in Aspen was about $1,350. At the end of August, that median square-foot price had risen roughly 15% to about $1,550. In the Snowmass market at the beginning of 2019, the median price per square foot for a residential property was about $680. At the end of August, that median price had risen to about $760, a roughly 12% increase.

In comparison to other markets, there has been a 13% increase in average residential sale prices throughout the state of Colorado from 2019, with some of the biggest increases being in other ski resorts like Breckenridge, Copper and Keystone where average prices have increased as much as 25%.

These are big increases in value over a short period of time, but are likely accurate indications of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted property values here in the Aspen-Snowmass area as well as other parts of the state.

Lori and William Small, CCIM are recognized luxury and commercial real estate experts with Coldwell Banker Mason Morse in Aspen. They can be found through their website ­TheSmallsAspen.com or by email at TheSmalls@­TheSmallsAspen.com.