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Aspen Real Estate Has Had Many Peaks, But It's Not Peaking

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This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, newsletter writer, and columnist Jonathan Miller dives into ski town real estate.

For my first Three Cents Worth column on Curbed Ski, I felt compelled to provide a look at one of the priciest ski towns around: Aspen, Colorado. As a real estate analyst and appraiser for nearly 30 years (and a skier, of course!) I have relied on information culled during the research for the quarterly housing market report for Douglas Elliman. In Aspen, the first quarter of 2015 reflected a thorough shift towards larger home sales resulting in large aggregate housing prices gains.

To show this more clearly, I paired up the highest sale for each quarter against the starting point for the luxury market. The luxury market is defined (across all U.S. housing markets we cover) as the top 10% of sales during the period. The entry threshold is the lowest sales price seen within the top 10% each period, so this chart basically tracks the highest (magenta) and lowest (purple) sale price of the top 10% of the Aspen single family and condo market combined.

Although there have been two sales over $40M over the decade, there is no correlation in the occurrence of these sales with the performance of the luxury market or even the overall market. As the graph shows, these sales seem to be a random event, determined by the product available for sale. The entry threshold for the luxury market was $10 million in Q1, nearly double the threshold of a year ago.

So what does this all mean? The high entry threshold illustrates just how many more high-end sales there have been in the past year without the help of a record breaking sale.

Of course, all bets are off if Bill Koch sells his Aspen compound, currently listed for $100 million.

· Aspen Housing Prices Up As Buyers Purchase Larger Homes [Curbed Ski]
· Aspen Market Reports [Elliman]
· Billionaire Bill Koch Relists Aspen's Priciest House at $100M [Curbed Ski]
· Aspen Finds New Tenant for Old Aspen Art Museum Digs [Curbed Ski]
· Aspen Skiing Co. Is Open to Acquiring Out-of-State Ski Areas [Curbed Ski]