Aspen Real Estate Market Studies

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Current Rates of Appreciation in the Aspen Real Estate Market as of December 15, 2014  
(Updates to future sales will be made as they occur after publication dates as soon as possible.) 

January 1, 2015
Projecting a property’s current market value and its past and future appreciation rates are favorite topics among real estate brokers, appraisers, and those looking to buy or sell real estate in Aspen.

Appreciation rates can be nebulous and often misinterpreted. Supply and demand are relevant components of the discussion but they are often given excessive attention by some as the primary reasons for the "average" real estate valuations in Aspen increasing. There are a multitude of other factors that influence the rising prices in the collective market statistics.  Aspen and Pitkin County make up a highly segmented resort-market ranging from lower-end condominiums that compete with deed restricted subsidized housing, to the top tier of $15 million plus properties.

Venture into Snowmass and discover another town and another market. Over the years I have assisted many buyers and sellers in the purchase or sale of properties at the top of Red Mountain, in the West End, up Maroon and Castle Creeks, Mt. Valley, Knollwood, Snowmass Village, McClain Flats, Brush Creek, and ranches in Old Snowmass and Missouri Heights. Their commonality is that each submarket can be drastically different in activity and appreciation from the other.

The Nebulous concept of Appreciation 

Other than a property’s physical location, little remains constant. The appreciation rate always gives significant current market value perspective when used in conjunction with a competitive market analysis to project the value of a specific property.   Using a market-wide appreciation rate in Aspen with our highly segmented market however will provide information of questionable value in helping to determine the value of a specific property.  Instead, conducting a close examination of individual properties and sales in a particular segment, along with the a competitve analysis of active listings, and reviewing past sold information including absorption rates, will provide the best perspetives to project a property's current value.  Only a varying fraction of rising prices on specific properties is the result of appreciation due to changing supply and demand factors.  Prices rise due to many other factors.  Significant dollars are invested in properties through higher levels of quality and development. They also rise by building cost and impact fee increases as well as rising or falling cosmetic factors going in and out of favor.  The property-specific elements of the floor plan, volume, age, quality, design, size, and outdoor living spaces, all factor into a property’s value. Using averages such as the price per square foot of sold properties can be helpful but also prone to large errors of interpretation.  If a property is sold multiple times in a relatively short time period we can gain insight into the raw appreciation of the real estate in that property’s segment.  Even when looking at these individual sales, the purchase and sale of the property is subject to varying levels of marketing and sales influence, expertise and promotions, plus buyer and seller motivations. Thus the prices paid the first or second time might be above or below this theoretical concept we refer to as market price. With all of these qualifiers, I present a list of some of the repetitive sales of properties that have occured during the past seven years which I believe were unchanged by improvements or redevelopment during the time between the sales. 

The transactions were among many different brokers, not including me or other Aspen Core Realty brokers, except when noted. 

200 Sesame, Aspen Located on a spur of the bottom of Smuggler Mt. Road.
Sold 2006 for $8,000,000.
Closed December 2014 for $9,000,000.

460 SunnysideAspen  Aspen Lakes Ranch. Located in the McClain Flats area directly below Starwood.   
Sold as new in June, 2010 for $24,500,000.
Closed May 2014 for $26,000,000.

210 East Hyman, Park Central West 
Sold September 2012 for $834,000.
Sold September 2014 for $955,000.

800 S. Monarch #9, Aspen  Mountain Queen #9.
Sold December 2009 for $2,500,000.
Sold September 2014 for $2,500,000.

527 South West End Street, Aspen  Winter Haven Unit #2.
Sold May 2013 for $2,250,000. 
Sold December 2014 for $2,550,000.

735 East Francis, Aspen  Oklahoma Flats, Aspen.
Sold February 2007 for $7,100,000.
Sold  October 2014 for $4,950,000.

253 Silverload Drive, Aspen  
Sold January 2009 for $5,000,000. 
Sold March 2014 for $4,387,000.

81 Thunderbowl Lane, Aspen Highlands  
Sold November 2007 for $4,730,000.
Sold August 2009 for $3,525,000.
Sold March 2014 for $3,800,000.

1050 Matchless Drive, Aspen 
Sold October 2010 for $2,995,000. Interior had been completely renovated and rebuilt prior to sale. 
Sold August 2011 for $2,750,000.
Sold August 2014 for $2,775,000.

104 W. Cooper, Aspen  Aspen West Condo #4.
Sold November 2010 for $3,585,000.
Sold September 2014 for $3,793,000.

Chateau Roaring Fork #4, Aspen 
Sold August 2011 for $1,000,000.  Very minor cosmetic upgrades estimated to have cost less than $100,000 were made by buyer.
Sold December 2014 for $1,290,000.

935 E. Hopkins, Gavallon #4
Sold October 2012 for $625,000.
Sold November 2014 for $695,000.

Galena Lofts Unit #301, 434 Main E. Main, Aspen
Sold September 2011 for $1,065,000.
Sold March 2013 for $1,225,000.

818 East Hyman, Aspen
Sold February 2012 for $2,299,500.
Sold February 2014 for $2,850,000 with Mark Kwiecienski representing the seller.

814 East Cooper, Aspen  
Sold March 2011 for $2,000,000 with Mark Kwiecienski representing the buyer.  Very minor cosmetic upgrades estimated to have cost less than $100,000 were made by buyer. 
Sold April 2014 for $2,750,000.

Riverview Condominiums unit #11, 1024 East Hopkins Ave., Aspen
Sold July 2014 for $1,000,000.
Sold August 2014 for $1,185,000.

220 W.Cooper Ave., Aspen
Sold September 2010 for $10,450,000 ($1,444 SF)
Sold February 2014 for $15,100,000 ($2,087/SF)

One sale does not make a market and there are always extenuating circumstances. See the related article entitled “Aspen Appraisal Guide” which is posted in the marketing section of for additional insight.

In the future, I will continue providing what I think are interesting perspectives on various topics that will appeal to anyone thinking about buying or selling real estate in Aspen. One upcoming article takes a look at the top sales in the top market segments in Aspen, since they have a dynamic impact on the value of many properties of lower value.

By Mark Kwiecienski, real estate broker in Aspen since 1985.  Mark provides unique and unbiased valuation insights and opinions of value.  The views contained herein are those of Mark Kwiecienski and not necessarily those of all members of Aspen Core Realty.  He invites  sellers to call to discuss their real estate ideas or for a no obligation consultation or opinion of value of your Aspen property. For Sellers, Mark is able to  provide exclusive Seller reresentation for his listings.  If you wish to own real estate in Aspen, Mark is available to act as your exclusive agent representative, and will look out for your interests exclusively, in the evaluation, negotiation and of purchase of all properties listed with other Real Estate Companies. 

Copyright Aspen Core Realty 2015

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