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Aspen Real Estate | Aspen Property Brothers

The Aspen Times | By Rick Carroll | August 12, 2020

Out-of-state buyers have been gobbling up Aspen properties at what real estate observers are calling an unprecedented pace that not even the pre-Great Recession days can match.

This month alone helps demonstrate that. Eight property sales, each selling for more than $10 million, have gone through the Pitkin County Clerk’s Office since Aug. 1. Those eight deals combined for $119.8 million, including $22 million for an undeveloped residential lot on Red Mountain that was recorded Tuesday. By comparison, August 2019 generated $162.3 million in total sales for both residential and commercial real estate, according to property records.

Broker Melissa Temple of Engel & Volkers Aspen said Tuesday she expected to see a push in demand for Aspen property because of the pandemic, but not at these levels.

“I just knew we were going to have this influx, but I didn’t know it was going to be quite like this,” she said. “I didn’t realize the big whales would be flying in on their jets and snapping up those properties.”

With August not even halfway complete, the real estate community is still digesting what happened in July when sales were primarily fueled by buyers looking to escape to Aspen from the coronavirus pandemic and its daily impacts.

In its monthly tax report issued last week, the city’s Finance Department noted that real estate transfer tax collections in July were “substantial and appear to display flight from the urban areas to a more remote location.”

In Aspen alone, there were 43 single-family properties north of $20 million that went under contract in July, according to a report issued last week by Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Another 23 properties ranging from $10 million to $19.99 million also went under contract, the report said.

“We are moving onto what will probably be the biggest quarter ever,” said Randy Gold of The Aspen Appraisal Group.

Gold said that by his calculations, residential property — that includes undeveloped land, homes and condos — accounted for $226 million in closings between Aspen and Snowmass V