Local real estate demand is at an all-time high, as urban dwellers flee cities for mountain towns. The surge in activity comes as a result of the current environment surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. “Our local real estate market has never been more active than in the past six weeks,” says Chris Klug, long time Aspen, Colorado native and Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty co-owner and broker. “There has been an exodus from cities to the suburbs and second home resort markets; the Roaring Fork Valley real estate is benefitting from this trend. A switch got flipped in late June, early July, and it has been all hands on deck ever since.”
There were 89 properties pending sale at the end of July totaling $714,929,000 compared to 41 last year totaling $203,655,500, a 350% increase. Upper Roaring Fork Valley real estate’s third quarter will be an exciting one.
Homes in the mountains serve as sanctuaries of privacy and security for newcomers and second homeowners. Because mountain communities have more space and less people, social distancing is easier to practice than it may be in urban environments. Even if required to “shelter in place,” people can live in relative isolation and still partake in the plethora of outdoor activities offered year round that don’t put them at risk of contracting or spreading the virus — from hiking and biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter. In other words, in the mountains, you can live life and remain safe, even amidst a pandemic.
With remote work becoming the new norm, people can continue their careers from anywhere with high speed internet. Communities in the Roaring Fork Valley foster a safe environment and excellent schools for parents to raise their children. And there’s no denying the serene appeal of a mountain retreat and the calming effects of nature.
“The 31-day rental minimum until May 27 this spring resulted in longer term summer rentals and tenants arriving earlier than ever,” Chris says. “Many tenants decided to rent for the whole summer and have experienced the Aspen cliché, ‘You come for the winter, stay for the summer,’ and have embraced the idea of living here permanently.”
Out of state urbanites aren’t just buying vacation homes. They are buying homes to move into. Cash deals are common, and brokers are seeing inventory going more quickly than ever before.
Another one of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty’s co-owners Andrew Light calls this summer’s activity a wonderful surprise. “The business level swings of the pandemic have been extreme,” Andrew says. “In April, showing property was prohibited, and there were very few new contracts. In July and August, demand has never been greater and is broader across a wider geography, with buyers looking in more outlying areas that some considered ‘too far from Aspen’ before. The rise in remote working, urban flight and fear of social unrest have increased people’s willingness to spend on their homes.”
Photo: Porch at 315 Hooks Spur Road, Basalt
What do buyers and renters want out of a mountain retreat? Homes that have it all: multiple indoor and outdoor living and dining areas, home office, media room, gym, spa, swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, and most importantly, space and privacy. Listings with ample land provide room to roam. Many even have ski-in, ski-out and offer direct access to prime hiking trails and golf courses.
Check out these incredible listings that offer the whole package.
Photo: 315 Hooks Spur Road, Basalt
Photo: Theater at 5015 County Road 117, Glenwood Springs