Assessor: Property values soaring in El Jebel and Basalt

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
New townhouses are under construction in the Willits subdivision in Basalt. The price of condominiums and townhouses have soared by an average of 38 percent in the Basalt and El Jebel areas since June 2012.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times |

Single-family homeowners in the Basalt and El Jebel areas of Eagle County will find their property values soared 28 percent on average from the valuations of two years ago, according to Eagle County Assessor Mark Chapin.

All Colorado counties will mail out notices of new valuations on May 1. The values are updated every two years.

Chapin said property values generally have appreciated at a higher rate in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County than the county as a whole. Single-family home values, for example, are up about 12 percent in the county as a whole compared to 28 percent in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Townhouses and condominiums in Basalt and El Jebel are up about 38 percent, on average, according to Chapin.

“If we look at the balance of the county, that’s going to be on the high end,” he said.

He stressed he was speaking of averages. Individual properties will be higher or lower than the averages. “It varies by neighborhood,” Chapin said.

For example, single-family homes in the Sopris Village subdivision behind City Market are generally up 36 percent from two years ago, Chapin said. The Elk Run subdivision in Basalt is looking more at a 15 percent increase. Phases I-IV of Blue Lake subdivision are looking at 34 percent while the newer homes in phase V of Blue Lake are closer to 21 percent, he said. No figure was available for Willits.

Property values have experienced “quite a rebound” from the recession, he noted. They are creeping back to 2005-06 levels.

“In 2009 and 2010, we started the significant slide,” Chapin said. Values were down 40 to 50 percent from the peak in 2008, he said.

Properties in what is considered the more affordable range — less than $600,000 — tended to appreciate more over the last two years, according to Chapin. That includes homes in Eagle and Gypsum as well as El Jebel and Basalt, he said.

More expensive homes, including those in the second-home market, didn’t experience as much of a crash in value during the recession so they aren’t experiencing as drastic of appreciation now, he said.

Officials in the Pitkin County Assessor’s Office told the Aspen Daily News recently they wouldn’t discuss the new valuations before the notices are mailed on May 1. A portion of Basalt is in Pitkin County.

Throughout Colorado, assessors offices looked at sales from Jan. 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 to establish the new valuations. So, the notices will reflect the value as of June 30, 2014. The current valuations reflect prices as of June 30, 2012.

Chapin said it’s tough to predict how people will react to the new valuations. On the one hand, it’s clear the real estate market is recovering. On the other hand, people realize their valuations determine their property tax bill.

“I think it will be a mixed bag,” Chapin said of the reaction. The notices will include instructions on how to appeal a property valuation.

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