Valley real estate sales surge |

Valley real estate sales surge

ASPEN, Colo. The real estate market in the Roaring Fork Valley shows no signs of slowing down.The dollar volume of sales in Pitkin County surged 35 percent in October compared to the same month last year, according to a report by Land Title Guarantee Co. Sales in Garfield County jumped 12 percent for the month, the report said.The title company performs a monthly analysis of all real estate sales transactions recorded in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties, and includes all sales from McMansions to affordable housing. The report is an effective way to gauge the market’s performance without spin.Sales in Pitkin County hit nearly $290 million for October compared to $214.5 million for the same month last year.The strong performance in October boosted year-to-date sales to $2.16 billion. That is 15 percent above last year’s record pace. The number of transactions is up 8 percent through the first 10 months of this year. The Pitkin County real estate market set a record last year with $2.24 billion in sales. That mark appears certain to fall this year.October was also active downvalley. “Despite the bleak outlook nationally, real estate in Garfield County keeps on moving,” Land Title Guarantee Co. marketing director Mark Pisani wrote in the firm’s report.The dollar volume of sales in Garfield County for October was almost $86 million compared to $77 million for the month last year. The increase boosted year-to-date sales to $812 million, or 20 percent above last year’s record pace. Sales in Garfield County totaled $856 million in 2005.Despite ominous signs the national real estate market is ailing, Pisani cited various national reports that indicate the high-end market, with house sales of $5 million and more, appears unfazed by the downturn.The big question is whether the downvalley market remains insulated from the national trend. “That question is harder to answer, but the normal factors are always present: The limited space, a place people want to live and the affordability when compared to Aspen,” Pisani noted.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Colo. CO

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