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Inventory Woes

What Have We Learned So Far This Year?

It’s been well documented in Aspen (and all over the U.S.) that many real estate markets have experienced a significant decline in listing inventory over the past 12-15 months. To be fair, “significant” really doesn’t do justice to today’s reality in the Aspen Snowmass real estate market – overall listing inventory is down about 50%+ in Aspen over the past year and 70%+ in Snowmass Village. That’s on the heels of a roughly 50% decrease in Aspen over the prior eight years. In many neighborhoods there is literally one listing today for every four listings just a few years or more ago.

It’s not surprising there’s constant real estate chatter about limited inventory, but why does this really matter? I’ll put a few things into context…for many years (roughly 2010 through the first part of 2020) there was a range of real estate listings supply in Aspen Snowmass from as little as 18 months to more than 5-6 years – the range was dependent on price point, neighborhood and type of property (i.e. single family home, condo, land, etc.). Average days on market for the Aspen Snowmass real estate market was historically around one year.

Think about that for a minute, if you listed a property it would take a year to sell (on average) and in some cases it might take three or four (or more) years to sell a property. Fast forward to today…days on market have dropped 20%-50% depending on location, price point and property type. Even more interesting is the listing supply:

– There’s about a 3-4 month supply of condos in Aspen today, this compares to 12-18 months just over a year ago.

– There are about 75 active single family home listings in Aspen today, and there were 165 such sales last year. All of a sudden the Aspen real estate market is functioning more like an “efficient market” where buyers and sellers are meeting on price and terms much more easily than in the past.

– In Snowmass Village the situation is even more exacerbated…there are about 25 active condo listings and the average sales pace is running around 190-200 per year. There’s literally about 1-2 months’ supply of Snowmass Village condo listing inventory.

For buyers this makes home shopping in Aspen Snowmass very challenging right now. There are fewer options to choose from than ever (in the modern real estate era) and perhaps more competition than ever before. For sellers, if your property has been on the market for more than six months then most likely you have overtly or subconsciously decided you aren’t really a seller – there’s absolutely no reason in such an efficient market environment for a property not to sell if it is positioned and priced correctly, and this applies at all price points.

I don’t see this dynamic changing in the near future, unless of course there’s a major macro shift on a domestic or international level. It does seem likely that over the coming 6-12 months we will see buyers increasingly pause in the face of continued price increases, and perhaps that will in turn spur an uptick in listing inventory.

In the meantime, happy house hunting!

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