We are just weeks away from the start of the summer season. If you own property in Aspen and are thinking of selling, summer is typically a good time to put a property on the market. Real estate usually looks its best in the light of summer when the grass and trees are green. In addition to the visual advantages of selling during the summer, prospective sellers are likely wondering if this is, from a market point-of-view, a good time to sell.
The answer to that question likely depends on the personal goals and timeframe of the seller. As a seller, are you in a hurry to sell or are you willing to be patient? ThereaEU(tm)s no doubt that the last few years have been tough on sellers. Besides waiting an extended period of time to find an interested buyer, sellers have generally been disappointed, by the offers theyaEU(tm)ve received and some of the prices theyaEU(tm)ve had to accept to get their properties sold, compared to the go-go years of 2005 through 2008. Even though Aspen real estate has not been flying off the shelve in the past three years, the market has been steadily improving for selleraEU(tm)s. In 2009, a year thataEU(tm)s now seen as the bottom of the market here in Aspen, there were just over 400 single family homes and over 475 condo units on the market for sale near the end of that year. The inventory of properties for sale has dropped significantly since fall 2009. Currently, there are roughly 204 single family homes and about 177 condos and townhomes on the market for sale. In 2011, ninety-six (96) single family homes and ninety-five (95) condos sold in Aspen. This equates to about a two year supply of inventory of properties compared to an almost four and a half year supply back in 2009. These are encouraging numbers for sellers. Another indicator to look at to get a sense of the market direction is the Aspen Real Estate Market Action index. The Market Action Index measures available supply relative to the current level of demand and average days on the market for unsold properties. ItaEU(tm)s in essence a collective index of all market factors combined and an early predictor of future market trends. An Index Value above 30 indicates conditions favorable to sellers; whereas a Market Action Index below 30 indicates that the market is more favorable for buyers. In the fall of 2009 at the bottom of the market, the Index was around 4.0 for both single family homes and condos. Currently, the Aspen Index is at 12.4 for single family homes and 22.0 for condos and trending upward. Although still indicating a market favorable to buyers, the Index indicates that the market is in the process of moving in the direction of being more balanced between buyers and sellers. The market conditions appear to be slowly improving, but are likely to still feel sluggish for sellers. Expect a sale to take close to a year using the typical marketing techniques. If youaEU(tm)re serious about selling your property this summer and interested in accelerating the process, you may want to consider quick improvements to your property, such as upgrades to the landscaping, fresh paint inside and out, and other cosmetic improvements that can be made quickly before the summer selling season starts. If you want your property to be one of the next properties sold, you might want to seriously consider more creative marketing and a pricing strategy that gets your property noticed and priced attractively relative to competing properties. ItaEU(tm)s likely again that this summer the Aspen real estate market will see more sellers than buyers, but buyers may feel more pressure to reach for properties that are marketed aggressively, show well.