Aspen Colorado: The Most Expensive Little Town in America.

Financial Physician’s Daily RX


Aspen Colorado: The Most Expensive Little Town in America.

For just a moment, forget about the deepening housing slump. Forget about glamour towns like The Hamptons, Beverly Hills, Palm Beach and New York’s Upper East Side. Aspen continues to quickly outpace them all when it comes to rising housing prices.

According to San Francisco-based Altos Research, the median price of a home in Aspen had reached $4.6 million in the beginning of 2011.

According to a story in the Wall Street Journal by reporter Nancy Keates, the lowest single family home on the market in March was listed at $559,000. It was located in a trailer park. 

Aspen is like a mini Manhattan, it has become a world Mecca for international jet-setters and a winter playground for the rich and famous, many of whom find it cool to own a piece of the mountain town.

During the week of January 19th through the 25th of this year, five of the 25 homes sold were purchased by international buyers. That week, it was three from Australia, one from Turkey and one from Hong Kong.

Earlier this year, a Russian supermarket mogul purchased a luxury home for $13 million. Located in the upscale community of Maroon Creek, the home features an indoor pool and basketball court, as well as its own waterfall.

In 2008, a Russian billionaire plopped down $36 million for a 14,300 square foot home, which sits on 200 acres of America’s most beautiful landscape. A family from New Zealand paid $16 million for a luxury home on 40 acres and a London couple paid $10.5 million for a ranch in Aspen.

The weak dollar, comfortable year-round living, a good education system, a modern and local airport, access to excellent medical facilities and an eclectic and diverse population is drawing interest from home buyers from around the world. Aspen real estate agents say they are showing homes to buyers from Russia, Brazil, the Dominica, Italy, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

You may have heard that as far back as 2006, Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia put his Aspen ranch on the market for an astonishing $135 million. But America is also showing its muscle when it comes to trading in America’s most lavish real estate market.

Commercial real estate heavyweights, George and Mark Rosenthal, put their now famous 90-acre Jigsaw Ranch on the market for $48,500,000.

In 2010, a 13,000 square-foot estate sold to Hedge-fund mogul John Paulson for $24.5 million. Chicago entrepreneur, Chris Reyes, paid 32.5 million for a 15,000 square-foot mansion and a managing partner of Bain Capitol, Paul Edgerly, purchased his piece of the mountain for $19.8 million. That Starwood estate was only on the market for three months.

However, it’s not all fresh powder for Aspen. The number of homes sold in 2010 was about half the amount sold in 2011 and the town has seen some foreclosures of smaller working class properties.

According to The Estin Report, one home that sold for $16 million in February was originally listed for $32 million.

I guess it’s a matter of finding the right buyer.

While you may never reach the levels of multi-billionaire, you can definitely improve your prospects in this economy if you maintain your financial health. Your financial literacy will determine how healthy or unhealthy it will be.

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