America’s ski season has been hit by the coronavirus but that hasn’t stopped people from buying up homes in popular ski areas. In fact, sales have surged this year, and it’s causing home prices to rise faster than the national average in these areas.
“This was the busiest summer selling season ever,” Ben Fisher, a broker with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty in Park City, Utah, told The Wall Street Journal. He said that sales of single-family homes over $2 million surged 50% from March to August compared with the same time a year ago.
Some markets have become extremely competitive as a result. In Park City, just days after one home was listed, it sold for $350,000 more than the $15 million asking price in an all-cash deal.
Another popular ski town, Telluride, Colorado, has seen its dollar volume of home sales rise by 54% in August compared to a year before. $125 million worth of home sales were reported in the town in August, a new monthly record for the area. Elsewhere, in Aspen, the dollar value of sales has grown by 49% compared to one year before. The Journal reported that 46 homes there have sold for $10 million-plus, and another 24 are under contract.
Meanwhile the total number of home sales over $3 million in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is up 55% from a year ago. The Journal said 21 homes there have gone for $10 million or more, compared to just five such sales one year ago.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” David Viehman, a broker with Engel & Völkers in Jackson Hole, told the Journal. “The high end is flying off the shelf.”
During lockdowns amid the pandemic, Americans began to flee cities in search of homes with more connection to the outdoors. Kristen Barber, a broker with Stein Eriksen Realty in Park City, told the Journal that what had started as requests for long-term rentals in April accelerated into sales in June.