Much has been said about the pandemic’s transition to warmer climates, but some people prefer snow to sun.
Ski resort towns in the western United States were teeming with former residents of big cities at the start of the pandemic. The desire for more space and access to nature, combined with the flexibility of working from home, has led many to go to the mountains, but the lifestyle keeps them there.
“People who came to the mountains during the pandemic to enjoy a little more solitude and our beautiful mountain lifestyle decided they liked it so much that they decided to stay here and make it their home. We are seeing it as a full-time residence,” said president Thomas Wright. Principal Broker at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty in Park City, Utah.
Already popular destinations such as Aspen, Colorado and Jackson Hole, Wyoming are drawing more interest, while lesser-known neighborhoods such as Crested Butte, Montana have found new audiences.
Increased attention has pushed up residential real estate prices, which have remained high. Despite the recent slowdown in the US housing marketAccording to Christopher Steiner, founder, chief skier and CTO of ZRankings, a company that ranks ski resorts in North America,
“Everything has almost doubled since the pandemic started,” he said. “It’s like a banana.”
Ski town as a solid investment
No significant cooling is expected, at least for the property market (hopefully temperatures in the region reach snowfall levels by Thanksgiving). Luxury buyers are more likely to pay with cash, and many global investors have increased their net worths over the past few years, Steiner said.
“Many people who can afford this type of property have increased cash reserves over the last few years for a variety of reasons,” he explained. “People think it’s a safe place to put their money.”
While the pandemic has significantly reduced the supply of luxury homes, inventory has been a problem for some time. In fact, it’s part of the exclusivity that brings people into these communities.
“Aspen attracts the world’s money. It’s become like Southern France skiing in North America…and they’re not making another Aspen,” Steiner said. “So it’s probably not going to drop significantly in value. Same goes for Jackson Hole. They’re not building new housing. The open space there is what makes it great on the one hand.” But it really limits the buildings that can happen.”
In fact, according to a report earlier this year from ZRankings and ATTOM Data Solutions, a California-based data firm, Aspen property values are projected to rise 125% over the next five years. Jackson Hole home prices are expected to rise 138% over the same period he.
In addition to the community’s cash, the proximity to major metropolitan areas and transportation also makes it a solid investment in a ski town, Steiner said.
Colorado resorts such as Vail and Winter Park, for example, are less than two hours from Denver and a few more hours’ drive from Aspen, so there’s a lot of interest. Prices in these ski towns are set to rise by 66% and 120% respectively over the next five years, according to the report.
Park City, which is expected to see up to 61% price increases by 2027, also benefits from access to the Salt Lake City hub. Park City Mountain is just 45 minutes from the airport, giving outdoor enthusiasts instant access to the slopes and mountain lifestyle.
“Our new Salt Lake City International Airport gives people the comfort of living full-time here in the Utah mountains and having the best of both worlds,” Wright said.
Whether the buyer is considering a primary residence or a second (or fifth) home, many of the same considerations apply, including taxes. Some buyers expect Utah to have a lower effective property tax rate (0.39% compared to his 0.78% in Montana, according to ATTOM’s annual property tax data), or because there is no state income tax. You might consider Nevada.
“At the Lake Tahoe ski market [which straddles Nevada and California], people look for Nevada addresses for tax purposes,” Wright said. “That is certain.”
Ultimately, though, “every ski buyer has their own checklist of things like tax, accessibility, and how difficult the mountain terrain they’re buying is,” the agent added.
“There are people who just want to ski in ski out. They want to be able to do two runs before Zoom in the morning,” he said. “The beauty of the ski resort market is that it is so diverse. People can really find what they are looking for anywhere here in the western United States.
With interest skyrocketing in so many established ski towns, other previously unnoticed ski towns are starting to gain traction.
Mount Crested Butte, Colorado is one such place.Listed on Sotheby’s last month $15 million for a 7,844-square-foot home on a mountainZillow’s records indicate that this is the most expensive property in town and, if sold at the asking price, would double the previous high in the area. Scouts Walton and Jayma Giles of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty own this list.
“Crested Butte is growing as a destination and there are a lot of high net worth individuals who currently live in our community or want to live in our community,” Giles said in July. Talks about the property in an interview. She added that buyers could be locals looking to upgrade or people looking for ski towns in Colorado, such as Vail, Aspen, and Beaver Creek.
“Crested Butte has a different feel than a top ski town because of its long maturation cycle,” says Walton. “So if you go to Park City, you’ll see a lot of people from the East Coast. Some people like to see their friends, but if you go too far, they’ll say, ‘Wait, I’m going to spend my vacation here.’ ’”
The Brian Head Resort in southern Utah is also popular, Wright said. About three and a half hours from Las Vegas.
Steiner also noted that mountain towns such as Eagle, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs in Colorado and Whitefish, Montana, where many of the more prominent ski resort destinations are experiencing astronomical price increases and “stock shortages.” ” said he benefited from the pandemic-induced migration. ”
But Steiner admits that the ski world may not have had as many “secrets” since the pandemic began.
“It’s like everything that was moving a little under the radar was discovered on some level,” he said. flocked.”