Keeping you informed on market statistics, real estate news, and events around town

Friday, August 19, 2011

Eagle County real estate transactions has similar 1st half of the year, compared to that of 2010

Eagle County real estate ended the quarter with 620 overall transactions, just 2 above the total for 2010 through the same time period. While transactions have remained constant, the dollar volume has slipped 18% versus 2010. The main contributor to the constant transactions and falling volume are the continued bank sales. So far this year there has been 129 bank sales; which is 21% of the overall market. However, these numbers translate to just 7% of our total dollar volume ($42,386,000). The combination of these numbers means a lower average sales price for the County as a whole. The average price for the bank sales has been $328,573.

While the bank sales have had an impact on our overall market; we continue to see sales in the high end market as well. So far this year, there have been 20 transactions over $5 million. At the height of our market in 2007 there were 24 transactions over $5 million and in 2008 there were 31 through the same time period. Many of these high end sales for 2011 were from the new developments.


GREENWICH, CT – August 15, 2011 – East West Partners and Starwood Capital Group, a leading private investment firm focused on global real estate and energy, announced today that they have entered into a joint venture focused on the continued revitalization of downtown Denver and potentially other urban development. The joint venture anticipates initially focusing its activities in the emerging LoDo area of Denver where the partnership has control of several important sites targeted to multifamily, office and hotel use, and ultimately expanding into other select urban markets. East West Partners has contributed select assets it owns in Denver including a number of undeveloped sites in the Union Station neighborhood. Union Station will become Denver’s new transit hub with almost $500 million of public investment in light rail, heavy rail and bus infrastructure.

"We are excited to kick off this partnership with East West by investing in one of the top transit oriented downtown development projects in the U.S.," said Ethan Bing, Vice President of Starwood Capital Group. "The combination of East West Partners’ urban development experience and Starwood Capital's real estate expertise and capital resources should result in great opportunities for both firms," said Marc Perrin, Managing Director of Starwood Capital Group.

"With Starwood Capital Group as our partner we now have the financial capability to begin new development in downtown Denver and expand to other select national markets," said Mark Smith, Founding Partner of East West Partners-Denver.

The operations of Union Station Neighborhood Company, a joint venture of Continuum Partners and East West Partners, will continue as they have since Union Station Neighborhood Company was selected in 2006 as the master developer for the redevelopment of the 20-acre Union Station project.

About Starwood Capital Group Global, LP
Starwood Capital Group is a private, U.S.-based investment firm with a core focus on global real estate. Since the group’s inception in 1991, the firm, through its various funds, has invested over $9 billion of equity capital, representing nearly $28 billion in assets. Starwood Capital Group currently has approximately $18 billion of assets under management. Starwood Capital Group maintains offices in Greenwich, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and affiliated offices in London, Luxembourg, Paris, Mumbai and Sao Paulo. Starwood Capital Group has invested in nearly every class of real estate on a global basis, including office, retail, residential, senior housing, golf, hotels, resorts and industrial assets. Starwood Capital Group and its affiliates have successfully executed an investment strategy that includes building enterprises around core real estate portfolios in both the private and public markets.

For more information about Starwood Capital Group, visit

About East West Partners
East West Partners is a privately held Colorado firm that has developed over $5 billion in real estate in select resort and urban US markets over the last 25 years.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The rich are (almost) spending like it's 2006

Luxury goods are flying off the shelves, even with the economy staggering
By Stephanie Clifford, NY Times
updated 8/4/2011

Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin “Bianca” platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.

Even with the economy in a funk and many Americans pulling back on spending, the rich are again buying designer clothing, luxury cars and about anything that catches their fancy. Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering — they are zooming. Many high-end businesses are even able to mark up, rather than discount, items to attract customers who equate quality with price.

“If a designer shoe goes up from $800 to $860, who notices?” said Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at the consulting firm Kurt Salmon, and the former chairman and chief executive of Saks.

More must-read stories Starbucks perking up again
Starbucks, which was forced to shutter hundreds of locations during the recession, is back in growth mode.

The luxury category has posted 10 consecutive months of sales increases compared with the year earlier, even as overall consumer spending on categories like furniture and electronics has been tepid, according to the research service MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. In July, the luxury segment had an 11.6 percent increase, the biggest monthly gain in more than a year.

What changed? Mostly, the stock market, retailers and analysts said, as well as a good bit of shopping psychology. Even with the sharp drop in stocks over the last week, the Dow Jones is up about 80 percent from its low in March 2009. And with the overall economy nowhere near its recession lows, buying nice, expensive things is back in vogue for people who can afford it.

“Our business is fairly closely tied to how the market performs,” said Karen W. Katz, the president and chief executive of Neiman Marcus Group. “Though there are bumps based on different economic data, it’s generally been trending in a positive direction.”

Caroline Limpert, 31, an entrepreneur in New York, says she is happy to spend on classic pieces, like the Yves Saint Laurent tote she has in both chocolate and black, but since the recession, she avoids conspicuous items.

“Over all, you want to wear less branded items,” she said. “If you have the wherewithal to spend, you never want to be showy about it.” Still, she said, she is quick to buy at the beginning of each season. “I buy things that could sell out.”

The recent earnings reports of some luxury goods retailers and automobile companies show just how much the high-end shopper has been willing to spend again.

Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy
Tiffany’s first-quarter sales were up 20 percent to $761 million. Last week LVMH, which owns expensive brands like Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, reported sales growth in the first half of 2011 of 13 percent to 10.3 billion euros, or $14.9 billion. Also last week, PPR, home to Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other brands, said its luxury segment’s sales gained 23 percent in the first half. Profits are also up by double digits for many of these companies.

BMW this week said it more than doubled its quarterly profit from a year ago as sales rose 16.5 percent; Porsche said its first-half profit rose 59 percent; and Mercedes-Benz said July sales of its high-end S-Class sedans — some of which cost more than $200,000 — jumped nearly 14 percent in the United States.

The success luxury retailers are having in selling $250 Ermenegildo Zegna ties and $2,800 David Yurman pavé rings — the kind encircled with small precious stones — stands in stark contrast to the retailers who cater to more average Americans.

Apparel stores are holding near fire sales to get people to spend. Wal-Mart is selling smaller packages because some shoppers do not have enough cash on hand to afford multipacks of toilet paper. Retailers from Victoria’s Secret to the Children’s Place are nudging prices up by just pennies, worried they will lose customers if they do anything more.

While the free spending of the affluent may not be of much comfort to people who are out of jobs or out of cash, the rich may contribute disproportionately to the overall economic recovery.

“This group is key because the top 5 percent of income earners accounts for about one-third of spending, and the top 20 percent accounts for close to 60 percent of spending,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “That was key to why we suffered such a bad recession — their spending fell very sharply.”

Just a few years ago, luxury retailers were suffering. Too many items were chasing too few buyers, and high-end stores began cutting prices. As a result, consumers awaited 70 percent discounts rather than buying right away. Sales of luxury goods fell 17.9 percent in October 2008 from a year earlier, SpendingPulse said, and double-digit declines continued through May 2009.

Stores stocking up
Now, many stores are stocking up on luxury items, as shoppers flock to racks of expensive goods.

“They’re buying the special pieces, whether it’s the exotic leathers, the more fashion-forward pieces,” said Stephen I. Sadove, the chairman and chief executive of Saks Fifth Avenue. “There’s a dramatic decline in the amount of promotions in the luxury sector — we’re seeing higher levels of full-priced selling than we saw prerecession.”

In 2008, for example, the most expensive Louboutin item that Saks sold was a $1,575 pair of suede boots. Now, it is a $2,495 pair of suede boots that are thigh-high. Crème de la Mer, the facial cream, cost $1,350 for 16 ounces at Bergdorf Goodman in 2008; it now costs $1,650.

“I think that she’s willing to pay whatever price the manufacturer and the retailer deem appropriate, if she sees that there’s intrinsic value in it,” Mr. Katz said.

Part of the demand is also driven by the snob factor: at luxury stores, higher prices are often considered a mark of quality.

“You just can’t buy a pair of shoes for less than $1,000 in some of the luxury brands, and some of the price points have gone to $2,000,” said Jyothi Rao, general manager for the women’s business at Gilt Groupe, a Web site that sells designer brands at a discount. “There’s absolutely a customer for it.”

Jennifer Margolin, a personal shopper in San Francisco, said she had noticed changes in clients’ attitudes. They “pay full price if they absolutely love it,” she said. “Before it was almost completely shying away, where now it’s like, ‘O.K., I’m comfortable getting a Goyard bag,’ but they get it for the quality.”

Goyard bags, in addition to having a distinctive pattern, will usually run a few thousand dollars. And, yes, they are selling out quickly.

Monday, August 1, 2011


The Eagle County average sales price for all unit types for June 2011 was $987,238.

30% of the sales were under $1 million; 30% were over $5 million.
There were 8 sales in Vail (east to west vail) in the last month ranging from $350,000-$3,395,000:

5020 Main Gore Pl #2 - $350,000
4504 Meadow Dr #202 - $410,000
4470 Timber Falls Ct #1501 - $$412,000
4690 Vail Racquet Club Dr #15-14 - $423,000
2567 Arosa Drive - $1,750,000
675 Lionshead Pl #274 - $2,825,000
728 West Lionshead CIR #207 - $3,395,000
352 E Meadow Dr #Camp - fractional - $375,000