Sotheby's Shutters Aspen Real Estate Office
In what is a sure sign that the luxury property market in Aspen, Colorado has finally hit rock bottom, Sotheby's International Realty is closing its office there next week. "We are going out of business," managing partner Mike Russo tells the Aspen Times. "We couldn't scale back enough to survive." Back in November my colleague Deidre Woollard reported that Aspen's property market was in free fall. The dollar volume of real estate sales in Aspen plunged by a whopping 46 percent in 2008 versus 2007. Despite scaling back its operation, Sotheby's Aspen lost $60 million worth of deals that were under contract to sell in October and November, which put the nail in the coffin. "We didn't know it would decline to this level," Russo says.