|Sun Valley, Idaho: Sales of high-priced homes hold their own|
Updated 11/28/2006 3:21 AM ET
That’s hardly a concern for stars such as Demi Moore, Tom Hanks and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who have second (or third or fourth) homes there. But it’s a problem for working-class families in this ski resort area, who have to commute to Sun Valley from towns that have affordable housing.
Sales of homes in Sun Valley and the adjacent town of Ketchum that are priced over $2 million are holding their own right now.
But the rest of the market — with sales in the area down 50% from last year — looks as scary as a black-diamond slope.
"I’ve been in real estate here for 18 years," says Mia Edsall, an agent at Paragon Properties in the southern part of the valley. "I’ve seen it slow but never like this. There are no buyers, and the reason there are no buyers is because they can’t sell the house they have. A lot of us (agents) are getting second jobs."
A redevelopment plan for downtown Ketchum calls for more-affordable housing and hotels, says Jim Figge, president of the Sawtooth Board of Realtors in Blaine County, which includes Sun Valley.
"It’s geared toward reinvigorating our commercial and retail core," he says.
Local officials, Figge says, want to shift Sun Valley’s image away from that of the staid, second-home retirement community it’s becoming.
The most expensive
Mac and Helen Whiting are selling this 2-acre hilltop estate, designed by Neil Wright and built in 1980, for $12.5 million. The sellers are also offering the two adjoining 1-acre lots for an extra $8.5 million.
Price: $21 million
This two-story house, built in 2001, is on the market.