ASPEN, Colo.—Home sales in the Aspen area are surging even though the housing market is in a slump nationwide.

Real estate officials say annual sales from 2009 and 2010 will be easily topped this year. Real estate officials say total sales topped $1 billion in October, an increase of 19 percent over the same period last year.

In September alone, 86 real estate transactions were valued at more than $137 million.

However, it isn't all good news. According to the Aspen Daily Times ( http://bit.ly/rt8WAR), Land Title Guarantee Co.'s report noted there were 45 bank sales of property in Pitkin County for a total of $30 million through the first three quarters of 2011.

The Associated Press