Boulder CO Real Estate not slowing down!
If you are a Realtor reading this, then chances are your buyers and my buyers are waiting in the same wings. Left over from last year, they are poised to pounce when the right property comes on the market this year. My buyers are wiser, stronger and motivated than ever… And their “What if I buy the wrong house?” anxieties that pop up early in the process have been replaced with “What if interest rates rise a lot this year? How will that affect my qualification/monthly payment?” or “Is the price of Boulder CO real estate rising faster than I can save for the down payment?”
Yes, inventory has been rising in the last few weeks, but so has renewed buyer interest. Last week a house on 32nd St in Martin Acres went under contract before it hit the MLS. Currently showing a list price of $620,000, we have no real reason to suspect the contract price is much different. This home is a brick ranch originally featured the standard 1050 SF and 3 beds/1 bath, but this home had a master suite addition off the back added a while back and boasts a 4th bedroom and increased square footage. (Around 1400 square feet total.)
My guess in Q4 of 2015 was our median sold price would take a staggering hike from $685,000 to the high $700K’s. It did.
Data released just yesterday confirms that the new Median Sold Price for detached dwellings in Boulder was $795,000 in 2015!
And buyers are quicker and quicker to pay these new higher prices!
Put some real life perspective on the Boulder CO real estate market
As you are all aware, we had a little burp in the market 2007 – 2011. I call it a little burp because quite frankly much of the rest of the United States was suffering and Boulder never really learned the meaning of the word. While our equity might have gone backwards at the high end of the market (>$1,000,000) the lower end simply stagnated or saw meager appreciation. Boo hoo! That’s not the same as chronic widespread unemployment, massive amounts of foreclosures, jingle-keys in every neighborhood (ask me what jingle-keys were) and families struggling to choose whether to feed kids or make house payments. We were fortunate! And since then the high end has bounced back in a very strong way and the lower end has continued to boom with appreciation too.
In August 2007 I bought 285 Martin Drive. A 3 bedroom brick ranch that needed a little TLC and some updating. I paid $347,000 and at the time wondered if I was overpaying. It was the going rate but it was a lot of money for a run-down ranch in a “starter neighborhood” and there was talk of a “real estate bubble”. My interest rate was 7%. Yes, this Realtor hit the peak of the interest rates!!! As you can see from the chart above, the next few years were challenging for real estate in Boulder and although my little house was making modest gains, part of that was due to the sweat equity that I was putting in.
Fast forward to today and my house is cute. Remodeled, landscaped, more functional than before and certainly more energy efficient. Not only that, but this “starter neighborhood” has been going gang-busters, with buyers falling over themselves to buy in Boulder and buy in a community that is neighborly, conveniently located and dare I say it… Affordable (for Boulder).
Lesson learned: The Boulder CO real estate market while somewhat immune to the overall US economic downturns, has its ups and downs too. Even buying at what seems like the peak of prices and interest rates will pay off if your holding period is longer vs shorter (<5 years). Flippers beware. The market right now is not ideal for you and you need the right buying opportunity to make it work. Don’t rely on the selling market when you are done because it might have changed. Buyers who plan on staying a while. No problem!
Boulder offers residents a quality of life that is unparalleled. Four distinct seasons that can be enjoyed outdoors, strong startup community, progressive thinking and accepting people to surround oneself with, lots of federal buildings and CU Boulder (providing employment opportunities that are more insulated from economic downturns), proximity to Denver and all it offers, an international airport a short drive away and 300+ days of sunshine to make everyone smile! The city is smaller and more personal than most and surrounds itself with a doughnut of open space, insuring sprawl in or out is not an option… And thrusting upon the would-be buyers/sellers a supply and demand curve that is (not) enviable!
Whether you are a buyer or seller in Boulder CO in 2016, you will need accurate and timely information and an experienced hand to hold. This market is GREAT for those who know it, but a minefield without a map if you just wing it! For detailed information, analysis and guidance pertaining to your situation, get a Realtor… A good one. They pay for themselves and provide the peace of mind that money cannot buy anyway.
Call me for coffee and chat! Dallice: 303-746-6765