Boulder Colorado real estate analysis and trends

Boulder Colorado real estate analysis – Look before you leap!

Every now and then I publish data. Charts, graphs, analysis and of course my opinion. To be honest, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist and I’m the first to admit that my fellow Realtor’s and I all have access to the same data. What?  I’m no different than the next guy/gal?  Sure I am!  🙂

I may not be the quickest or the flashiest when it come to blogging my Boulder Colorado real estate analysis, but I religiously follow the market and use the information to better my clients. While I might be slogging away on Excel at 8pm some nights, you won’t often find it published the next day. That’s because I am using that (often very specific) information for a particular client. I’m studying a neighborhood, zip code or school district with the sole intent on helping my buyer determine whether they;

A) Want to place and offer to buy

B) How much they want to pay for it

While the last 18 months have often consisted of one diabolical multiple offer scenario after another, I am very pleased to say that more than half of my buyer clients have closed deals on properties for under asking price! No… Not after renegotiating during inspection or appraisal either. Why?  How?  By really, really getting to the bottom of the data. Being able to demonstrate why our offer is fair and logical. At the end of the negotiation the seller is not unhappy and is usually  involved in a rather delightful and friendly buyer-seller relationship… All the way to a successful closing!

And that data?  I don’t publish it while the client is still looking, or still under contract.  If it is not too dated and might help someone else, then for sure, I will publish it in good time, but only when it cannot hinder the deal or work against the best interests of my current clients in any foreseeable way.

I digress. It’s time to take a bird’s eye view of Boulder. Think of it like the Google satellite view – lots of information, but the devil is in the details so if you have questions or need to drill down further, email me please.

 Boulder Colorado real estate analysis : Detached Dwellings


Boulder Colorado real estate analysis detached dwellings

There is quite of a bit of info in this first chart. The left axis is the number of sold, detached properties in any given quarter (corresponding blue bars). No surprises to see that numbers go down in winter and up in spring/summer. This is the Boulder Colorado real estate cycle. It has variations but is fairly predictable in its pattern.

What has changed in the last year is that there have not been as many sold properties, compared to the year before. Not because of lending or job insecurities or buyers simply wanting to wait for less of a sellers market. The reason is low inventory. There has not been enough supply to meet buyer demand. This has been evidenced most months by absorption data. The housing inventory we have is being absorbed. There are not a whole lot of properties left at the end of the month that have not got under contract.

Boulder Colorado real estate analysis detached dwellings

Looking at the supply and demand “issue” that Boulder Colorado – and much of the entire state- has been experiencing, it’s easy to see why we had multiple offer scenarios so frequently and why sellers (and their listing agents) felt optimistic when deciding on the list price! For example, if there are three buyers for every one house for sale, the competition pushes up the purchase price.  You’ll see in the above chart how our Median Sales Price has just kept going up . But competition is not just responsible for increased purchase prices; We also see more well qualified buyers. Cash is not uncommon, but neither is 20-40% down payment.  In order to compete with buyers equally well qualified, some relinquish inspection rights, appraisal contingencies (if able) and become more flexible with all sorts of deadlines. Whatever tips the scale in their favor during a competitive bid situation.

Sounds perfect if you are the seller, right?  Yes and no.  Get greedy and the dynamic changes.  An overpriced home (for the value it brings) will sit. It may initially receive an offer, but after the adrenaline wears off and the buyer takes stock of what they have agreed to pay, then has a chance to spend more time in the house, you can bet that a termination (using the inspection contingency) might follow.  For very overpriced properties, there was never a flood of showings or competitive offers. Even if the seller reduces the price later, it’s too late to recapture those first “golden two weeks”.

If you blow the first impression, you lose money! Plain and simple. A property with higher than our (very short) average, Days on Market figure looks suspicious to a buyer who is now used to this market. Why hasn’t it sold? What is wrong with it? It’s a common reaction.  Human nature is to want something if other people do and steer clear of it if other people do. After all, that sensibility kept us alive once upon a time – and our survival instincts are in-bedded in our subconscious.

Boulder CO sellers, are you wondering if you have missed the boat this season? … This sellers market?  I don’t think so. There is still time to get it ready and list.  There are still buyers and despite the general slow down that the winter months bring, real estate is sold year round here.  But you’ll need a good agent. A goal (destination) and a plan (map) to get there.  It is too late to look for a map when you are already lost!  Your agent can help you get ready, get listed, get sold.  Don’t forget, you are moving too, so that goal (the new house or relocation) must integrated into the selling plan.  Think about your contingencies and cover your bases. Good guidance through the sell-buy-move journey will reduce stress, save money and use time efficiently.


Boulder Colorado real estate analysis : Attached Dwellings


Boulder CO real estate analysis  attached dwellings

Boulder Colorado real estate analysis of condos/townhomes show the exact same seasonality and likewise, the sold numbers are down compared to a year ago… but to a lesser extent than the detached homes.

Could it be that the market for condos is less affected by the market because it is so closely tied to CU and Naropa? Having a regular turn over of students means rental/investment properties and kiddie condos (ask me about these little lending gems) tend to stabilize the condo market. For many parents and investors the sold price is just one of the factors they consider. Vacancy rate, tax advantages, CU school year and graduation deadlines and the general well-being of a dependent are all considerations too.

Boulder Colorado real estate analysis attached dwellings

Check out the Days on Market stats. Price that condo to sell and watch it go!  The Boulder CO market changed most decidedly from a buyers market to a sellers market in the first quarter of 2012.  Since then average DOM has dropped, and my guess is the number sold would be higher, if the inventory levels had been able to keep up. Can you imagine if you were in the market to buy a condo in late 2011?

Parents of students… This may have been you.  The young adult you used to call your kid, is getting ready to graduate so it might be time to think about selling.  If it makes more sense to sell now rather than wait for graduation (when you’ll most assuredly have more competition) then call me. Every year I list condos around the time of graduation.  It’s a tough time to show, because your student is either studying for finals or preparing for graduate and hosting family. Boulder is flooded with people, but they are generally not increasing the number of showings IMHO. They are too busy!

Don’t rule out the fact you can sell your condo now or early in 2015, transfer the lease to the new owner and have little disruption to your tenants. Investors love properties that come already leased! Your investment has done it’s job. It kept safe your loved one, provided you with tax benefits and removed the unpleasant taste of paying high rent to another landlord. Not only that, but you are probably going to come out ahead with sales price, which is not something that has been strong in the last 10 years of the Boulder condo market.


Boulder Real Estate Overview: What did August 2014 look like?

# SOLD 75 69
# INVENTORY 225 157
Average Days to Contract 33 34
Average Sales Price $769,000 $322,000
Median Sales Price $630,000 $280,000




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