Sometimes examining long-term trends in a particular real estate market helps us make better sense of what is happening now.
And since we've been quite confused by recent price trends in Boulder, CO, we decided to do exactly that.
Like many areas across the U.S., Boulder is experiencing a seller's market so intense that buyers often bid listings up well above asking prices. This process started last year and has accelerated since.
Sometimes the lengths to which buyers will go seem downright irrational.Recently we learned an offer $15,000
over asking price would be rejected. We were gently informed that the offer was in fourth place.
To achieve a better perspective we looked at annual average and median sales in the Boulder City house market between 2002 until 2013. The figures from the Boulder Area Realtor Association exclude attached dwellings like condos and townhouses.
In 2002, an average Boulder house sold for $483,000. By 2013 the average had jumped to $757,000. Median prices rose from $405,000 to $631,000 over the same period.As you can see, Boulder had
a substantial run-up in average and median prices between 2002 and 2007.
Prices then cratered just a little between 2007 and 2012, but held up quite well when compared to other areas around the U.S.
Interestingly, if you draw a line between 2002 and 2013 you find that there are an equal number of bars below and above the line, which suggests 2013 was roughly on the longer trend.As for this year, we do have numbers
for the second quarter which show an average selling price of $829,000 for the quarter and a median of $695,000. But it is hard to compare figures from one quarter to numbers for full years.
Still, considering what we've seen so far this year, we would say there is a good chance 2014 will rise above the line we just drew, so there may be some leveling off in 2015 or 2016, or even a modest pullback.
But we do not expect a severe pullback if the economy continues to improve, if even slowly. Boulder is very landlocked becaue city government
shows little inclination to annex additional area for development.
And there is insufficient land available for additional residential development within the current municipal boundaries.
Everything suggests a slow expansion in Boulder's supply of housing.Yet Boulder remains a magnet
for people who relocate to Colorado.
With a major University, U.S. Government scientific facilities, a robust entrapreneural spirit, beautiful Flatirons views, abundant green space, great shopping and proximity to outdoor "adventure" opportunities, it seems unlikely Boulder will fall out of favor anytime soon.
Which tells us that house prices will continue to rise for at least the near term and probably longer.Ron Rovtar, dba Front Range Real Estate, Ltd., is a broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Real Estate of the
Rockies in Boulder, CO. Please call Ron with all your questions. He can be reached at 303.981.1617. To learn more about Ron, please visit his website. For more about life in Boulder County and nearby, check out our facebook page.
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