According the the Boulder Area RealtorsÂ® Association, on a year-over-year basis ending March 31, average house sale prices (not including "attached dwellings") were up 4.9 percent and median sales prices were up 7.6 percent.
But you always have to look a little deeper than simple percentages to fully understand the numbers. During the last 12 months we have seen much more activity in the low and mid price ranges.
With more competition and sometimes even bidding wars for individual houses, we have seen much upward pressure in these price ranges below $500,000.
On the other hand, we are just recently starting to see some real activity in the higher price ranges. Since many of these homes have been on the market longer (and sometimes on several occasions) price increases in the high price ranges are more moderate and there probably are even some ranges where the prices are now on average lower than a year previous.
In essence, we are seeing some compression of the overall Lafayette price range with lower and mid range homes moving upward more rapidly than higher priced homes. It is hard to tell where this will take us in the long run.
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
The picture that is emerging is one of price movement in the single digit range of 5 to 7.6 percent. What kind of meaningful information can you derive from reports like the one you site?
The Longmont Realtors Association is quoting a y-o-y increase of 5 percent in your neighboring community. I'm not surprised at all to read the Boulder area average up 7.6.
In isolation, these statistics seem to tell different stories. However, I looked at stats from IRES, the multiple listing service, and the information is far more expansive. What it reveals is inventory and the pace of sales are down. It's the old story of supply and demand that is producing price movement. In other words, the availability of fewer homes is bringing higher prices. Agents say they are seeing multiple offers in some instances.
The numbers do favor the lower end of the market. IRES shows 61 unit sales for the first quarter of 2012 for Lafayette, a much smaller sampling area than surrounding cities. In that three-month period, sales volume was reported 31 percent higher with the median price 22 percent higher.
If you want a closer study, a Lafayette office might have that. An individual can pull up several listings sold for those two years. Up here, I can tell you the difference in the market is night and day. Activity is up. Sales are up and inventory is down. That's fairly consistent across the better markets in the nation.
If I were to draw you an imaginary chart for the past 10 years, it would like a hockey stickr. The closely watched Case-Schiller numbers have the overall Denver market prices spiking over the past two years. And there are still buyers coming.
The press focuses a lot on Boulder. However, Boulder is not where the bulk of real estates are occurring. In fact, the Lafayette-Erie area is very active. Longmont and the Firestone area have been very active. Firestone quintupled in size over the last 10 years.
Longmont is also said to be growing faster than other "best cities" (Fort Collins, Broomfield and Boulder).
The real estate crash came about the time the crosshairs were painted on Erie. With the completion of C-470, Erie became especially attractive. Erie will grow by 5,000 homes in coming years. And, this project may catapult other developments in the area. Erie will have infrastructure for commercial development along I-25. This puts the tiny town in a very good position to cash in on the interstate corridor.
Lafayette is bound to see spillover growth. Meanwhile, Lafayette has had some interesting developments of its own. Ball Aerospace has been moving employees to a facility there.
Over the last year, I would say a lot! Did you read the news article on Ball Aerospace moving employees to Lafayette?
Lafayette does seem to get missed when talking about the area, but it's a very attractive community. Lafayette has Boulder Valley Schools. It has shopping. It's a great place to stop for a bite to eat or coffee at its restaurants.
I haven't studied Lafayette in the last few months. I've been all over Louisville, though.
With that said, buyers always should shop around. But shopping is lightning fast these days. The way to approach the markets - Lafayette, Louisville, Erie and other communities surrounding Longmont - is to become acquainted with the neighborhoods. Have a talk with a Realtor and hone in on your needs and what suits you.
Once you have chosen a Realtor, that's when you want to take an eye at prices and actual homes.
Call Suz: 720.810.0683
The market in Lafayette is exploding. I follow Anna's Farm and Greenlee Park closely because I live in Greenlee Park and was in the sales office at Anna's Farm for its first two years (and continue to stay in touch with many folks there). Homes are selling in the first day on the market in some cases this past month, and at record high prices. I would be happy to do an analysis using the actual stats from the MLS for you. I enjoy analyzing the facts. Yet I need to stop myself from slicing and dicing the numbers randomly, preferring to look for a certain reason. I can tell you stories of several homes that just went under contract that are amazing. I don't want to make this message too long. Contact me at 303-507-7001 for specifics.
I think Dave Janis provided good input. Values on the west side are higher than in east Lafayette and comparing square footage is no guage at all when considering homes of vastly different design, age, lot sizes and the beautiful views you get from many parts of Lafayette...wow!
I live in the large Indian Peaks community of Lafayette which has townhomes through luxury homes. I see homes at the lower end of the price spectrum (townhomes and smaller single family) selling now.
It is definitely a good time to buy but it is a 'seller's market' so I have this advice for buyers. Follow a top down process to selecting your home. First develop a comprehensive list of wants/needs, likes/dislikes and lifestyle to define what you are really looking for first. (a big question is whether you are looking for a 'house' or a 'lifestyle'). Then, review the neighborhoods/areas that fit these wants/needs so you know where to look. Then go 'neighborhood shopping' with your agent to pick out the neighborhoods/areas you want to target. Once you know where you want to be, then start shopping for homes in those areas. A good agent can stay on top of new listings in those areas and get you into them as they come on the market. If you would like, I can help walk you through this process.
Happy house hunting!
I see the market really getting exciting and prices improving. I have a fortunate story - I listed a townhouse at $255,000 on Tuesday morning, received a call for a showing an hour later and it went under contract by the next morning. Another good story: a home in Anna's Farm just sold at $415,000 (listed at $420,000), the highest resale price there yet.
I rarely START with comparing sq. ft. prices because you never know if you are comparing apples to apples. Some people enter 'finished' square footage in the total sq. footage field for example. And basement square footage is not as valuable as above ground square footage, so how do you compare a home with no basement to one with a basement that has the same square footage?
Looking at the fact that homes are selling faster this year (less Days on Market) tells you that we are shifting to a Seller's market.
I would have to do some real digging in the MLS to answer whether some neighborhoods are increasing more than others.
I would be happy to do comps for you for a certain neighborhood or a few.
Are you now wondering about selling or buying (even though your user name indicates buying i am curious what is your main concern)?
Condition of the home and pricing a home right at the start of the listing are the important factors in buying or selling the home at the right price (pricing includes the factor of location).
Statistics recently released by the Boulder Area RealtorÂ® Association for the second quarter of this year show that Lafayette house sales jumped from 73 last year to 99 this year. Sales of condos and townhouses fell from 27 to 24. Average house prices were up 10.4 percent (from $360,124 to $397,754) while the median jumped 23.8 percent (from $302,000 to $373,765). Average "attached dwelling prices rose 10.8 percent while median prices rose 17 percent.
As I mentioned in a previous post, one should be careful interpreting these figures because buying patterns can influence average and median figures as much as actual prices of individual houses.
Still, I can't believe improvements in this range can be explained strictly by buyers moving to bigger houses. Much of it must be influenced by the fact that more buyers are chasing less inventory. It will be very interesting to see how 2013 starts out.
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
For Sale - Available - Under Contract - Percent Under Contract
$100,000 - $200,000 18 - 8 - 10 - 56%
$200,000 - $300,000 53 - 25 - 28 - 53%
$300,000 - $400,000 31 - 19 - 12 - 39%
$400,000 - $500,000 24 - 8 - 16 - 67%
$500,000 - $600,000 18 - 9 - 9 - 50%
$600,000 - $700,000 12 - 7 - 5 - 42%
$700,000 - $800,000 7 - 6 - 1 - 14%
$800,000 - $1,000,000 13 - 9 - 4 - 31%
$1,000,000 - $1,200,000 5 - 5 - 0 - 0%
$1,200,000 - $2,000,000 1 - 1 - 0 - 0%
First of all, prices have not increased 22.9% in Lafayette. I would say at most, you are looking in the 5% range. By looking at a number like price per sq ft over such a short time frame (one month), you do not always get an accurate picture. Perhaps last May, really big houses sold and this May, really small houses sold - this would skew the statistic significantly.
2nd - unless you are looking at condos in a city, price per sq ft is not really an accurate number. For Lafayette, price per sq ft is pretty much irrelevant with the buyers I work with. The biggest factors in price have more to do with location, lot size, and condition. A 2000 sq ft house on a 15,000 sq ft lot on the West side of Lafayette will sell for double or triple what a 2000 sq ft house on a 3,000 ft lot on the East side of Lafayette. If you based the prices off 2000 sq ft the East side would be overpriced and the West Side under priced.