The following economic snapshot was provided by Re/Max Alliance on Walnut.
Since the peak year of 2005, the Boulder Valley real estate market has been climbing a steep hill back to respectability. It has been a slow process. Sales activity in years 2006 through 2009 were on a downward spiral. The market stabilized in 2009 through 2011, then began an upward shift in 2012. This past year we saw market activity approach 2007 in Boulder County for single family home sales (3,491 vs. 3,570) and attached unit sales (1,329 vs. 1,426). The market is still about 17% behind 2005 sales numbers, but headed in the right direction.
Below is an overview of sales activity for the past two years for single family homes in the various Boulder Valley areas, courtesy of IRES – the Northern Colorado MLS.
In looking at the Boulder County real estate market in 2013, there were several things that characterized it.
- Inventory continued to be at historic lows. The year ended with 17% fewer active listings than at the end of 2012 (679 vs. 814); 39% fewer active listings than at the end of 2011 (679 vs. 1,121); and 50% fewer listings than at the end of 2010 when the market bottomed out (679 vs. 1,353).
- Home mortgage interest rates trended up beginning in late June. The traditional thirty-year fixed rate loan started 2013 at 3.42% and ended the year at 4.48%. For an average priced home of $481,530 (from above), with 20% down ($96,306), the monthly principle & interest payment on a $385,224 mortgage increased $234.63 ($1,947.30 vs. $1,712.67).
- Scarcity creates demand and home values improved across the board in all geographic areas and most price ranges. As noted above, the average price was up 9.25% in 2013 vs. 2012. That’s a little better than what banks were paying on savings accounts (less than 1%). Real estate was a good investment.
- New home construction continued to be a viable part of the marketplace. Communities like Louisville and Lafayette focused on in-fill projects, while Erie saw new home subdivisions sprout along its borders.
- Bank foreclosures and short sales no longer dominated the airwaves and the press. There were still some out there, but they weren’t as prevalent as a few years ago.