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Economic Snapshot: A Look at Boulder County Real Estate (October 2014)

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A look at the current real estate market; provided by RE/MAX Alliance on Walnut.  

As we trek toward the end of another year, and the beginning of a new season, this is an opportune time to reflect back on what has happened over the course of the past nine plus months in the Boulder Valley real estate market.

If it could be defined in one word that word might be “stability”.

There were no major ups and downs in the real estate market this year. Mortgage interest rates remained in a fairly narrow range of 4% to 4.5% for the traditional fixed rate thirty year loan. Bank foreclosures and short sales were here and there, but they didn’t dominate the airwaves or the print media as they have in recent years. Home values appeared to plateau in late spring after consistently increasing the past two to three years. New home builders continued to churn up virgin soil, but by mid-summer they had overbuilt and were offering buyer incentives for standing inventory. Lenders had money to lend and were advertising no cost refinance loans for qualified buyers.

On the sales side, 2014 is somewhat mirroring 2013 in the number of sales of single family homes and attached units. For Boulder County, through September/2014 there have been 2,552 single family home sales and 1,074 attached unit sales – a total of 3,626. Through September/2013 there were 2,785 single family home sales and 1,085 attached unit sales – a total of 3,870. The combined market is down approximately 6.31% YTD in sales versus through September/2013.

The Federal Reserve continues to tip toe around raising short term interest rates, which would have an impact on long term interest rates. One day the economy is on the path to recovery and the next day Chicken Little has made an appearance and “the sky is falling”.

The world has grown much smaller over the course of the past fifty years and what happens in a remote corner of the world can affect things on a global scale. In our little corner of the world, the Boulder Valley, we’ve been blessed with a relatively stable economy, an exceptional quality of life, and the freedom of choice. Each of these things bodes well for the area real estate market moving forward.

Reflecting on the past often gives direction to the future. In some ways it’s a guide to determining where the path has led us and provides us with a sense of what lies ahead. As we’ve seen in the challenging years of Boulder Valley real estate from 2009 through 2011, the path isn’t always smooth; sometimes there are bumps that hinder our progress.

Change is inevitable, but stability can be a good thing. There’s a certain degree of comfort in knowing tomorrow may look somewhat like today.

As we venture forth on the Boulder Valley real estate path, there are no bumps currently evident lying in wait on the horizon. For the balance of 2014 and into early 2015 look for the inventory of available homes for sale to continue to seasonally decline, mortgage interest rates to remain stable and affordable, new home construction to maintain a rational pace, and home values to settle for the winter months.

If one had a crystal ball and could predict the future what would one see for the local real estate market as 2015 makes its presence known? Will it be another year of stability? Time will tell.

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