Chautauqua Market Update [Analyze This]

by Osman Parvez
Thinking about buying or selling a house in Chautauqua? Smart real estate decisions are based on a detailed understanding of the market. 

Let's take a closer look...   

Chautauqua is a Boulder neighborhood bounded by Baseline, Broadway, and Open Space. Prices start at about $1MM with pricier homes dominating upper Chautauqua along Bellevue and Mesa Canyon Drive.   

Note: Unlike the dirty data you'll find elsewhere, the data I put together for the charts below has been carefully aggregated and scrubbed.   

This chart shows sales volume for houses for the past six years. There are no condos or town homes in this low density neighborhood. At the time of writing this post, 2015 is not quite over as of yet, so I've included two pending sales which will likely close shortly. 

As you can see from the chart, the market recovery was in full swing by 2012. Since that time, the neighborhood has experienced fairly consistent turnover. Between 20 and 25 houses sell each year.

This next chart shows average sale price (orange) and percentage change (blue) for the same time period. The average price of houses in this neighborhood have skyrocketed from around $680,000 to over $1.1MM this year. 

The percent change in average price (i.e. appreciation) has ranged from a high of 16.1% in 2011 to a low of 8.5% in 2012. A solid performance. 

One of the most important questions smart buyers should ask their Realtor is about depth of market activity in the given price range. The chart above shows sale price distribution over time in Chautauqua. As you can see, substantial depth of market exists towards the lower end but as prices exceed $2MM, it becomes thin - very thin. Only eight houses have crossed the $2MM threshold since 2010.

If you're a buyer considering a purchase in the $2MM+ range, and you care about capital preservation, you might want to take a pause and consider alternative locations in Boulder with a track record showing greater depth of market. To point, the only homes currently available exceed this price threshold. The ones priced below it are under contract. 

Let's take a look at what's currently on the market including pending sales. Remember, to schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation and price trends, call Osman at 303.746.6896.

Available Inventory

233 Bellevue Drive | $1,500,000 | More Details 
This is an interesting patch of steep hillside on Bellevue drive. The size of the parcel is reasonable and the adjacent neighbor has built a very attractive home (195 Bellevue is also available for purchase, see below). The steepness of the lot poses some architectural and construction challenges.   This particular parcel has an interesting history. It was marketed near the peak of the past two real estate cycles.   The seller must be very patient. Let's hope this listing isn't a sign of the top of the market cycle. Not a bad perch for your trophy home, assuming you're willing to take construction and regulatory risk. Better yet, buy this AND the house next door and protect your views. 

385 Broadway Street | $1,980,000 | More Details 
One of the few non residential properties in Chautauqua. It's an interesting office for an end user that wants high visibility from Broadway. Not really part of the neighborhood but worth mentioning for its unique potential.   

175 Bellevue Drive | $2,750,000 | More Details  
Originally listed at $3MM almost a year ago. Great views, a decent size footprint, and interesting architecture. Save some budget for interior remodeling. It doesn't look like it's been touched since Lyndon B. Johnson was in office.  

437 18th Street | $2,850,000 | More Details
The EVP and General Counsel of Vail Resorts bought this house in the spring of 2014 for $2.6MM. It sits on a generous sized lot and has a solid layout, loads of space, and lots of thoughtful high-end details. Asking price is reasonable given market conditions. The seller also has fine taste in automobiles so maybe it carries over. Worth a look. 

195 Bellevue Drive | $3,475,000 | More Details
Originally listed for $3.9MM and coming up on two years on market. If you're considering this, buy the neighboring perch and develop it to complement or lock it down to protect your investment. As for the house, it's stunning. The design frames views from multiple perspectives, beautiful detail, architecturally interesting, and recent construction. In essence, this house is turn-key. The only negative to such a perch is the slippery slope into and out of the property.  Make sure your snow tires are studded. 

517 15th Street | $3,690,000 | More Details  
This house is much talked about in Boulder historic preservation circles for regulation loopholes. The little cottage remains in front. Behind it, a massive modern structure. On the market for almost a year, originally offered at $4MM.    

Pending Sales

1836 Baseline Road | $1,295,000 | More Details
On the market in July for $1.4MM and then withdrawn before relisting at $1.3MM a month later. Everything is on the main level, which Boomers prefer. Solid location in the neighborhood. 

1920 Bluebell Avenue | $1,890,000 | More Details
I wrote about this house a month ago when it first hit the market (see Is it Worth +$1MM?). The lot was purchased for about $500K and original house was scraped. The layout and size of this house hits the sweet spot for many buyers. Easy access to Chautauqua trails and not far from Whole Foods. No surprise it's gone.  

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The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

Please Note

This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.