Boulder Real Estate Bargain Shopping? The Time is Now [Inventory Analysis]

by Osman Parvez
I just completed my inventory update for the week. The Boulder real estate market is doing interesting things, but there were no big surprises. Let's look at the data. 

Note: The analysis below is for detached houses in the City of Boulder. If you're looking for an analysis of market conditions for condos or townhomes, call me. If you want to see market conditions for specific properties or neighborhoods in Longmont, Lafayette, Niwot, Superior, or other areas in Boulder - again, call me. Contact information is at the bottom of the post. 

The orange line in the chart above represents houses that are under contract (both pending and active/backup status). The blue line shows houses that are available. The series goes back to June 1st, 2015 and continues to today, September 14th, 2016.

As a rule, real estate markets are both seasonal and cyclical. Boulder is no exception to the rule. Current inventory stands at 194 properties, down about 11% from last year at this time. From March through about mid June, the market is most favorable to sellers with far more buyers than available homes. Beginning in July, the market flips back. 

In this next chart (above), I've added red arrows so you can see it more clearly.

When I represent sellers, my goal is to maximize price and speed of sale while minimizing potential seller liability and risk of the deal falling apart. The pattern in the chart above repeats year after year (i.e. it's seasonal), which is why I always strongly recommend sellers list in March and do everything possible to have closed by the end of June. It's not that you can't sell at any time of year. You can. All things being the same, you'll get a higher price and bear fewer risks if you optimize your timing. Just be sure to choose a Realtor who knows what they're doing and loves the art of negotiation.

When I represent buyers, my goals are to provide honest advice on property selection and once we've found the right house, negotiate the best deal possible. I also provide guidance for complete and thorough due diligence. 

The mid 3rd and early 4th quarter have always provided the best opportunities for buyers because there are always sellers who misjudged the market (usually based on the advice of a bad Realtor) and are now desperate. This is one of the reasons I've highlighted big price reductions in my weekly posts on fresh listings but if you're serious about getting a deal, don't wait for the price reduction. As I told a client last night, it's far better to go after the listing before the seller agrees to a large drop and publishes the new price. You're not the only bargain shopper in the market. 

This last chart simplifies the inventory analysis even further. The black line represents the percentage of inventory under contract. Typically, the bottom occurs at the beginning of the 4th quarter, precisely the time that many sellers who blew the summer season are hating their life and willing to capitulate. 

Guess what time of year it is? If you're buying, let's find you a deal. The time is now.  

If you're considering selling, let's get a strategy in place to maximize the sale price. If you can hold out, you should wait for the spring but keep in mind that we're nearing the end of a cycle and it's an election year to boot. There is risk in waiting that may offset the benefit of timing it for the season. Call me for a consultation on how I can professionally market your home for the highest potential sale price.

-> Ready to buy or sell?  Schedule an appointment or call 303.746.6896. 

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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.