Boulder Inventory and Condo Sales Up, House Sales Fall [Analyze This]

by Osman Parvez
Let's talk about market conditions. 

A couple of weeks ago, I analyzed the Boulder real estate market by comparing negotiated discounts, price per square foot, and sales volume. If you haven't read that post, click HERE. It shows a slight cooling in market activity, quarter over quarter. 

Data is available for April. Here's an update. 

Condo and town home sales show an 11.8% increase for April, year over year. House sales are down 9.2%. Monthly activity for a small market like Boulder is typically volatile, but this does continue and deepen the trend that I noted in the first quarter. 

Let's dig a little deeper. 

May is the start to the summer selling season. When you look back at inventory conditions for this month over the past several years, a clear trend is visible. Inventory for houses is up 9.4% this year. Last year, the inventory gain was 11.9%. Based on last month's sales and current inventory, the market has 4.2 months of house inventory (trailing data).

For condos, it's a different story. Inventory is up 1%, meaningless from last year, but '15 to '16 saw a more substantial 12.6% decline. Going forward, expect this to rise markedly as The Peloton begins to list and sell ~200 rental units. Right now, the market has 3.5 months of supply based on April sales volume and current inventory - still very low by historical standards. 

I've got more charts to analyze and discuss, including a detailed breakdown of availability by price range. Stay tuned for more blog posts in coming days. 

About the data: Since the breakup of MLS data sharing, information has been a little harder to aggregate and analyze. We've re-started tracking inventory in both systems. As of this writing, IRES has almost double the data of ReColorado in Boulder County.

For the charts above, the data source is exclusively IRES to avoid duplicates. Affordable housing is excluded. Data is also for Boulder proper, which includes several locations that have not yet been annexed, and excludes Gunbarrel (i.e. Heatherwood and the Boulder Country Club neighborhoods). 

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  1. I've been reading your blog and if you buy something in the "entry-level," what do you mean by this? Would this is a basic ranch for under 700K? In that market and at those price points, can you be reasonably certain we are NOT in a bubble in Boulder? Can we expect houses at those price points to not go down much even if we're due for a correction soon?

    Question 2 - Say we buy in that market as people with mobile jobs - how easy is it to live in a house temporarily & flip it into an investment property i.e. rent out a home in Boulder for like $2400-3000/month? Where do we get the data on vacancies, average rent for a 3br ranch, etc?

  2. Question 1: Yes. For more details and confidence, talk to your Realtor, preferably one who is also an investor and understands the meaning of fiduciary responsibility. If you don't have one, feel free to call me.

    Question 2: See question #1.


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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.