How's the Boulder Real Estate Market, Osman? [Analyze This]

The Boulder real estate market continues to rebound from the Covid-19 lock downs of two months ago. At House Einstein, we've been working with a record number of buyers and sellers. We appreciate your patience as new content has slowed. 

We're not apologizing. Clients come first. 

Our advice to our buyers and sellers is based on a detailed analysis of up to date real estate market conditions, similar to what you'll see below, but for their specific property, right down to the street level. 

Remember: intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. There are no short-cuts. 

Let's start at the macro level. The yellow line in the chart above shows the most recent sales volume (last twelve months) for Boulder County, combined detached and attached dwellings. That means all sold single family detached houses, condos, and townhomes. The blue shaded area represents the average of the preceding 3 years, on a monthly basis. 

2020 started off strong, with above average sales in January, February, and March. Then, came along SARS-COV2.  

With the lock down in place, not to mention deep concerns over the economy, April and May were massively below average. 

Although the data shows it was pretty bad, I'm actually surprised it wasn't worse. Look at how many sales actually occurred during lock-down. There were almost 600 sales during April and May. Pandemic or not, the real estate market kept rolling. 

But then came June. Sales volume rebounded strongly last month, but remained below the long term average. June ended with sales volume down only 2.7%, year over year (8.6% below average). 

Note: Most Realtors we have worked with over the past few months have taken extraordinary precautions. We schedule showings only for qualified, serious buyers. We also wear masks, sanitize, and avoid touching surfaces. To date, I am not aware of ANY real estate transaction related outbreaks or super spreader events in Colorado. 

Now let's look at active listings and pending sales, but with a narrower focus: single family, detached houses.  

The chart above shows inventory of single family, detached houses for sale in Boulder County. Again, the yellow line represents the last twelve months. The blue shaded area is the average. 

What happened last month? Inventory doesn't normally peak in May. A lot of people decided to not try to sell during a global pandemic. Inventory fell from 629 listings in May to 577 in June. Year over year, inventory was down 28.3%. Compared to the average, it was down 23.7%.  

Note: If you're curious about combined inventory (attached and detached), it also fell 20.8%, year over year, and 12.4%, compared to the average. 

What's in store for us this month? The leading indicator to track is pending sales. 

Last month, pending sales for single family, detached houses spiked upwards - +19.7%, year over year, and +23.9% than average. Anecdotally, this matches what we've been seeing on the ground with our clients: attractive, well priced houses are flying off the market. Louisville, strangely enough, has actually been more of a hotbed of (so called) bidding wars than Boulder. We shared some of that data in our recent video analysis of bidding wars.

Now, let's drill down a bit further, and look at data for the City of Boulder. 

Like the rest of the County, the City of Boulder saw a surprising dip in available homes for sale.  Last month, inventory dropped to 253 houses - down 20.9%, year over year and down 10.2%, compared to the average for the month. 

What about our favorite leading indicator: pending sales?  Another spike. Pending sales were +28.9%, year over year, and +36.4% compared to the three year average for the month. 

Thanks for the Covid-19 lockdown, a sizable portion of market activity that normally would have occurred in April and May, was pushed into June. Meanwhile, a number of potential sellers decided this wasn't the right time to sell. Once the market fully opened, the resulting buyer frenzy, over less than normal inventory, was a recipe for rapid appreciation. The data bears this out. There were a high number of listings that sold for well above asking during June. Some of this activity is continuing into July. 

As of this writing, 42% of single family houses in the City of Boulder are under contract. 54% of houses in the County are under contract. That's a fairly shocking statistic.  

Keep in mind, not all property types, price ranges, and locations experienced heightened activity. This is why it's so critical to drill down to your specific neighborhood, property type, price range, and location - BEFORE listing your home for sale or writing an offer. And remember: If your agent can't offer much beyond anecdotes and happy talk - get a better Realtor (why us).

Osman Parvez  is the Founder and Employing Broker of House Einstein. Originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York, he lives in Boulder with his wife and their Labrador Retriever. He has been a Realtor since 2005.

Osman is the primary author of the House Einstein blog with over 1,200 published articles about Boulder real estate. His work has also appeared in many other blogs about Boulder as well as mainstream newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and Daily Camera. For more information, click HERE.

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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. House Einstein strongly recommends 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.