Boulder Real Estate Sales Statistics: Comparing this January to last

With the first full month of 2009 behind us, we finally have some solid data that we can use to draw some comparisons between the Boulder real estate market today and the Boulder real estate market a year ago. My team and I have spent a lot of time this week analyzing the data and what it means for the sellers and buyers we work with in the Boulder real estate market every day. Here's a brief snapshot of single-family residential sales statistics for the City of Boulder and some generalizations that can be made from this data:

  • Sales volume is down 50% despite a 10% increase in available inventory: The total number of single-family residences sold in January 2008 was 40 compared to only 20 in January 2009, and that's not because there are fewer homes on the market. The number of active listings last January was 331 compared to 363 this January...a 10% spike in available inventory.

  • Homes are taking 41% longer to go under contract: For listings that went under contract in January 2008, the average number of days between the time a property went on the market to the day it went under contract was 93. This January, listings were on the market for an average of 131 days before going under contract...that's 41% longer than last years 'days-to -contract' average.

  • The median and average sales prices have increased despite market conditions: Despite all the bad news, the Boulder housing market continues to make lemonade out of lemons. The median sales price for homes sold in January 2008 was $585,000 compared to $635,900 for homes sold in January 2009. That's an 8.7% increase. The average sales price jumped 15.8% from $685,002 in January 2008 to $792,946 in January 2009.
The bottom line is that homes are still selling in Boulder and thankfully the Boulder housing market hasn't experienced the horrible depreciation that other luxury markets around the country have seen. But I strongly caution sellers in today's market not to assume Boulder is immune to the nation's economic crisis. Sellers must have realistic expectations and a lot more patience than they're used to having if they've sold homes in Boulder before. I've been in this market long enough to remember the days when I put a sign in a yard and rushed back to the office to respond to messages from serious buyers wanting to see the home. Those days, at least for now, are gone.

There's no magic formula that will make a home sell overnight...it's all about having the best home at the best price. Buyers are out there but they are a sophisticated breed. They are looking to buy because they know there are deals to be had. If you're thinking of selling but aren't willing to deal, my advice is to sit tight. Boulder will fair this storm better than most cities and sellers will again have the upper hand, but that's just not the market we're in right now.

In my next few blogs I'm going to look at these same sales statistics for areas outside of Boulder....Longmont, Niwot and the mountain areas in Boulder County. It's amazing how just a few miles from the city of Boulder can have completely different sales statistics...more on that to come!

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