Boulder Real Estate Trends: A Historical Look at Price Per Square Foot

With such turbulence in the real estate market, it can be hard to follow pricing trends week to week. The average listing price in Boulder, for example, fell by more than $30,000 in the last 4 weeks. Of course, that can be attributed to a range of factors including some of Boulder's high-end inventory going off the market due to a successful sale or sellers withdrawing their homes from the market.

Real conclusions on the Boulder real estate market can be drawn by looking at what the more recent data shows compared to data that spans a significant period of time. I also think it's helpful to look at a common denominator like price per square foot. In a college town like Boulder, there exists a wide range of inventory from 1-bedroom bungalows to college condos to large multi-million-dollar residences.

Because my team at Boulder's Sotheby's International Realty office primarily specializes in luxury real estate, I am most curious about the price-per-square-foot statistics of Boulder's larger homes that fall into the upper pricing tier.

Below are two charts that show the average price-per-square-foot trends of 4-bedroom homes in Boulder over the last 5 years and over the last 12 months:

Boulder average price per square foot

Boulder average price per square foot

The 5-year chart shows slow, consistent growth over time with a major spike in late 2008 due to a few significant luxury sales that slightly skew the data. The 1-year chart, though a bit sporadic in appearance, shows that price-per-square-foot for Boulder homes has varied by no more than $29 per square foot in the last 12 months. Despite a very volatile market, the Boulder real estate market has held its own in terms of price per square foot, and that is an encouraging sign as we look ahead.

Just for some perspective on how stable the Boulder market has proven to be, here's a chart that shows what the Scottsdale, AZ, real estate market's price-per-square-foot stats look like in the last 5 years. Its price-per-square-foot has bounced between $167 and $1081...and today is back where it started 5 years ago at $167. (I realize Scottsdale is a larger market than Boulder but it's average listing price and sale price have historically been quite similar):

Scottsdale average price per square foot

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