Boulder, Colorado Home Prices – Are They on the Rise?

Boulder, Colorado home prices are on the rise… that’s the headline I read in an article today. Looking a little deeper it appeared as though they were simply comparing results from June of 2009 with June 2010, which may or may not present the whole story. There’s a saying in Boulder that it’s a “… great place to live, work and play”; homes in Boulder have also historically been a very sound real estate investment, so we wanted to take a closer look at how the Boulder real estate market has performed recently.

Our analysis is based on data from IRES as of 8/17/2010, and includes single-family resale statistics across all price ranges during the previous 12 months. The first indicator we looked at was the median price of a sold listing during this period, which reflected a relatively flat market with a decrease of 0.4%. The average price was actually up about 8.5% but we believe the fact that the average is more heavily influenced by extremes than the median, makes this a less reliable number. The real performance is likely much closer to the median.

The dynamics of the Boulder market over at least the last 12 months has been that the higher-end market (say $ 1M and over), has underperformed and tends to skew overall numbers such as days on market, sales-to-list-price ratio, absorption, etc., down. There are several years’ worth of inventory in that segment right now, for example, far different from the lower-end market.

Sometimes buyers and sellers will ask about the price per square foot data, which reflects an increase of about 7.5% in Boulder over the past 12 months. However, there are so many factors that affect the price per square foot – particularly in Boulder, CO, where there can be wide variances in age, lot size, quality, etc., that this indicator is hardly reliable across the board. With the price reductions that we’ve seen in some of the higher-end homes, we may be seeing those homes that sell influence this particular indicator and, again, skew the results.

Our inventory in Boulder tends to be seasonal and the past 12 months has been no exception. The overall volume of units for sale is down by 0.7%, but overall that part of the market has not see any wild swings. The number of units under contract and the number sold are both up, 1.28% and 25.7%, respectively, which is a good sign. And, the days on market, or DOM, has consistently come down over the past 12 months to an average of about 70 days at the end of July, the lowest level in over a year.

You can review individual charts reflecting Boulder home prices using this link. In general, what we see right now in Boulder is a real estate market that has not been immune to the broader economic downturn, but one that has also performed better than many markets across the country. It’s important to remember that different segments of the Boulder market reflect varying results, but Boulder can still tout the fact that it’s a great place to call home!

Phil Boren is a 26-year veteran real estate Broker and Realtor with RE/MAX of Boulder, the #1 RE/MAX office in the U.S. Sign up for our free monthly E-Zine to keep up with Boulder real estate. We also offer free resources for your move to Boulder, relocation videos, Boulder school info, Boulder neighborhood profiles, the ability to search the Boulder MLS for active and sold listings, foreclosures, short sales, Boulder open houses and more.

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