Q1 2020 Boulder Real Estate Market Update

Dated: 05/12/2020

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Hello everyone!

As I look over the Boulder real estate market for the first quarter of the year, I can begin to see how the pandemic influenced the market and what is likely to happen.  Briefly, starting mid-March we went into a market that looks very much like the holiday slow down period at the end of the year.

First what's happened in Boulder Real Estate:  

New Listings 1Q2020: nearly the same as last year. (down a negligible 0.4%) - Why? January started off much stronger than last year and has made up for March.  Yet early March was strong, resulting in only a 2.6% decline from last year.

Total homes for sale "on the market" 1Q2020: Unsurprisingly, from last year we see a 3.1 drop.  With the latter part of March contributing to most of the drop.  Compared to last march we're down 4.5%.  This one is obvious, as stay-at-home orders were put in place, many occupied homes and even some vacant homes were withdrawn from the market. 

Under Contract 1Q2020: for the quarter, we're down 6.2%, but looking at just March we're down by 1/3 of the volume (-34.4%) from last year.  A big part of this was uncertainty and the plummeting stock market.  The other very significant reason is that starting late March showings were no longer allowed.

Closings 1Q2020: Up.  Way up from last year (25.2%).  Even looking at March alone, we were up 11% from last year.  Why?  Don't forget this year's market started early and strong.  Last year we were still inventory constrained (ie, not enough homes for all the buyers to buy)  

Days On Market 1Q2020: Again, unsurprisingly up 26.2% compared to 1Q2019.  What's more surprising is that March is only up 5.4% compared to last year.  What's happened is not that homes are sitting longer now, it's that Jan & Feb were still going through the homes that didn't sell from last year (over-ambitious on price, or not the right marketing, etc)

Months of Inventory 1Q2020: This is probably my favorite metric - how long it takes to sell what's currently on the market.  We are up a very small amount 4.2% compared to 1Q2019.  Also unsurprising is that most of that is late March (up a not inconsiderable 45.5% to 3.2 months).  Now remember, anything less than 3 mo of inventory and we're in a hot seller's market.  3-6mo is considered balanced, and over 6mo of inventory is a buyers' market.  Now with very low inventory, one listing sitting on the market can greatly skew the numbers... we've seen this recently.  That is not what is happening now.  Remember no-showings from late March?  This is reflecting that. 

Now I know you're asking “Why are there home sales if no showings are allowed?”  Well, offers can be made sight unseen, and then once under contract homes are inspected/viewed.  See our previous blog post on this.

Sales price and List/Sale ratios 1Q2020: The Median Sales price is $767,250, up 12.3% from last years' quarter and the list/sale ratio is only down 0.7% to 98.2%  Looking at just March, like closings above, we started off with a hot selling year early January.  Yet just for March (which is still BC deals!) the sales price is up 7% with a median list/sale ratio of 98.9% (which is only down 1.1% from last year). Again, as  with closings above this year's market started early and strong.  

Now where is Boulder real estate going?​ 

​Well, my crystal ball is a little cloudy. As stay-at-home is becom​ing safer-at-home and showings & photography are once again allowed, we expect to see people continue to sell and buy homes. We actually expect to see more downsizing and upsizing than in prior years.  We also are still seeing a strong demand from investors doing 1031 exchanges and relocation buyers.  

How can this be with everyone being unemployed?  Well, Boulder County has 8 very different employment sectors.  And while the Restaurants / entertainment /retail and outdoor sectors have taken a big hit, education, tech, marketing, energy, farming/ranching, natural foods (including marajuana, beer, and liquor) have not seen huge layoffs and many employees are either critical or working from home.  Craft brewers that rely on their tap room for most of their sales are most definitely hurting.  Those who bottle/can less so since beer sales are up.  

Longer term what's going to happen to Boulder real estate?  Well that depends on how the disease spreads and how long and deep the economic impacts are.

We will keep you informed.  Meanwhile, if you’re needing a bigger house or simply interested in understanding what your options may be with investment property or buying and selling, contact us for a complimentary 30 minute consultation at 720-295-1604.

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Jason Kay & Trish Giassa

Since 2013 Jason has been honing the skills to provide you with one of the best experiences in selling or buying your home: one that is as smooth and as stress free as possible. Prior to real estate....

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