Here are my latest blog posts. Since 2006 I have written over 700 articles about the Boulder real estate market, the process of buying and selling a home and insights to what makes this a great place to live. If you are looking for specific information please; search this site by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the top navigation bar.
I have just published The Kearney Report for the 1st Quarter of 2017. The entire report can be viewed below on this page or you can download the PDF link here The Kearney Report 1st Quarter 2017
Real Estate Market Update
The Boulder area real estate market has been one of the most robust markets in the nation over the past few years. The market has been characterized by steady sales, low inventory and rapidly rising prices. This trend continued through the first quarter of 2017.
During the first quarter of 2017 there were 847 sales in Boulder County which reflects a 5% drop from the previous year. The median sales price during the quarter was $465,000 which is 9% higher than it was a year ago. Inventory, especially towards the end of the quarter and then extending into April and May has increased giving buyers more breathing room to shop for homes. During the first quarter, 35% of the sales had a price above the list price, 20% were at the asking price and 45% were below. Of those that did sell above list price the average premium paid was 4.4%. During the first quarter of 2016, 42% sold above list price and the average premium paid was 5.5%. It seems that calling this a slow down is splitting hairs but during that same period it was my experience that showings were down and the number of offers received on any one property was down as well.
Through the end of April the total number of residential sales in Boulder County is up roughly 1% with January and March exceeding last year and February and April lagging last years totals. We still do have a great influx of new residents which has been fueling the unusually strong market but whether it be higher interest rates or higher prices, or both, the activity has lessened.
You may have noticed that there are not many for sale signs out there. The inventory of “for sale” homes in Boulder County at the end of the 1st quarter is up 12% from a year ago. There are definitely more choices out there. I have seen many listings that have fit into this predictable pattern: the house gets listed for a high price compared to recent sales in the neighborhood (the hope), after 10 days or so of moderate showings and no offers (the reality) the sellers reduce the price (the chase) hoping to rekindle interest in their home. In my experience it’s more difficult to make an adjustment after 10 days and get interest than it is to price it right in the first place.
As you browse through the rest of the report you will find, for comparison purposes, a number of market measures displayed for each of the submarkets in our area. Enjoy the report.
Here is our advice for buyers and sellers in the current market.
Buyers – Interest rates are increasing slowly and with increased inventory you may be able to avoid competing for a home with other buyers. On average, homes are still selling for just below asking price. If you are patient you may reap the rewards of waiting for a seller to become motivated and find that the price that you pay is reasonable compared to the neighborhood.
Sellers – Properties are still selling however the exuberance of past years isn’t there. This may be a good time to lock in the gains we have seen in the market over the past three years. When pricing your property lean towards reality and away from greedy and you will most likely find a buyer who is on the same page. “Testing” the market can have poor results if you find your house still on the market two weeks later. Price reductions don’t have the same impact of a well priced new listing.
Each spring since 2013 the real estate market in Boulder County could be characterized as frenetic. This year the market is a bit more tempered. If you just look at April’s numbers the market seems similar to a year ago. Sales are similar, inventory is up, prices are up… However, despite strong forward looking sales it seems that the market has lost some of the strength we have seen over the past three springs. Houses are staying on the market longer and there are fewer showings on new listings. It will be interesting to see how it plays out but we don’t usually see the market slow down until late June and we are seeing it earlier this year in some segments.
Sales in April were down 9.4% when compared to last April. Year-to-date sales are still up 1% but it seems that this year is losing a bit of steam. Anecdotally, there have been fewer than expected showings on listings and even on popular properties when multiple offers have been received, the numbers of showings and offers is down. The slideshow below illustrates graphically different segments of the local real estate market including; number of sales, inventory (which is rising), under contract percentage etc.
I have just listed this great ranch home in South Boulder, west of Broadway. This home shows beautifully! A gem in the Bear Creek attendance district that has been all shined up and is ready to go. Ranch style home with finished basement with many upgrades including: gleaming hardwood floors, granite countertops, beautifully finished basement with large rec-room, conforming bedroom, study or flex space and a 3/4 bath, new boiler last year, new roof in 2013, great rear patio and a large deck with a sunken hot tub, leased solar panels. Open house 5/7 from 1-3
For all of the photos and more details about this property go to www.4675Tanglewood.com
I have just listed a great house at 4675 Tanglewood Trail. It is located directly on the 12th tee box of Boulder Country Club with expansive views across the course to the west. This custom home has high ceilings, a flowing floorplan, a main floor master, workshop and storage space in the partial basement, good bones and is ready for your cosmetic upgrades. This is one of the prime lots at Boulder Country Club. The exterior features a side load garage, mature landscaping, a charming private entry and multiple decks. Over 2600 square feet on the main level. This is a wonderful opportunity to purchase a custom home on a prime golf course lot and make it your own.
Enjoy the great views and a wonderful sense of light from this beautiful 2 story in Legacy Ridge that I just listed! Large rooms with tons of windows, finished walkout basement, expansive deck, large master bedroom with five piece bath, four bedrooms upstairs, quality landscaping, well maintained, three car garage. Down the street from the wonderful community pool and clubhouse, and near walking trails. Golf course community.
MLS #815914 or Denver MLS #2979743
Which Boulder neighborhood has appreciated the most and which are lagging behind? This is a tough question to answer since there are so many variables. But hopefully some data will help to make some sense of that question.
Over the past five years the Boulder area has been on quite a run of price appreciation. Some quick research in the MLS tells me that we have seen 50% appreciation in median prices in Boulder County over the past five years. Breaking it down a bit more, here are the appreciation rates for the local communities over the past five years (from information gathered in IRES MLS):
- Boulder – 66%
- Louisville – 51%
- Lafayette – 60%
- Longmont – 61%
- Superior – 56%
- Erie – 50%
To break it down a bit further I have divided the City of Boulder into eleven distinct neighborhoods. To see more on these neighborhoods please see the Boulder Neighborhood Guide which I update each year. A map of how I have delineated the neighborhoods is below.
With the baseline of 66% appreciation over the past five years, here are the appreciation rates for Boulder neighborhoods.
- South Boulder – 65%
- Chautauqua – 52%
- Mapleton Hill – 44%
- Newlands – 36%
- Wonderland Lake/ Dakota Ridge – 34%
- North Boulder East – 76%
- Whittier – 46%
- North East Neighborhoods – 126% (Note- Mostly condos and townhomes in this area with the exception of the Four Mile Creek, Kalmia 38 and Northfield neighborhoods which have seen high priced new builds which have raised the median prices way above the average)
- East Boulder – 49%
- Retail/Industrial Core – 106% (Note – not many sales in this quadrant. New builds at Boulder Junction are bringing up the prices)
- Gunbarrel – 51%
Keep in mind that the sales and prices represented above include both single family and attached dwellings and that the underlying sales are not a constant. For example, some years there are more condos sold, some areas have had new construction, some areas have had many major remodels or scrape off and re-builds. Over time Boulder’s stock of homes are improving. To find evidence of this just drive through Boulder’s neighborhoods and see the number of contractors trucks at work.
Boulder is full of interesting and accomplished people. Through my business I get to meet many of these wonderful people and that is one of the great joys of my profession. I grew up one street over from artist Don Coen. Over the years the Kearney family has had various personal and business relations with Don and his family. Don was recently featured on the Today Show where his beautiful and vibrant paintings of migrant workers was highlighted. These paintings are being featured at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center through May 21st. Here is a link to that show.
I love that we are surrounded by good people, quietly doing exceptional work.
I have just listed this beautiful home in Broomfield. It is a bright home w/study and many upgrades. Features include a kitchen bay window overlooking the expansive neighborhood park, beautiful hardwood floors, a main floor study plus 3 bedrooms upstairs, granite countertops, upgraded bathrooms and plantation shutters. Enjoy the stamped concrete patio and easy access to both the neighborhood park and the Broadlands trail system and pool. This home is in great shape and ready to go!
3 bedrooms – Main Floor Study – Beautiful wood floors – 1,724 square feet above grade – 872 sq. ft. unfinished basement – 3 updated bathrooms – Great location with only 1 direct neighbor and across from the large neighborhood park.
Boulder Neighborhood Guide
I realized a few years ago that people coming from out of town were having a hard time characterizing the different neighborhoods within Boulder. In response I created the Boulder Neighborhood Guide. In this report I have split Boulder into eleven different areas and present the lifestyle highlights, schools, shopping districts, local recreation and real estate statistics for each area. If you’re interested in learning more about the different neighborhoods within the City of Boulder this is your guide.
Click this link to view and download the report. Boulder Neighborhood Guide 2017
It is recognized that Boulder is a great place to live but the neighborhoods in Boulder are a bit hard to peg. Boulder was developed over time in a piece-meal fashion. The result is that many of the neighborhoods are only a few hundred homes in size. It is common to have two adjacent neighborhoods developed at different times and with completely different price ranges. While this report is not comprehensive, it will give the reader valuable information from which to start understanding the real estate market in Boulder. I will highlight the major neighborhoods in each area.
If you are visting Boulder you may be interested in where to stay, where to eat, things to do and how to get around. You may also be interested in walking some of Boulder’s neighborhoods. I have created a few self-directed walking tours in Boulder that may be fun if you are visiting town. To access all of that information go my “Visiting Boulder Page“