It’s only one month’s worth of statistics, but it was enough to give Ken Hotard hope – hope that maybe, just maybe, the supply of homes for sale in the Boulder-area market may be on the upswing.
The inventory of single-family homes increased 7 percent in January compared with December, from 816 homes to 873; the inventory of condominiums/townhomes on the market increased 9.7 percent, from 206 in December to 226 in January.
“That’s the first month-over-month inventory increase I’ve seen in about 2½ years,” says Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.
He noted that the Boulder area is not alone, as inventories improved nationally in January.
“It’s not a trend yet, but it’s a good start,” Hotard adds. “If we can continue that over the next two to three months going into the spring season, and then be able to maintain a stronger inventory, we could be setting up for a very positive first six months of the year.”
That prospect was encouraging enough to offset that fact that homes sales in January declined significantly both month over month and year over year: only 179 single-family homes sold in January compared with 203 a year ago, a decrease of 11.8 percent. And sales in the same market slid 26.3 percent compared with December, in which 243 units sold.
In the condo/townhome market, only 58 units sold in January, compared with 67 a year ago and 85 in December – drops of 13.4 percent and 31.8 percent, respectively.
But Hotard wasn’t surprised or concerned, considering what a good December the Boulder-area market experienced and the unusually cold, snowy winter that may have home sellers and buyers putting their transaction plans on hold.
“Those are significant numbers, but we had a pretty strong December,” he says. “We expected declines from November to December, but sales volume actually improved.”
The annual statistics also represented just how good of a year 2013 was for the Boulder-area market: 4,234 single-family homes sold, an 8.6 percent increase compared with the 3,898 units sold in 2012. And 1,470 condos/townhomes sold in 2013, a 16.9 percent increase compared with the 1,257 that sold the year before.
Nearly all Boulder communities saw increases in both average and median sales prices in January, with many in the double digits.
Yet sluggish job growth and wage stagnation, despite low interest rates and loosening lending criterion may be holding some people back from entering the market, Hotard says.
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