Fall slowdown comes early but real estate sales remain ahead of last year

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 at 2:29pm.

Boulder County area markets posted yet another month of year-over-year increases in both single-family and attached-unit sales in July, though they are showing signs of premature slowing.

July’s 422 single-family sales represented a 26.3 percent increase over the 334 single-family sales in July 2011, and the 149 condo/townhome sales equaled a nearly 45 percent jump over the 103 sales of attached dwellings a year ago.

“It’s actually very positive,” says Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor Association.

However, the change compared with June was much less impressive, with single-family sales actually dropping 14.9 percent.

“That really sort of signals the seasonal slowdown in activity, which I think is a little early,” Hotard says. “More often you’d probably see that in August to September.”

Condo/townhome sales increased nearly 13 percent from June to July.

Another sign of an early slowdown is in inventory, which is 20.5 percent down year over year in the single-family market and 32 percent down in the condo/townhome market. And July saw 2 percent fewer single-family homes and nearly 4 percent fewer attached units on the market compared with June.

“We continue to see fairly solid sales numbers but shrinking inventory,” Hotard says. “If people are not confident that they can be made whole by selling their home at this time, or if they think prices will go up in the future,” they won’t put their homes on the market.

“They’re thinking, ‘Gosh, if I don’t have to do anything, I’m not going to.’”

Hotard notes that it’s probably lower inventory that is pushing up prices: in the single-family category, all but three Boulder-area markets saw increases in both average and median sales prices, and the declines were minimal. And only two markets saw a drop in the average price of condos/townhomes and three saw a decline in median sales prices.

While the fall slowdown is coming a little early, the overall condition of the local market remains positive, Hotard says.

“It’s great to be in Colorado and it’s great to be in the Colorado market,” he says. “Whatever weaknesses our market shows, we’re still among the best markets in the country.”

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder

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