January home sales confirmed expectations that local Boulder real estate sales would come out of the gate slowly in 2017.
Single-family home sales for Boulder, Colorado rose 1.9 percent in January – 218 units sold compared with 214 units sold in January 2016. Month-over-month, January 2017 sales dropped 2.6 percent compared to December's 224 units sold.
In condominium/townhomes, 57 units sold in January, an 18.8 percent improvement compared with 48 units sold a year ago, but a 51.3 percent drop compared with the 117 units sold in December.
"The relatively slow start was expected. It's just a fact that Boulder County home sales will continue to be influenced by low inventory and high demand in all market areas and categories," explains Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.
Inventory of single-family Boulder-area homes for sale declined 2.1 percent in January compared to December 2016 – 510 units vs. 521. Condominium and townhome inventory improved 23.9 percent in January compared to December – 114 units versus 92 units.
And the overall picture is more of the same: strong demand and low inventory, resulting in rising prices.
All but two Boulder-area communities saw median home sale prices increase in January. Median sales prices across the county ranged from $372,500 in Longmont to $820,000 in Boulder – down from $904,500 in January 2016.
Beyond that trend, Hotard says predictions in this market are difficult to make. "I don't think anybody's got a great crystal ball on this one. It's an ongoing story of low inventory, high demand, which harkens back to the old television show jingle 'round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows."
Market conditions that influence real estate prices are strong in the Boulder Valley, explains Hotard.
"We've got a 2.2 percent unemployment rate, wages are going up, job growth continues to be strong, and we're not building enough housing to meet demand – not even close."
With those market conditions continuing month after month, he says the outcomes for the housing market are relatively inevitable; however the potential for rising mortgage interest rates could influence home prices.
On the bright side, though home prices have increased in all market areas – including Longmont where the median sales price rose more than 12 percent last year – Longmont still has affordable homes and has some projects yet to be built.
And if you want to sell your home – and you know where you are moving to – Hotard says you're in a good position. "For sellers, this is a great time because you've got that high demand and low interest rates and prices are rising."