January’s slower market reflects inventory shortage in Boulder area

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 2:53pm.

The local residential real estate markets remain strong despite both shrinking inventories and sales.

Single-family home sales dropped 7.2 percent in January – 166 units sold – compared with January 2014, in which 179 units sold. And sales dropped 37.1 percent between January and December’s 264 sales.

In the condominium/townhome market, 70 units sold in January, a 20.7 percent jump compared with the 58 units that sold a year ago but a 35.8 percent decline compared with the 109 units that sold in December.

“What continues to be telling is the inventory story,” explains Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association. “The slower pace of sales this time of year is consistent with past years but it’s exacerbated a little bit by the lack of inventory.”

January saw the number of single-family homes on the market fall 13.5 compared with January 2014 – from 755 to 873 units – though that was five more units than the number of homes on the market in December.

Only 179 condos and townhomes were for sale in January compared with 226 a year ago – a 20.8 percent drop – while that market also saw a five-unit increase of units for sale compared with December.

“If we had substantially more product for buyers to look at, we’d see more activity in the market,” Hotard says. “The demand is definitely there.”

He predicts that February’s sales will provide a better picture of what direction the Boulder-area market is headed for spring and early summer.

“I’d like to see strong inventory recovery,” Hotard says, noting available properties are especially needed in the resale market, giving buyers greater choice and more room to negotiate. “Without the homes for sale, it’s going to be more challenging.”

Hotard says though wages have grown modestly in recent months, they haven’t grown enough to offset the rising cost of housing in some markets.

All but two of the Boulder-area communities saw both average and median home sale prices increase in January, and Boulder saw an average sales price of more than $822,000.

Improvement in all housing markets requires continued competitive interest rates, increased inventory, job growth and wages that make home ownership possible, Hotard says.

Regardless, he expects the Boulder area to remain a strong market with relative fluctuations compared with other communities.

“This is a very desirable place to live,” he says. “It’s likely to retain that attractiveness. Nothing on the horizon is going to alter that.”

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder

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