Real estate sales gained momentum as 2009 progressed. Looking at a 12-month rolling calendar, we went from the number of Residential and Attached Dwelling sales being off by nearly 30% at the end of March 2009 to finishing down 14.4% in Residential and 11% in Attached Dwelling. At the same time, inventories declined by 8.6% for Residential and 10.6% for Attached Dwelling, helping to protect home values. This decline in inventory put us at a level not seen since the year 2000 for a lack of available homes on the market.
Looking at property values, it is interesting to visit http://www.FHFA.gov , the website for the Federal Housing Finance Agency. FHFA computes the Housing Price Index (HPI). “The HPI is a weighted, repeat-sales index, meaning that it measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancing on the same properties. The new mortgage acquisitions are used to identify repeat transactions for the most recent quarter and for each quarter since 1975.”
The most recent quarter available is through 3rd Quarter 2009 for the Boulder Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) which encompasses all of Boulder County. It shows just a 0.56 percent decline when compared with the same quarter in 2008, just the first such decline since 1988.
Another very important factor in property values holding steady is that, unlike many areas of the country this past decade, Boulder County did not have the high appreciation rates that others experienced. One of the great features of the FHFA.gov site is the ability to compare up to 3 MSAs at a time. For the Boulder MSA, if you check back to 2003, the quarterly figures show that our MSA averaged 2.59% appreciation during that time. If you look at a couple of markets where values have crashed, for instance Las Vegas and Phoenix, you will see that they had quarters of as much as 40% appreciation. This is why they had their bubble burst and we did not.
When drilling down further it is important to understand just how local the markets really are. The City of Boulder Average Sales Price is off just a little over 2% from its all-time high in 2007. Compare that with the City of Longmont which is off close to 17% from its all-time high in 2006. The market in our area showing the largest decline in 2009 was the Suburban Mountains with a 6.8% decline in 2009. The strongest market was the City of Louisville. Average sales price there increased from $391,800 to $394,200.
Median prices for single family homes increased in every area of Boulder County except for three. The City of Boulder where it declined 2.4%, Superior with a 1.2% decline and the Suburban Plains that had a 5.7% decline. The declines in Boulder and the Plains can be explained, in part, by the impact of the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit. Clearly our market statistics have been influenced by the large number of sales in the lower price ranges to first-time buyers. 47% of home sales nationally were to first-time buyers.
Remember the old clock is still ticking….as of today, you have only 32 days to be under contract by the April, 30, 2010 deadline, and closed by June 30, 2010 to take advantage of the tax credits. Real estate investments in Boulder County are still a smart move!
Call us today at 303.449.7000 or 800.825.7000 or visit http://www.BoulderCO.com