Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Days for Boulder Real Estate Sellers [Market Analysis]

by Osman Parvez

Sad news for buyers of condos and town homes.    The market isn't getting any better.    In the past, I've been able to negotiate the biggest discounts for my buyers during the 4th quarter.   That's unlikely this year. 

Boulder Seller
Ooh, but Happy Days are Here Again if you're a seller.    The market is setting records for low inventory even as sales volume remains well above average levels.   There should be no problem selling your unit quickly - assuming your agent has priced right, staged, and marketed it well.

The following analysis is for town homes and condos in the City of Boulder.   If you're looking for my analysis of traditional single family houses, see Historic Flood Can't Drown Boulder Real Estate

By the way, I'm a Realtor.   If you're considering buying or selling, I can help you make a smarter decision.   I can show you any available property that's for sale, even if it's not my listing.   Call me.   303.746.6896

Boulder Town Home and Condo Sales Volume
56 units sold last month, up 19% from last year but down 36% from August.   This is a typical seasonal market decline.  The average drop from August to September is 35%. 

Elevated sales activity continues for attached dwellings.  Volume was up 20% and 16% over the prior six and twelve month period (ending in September), respectively. 

Boulder Town Home and Condo Inventory
176 units were on the market during September, down 34% from a year ago.   Inventory is also down 8% from August.     About a third of inventory is currently under contract, see my post Pending Sales Analysis

Current inventory levels are shockingly low, 40% of the long term average (2004-2011) for September.  

Economics 101:   Low supply (inventory) + high demand (sales volume) = higher prices.    Expect it. 

Sales Volume and Inventory vs the 5 Year Average

I love this chart because it shows the relationship between supply and demand relative to each month's long term average.   It's a look back on 12 months of market activity (ending in September).

Sales volume strength increasing during the summer months and inventory reached it's nadir last month.    This blog is more about fundamental analysis, not technical,  but the pattern does suggest a bottom.   Or maybe it's wishful thinking.    

The median sale price last month was $206,500 and average days to offer was just 26, a record low.   I don't think the standard charts have much to offer, so let's skip them.   Contact me if you must see them. 

Conclusions
If you're in the market to buy, options exist but selection is limited.  Over the summer, I engaged in tactics to find property not yet listed on the MLS.  These efforts were challenging but met with some success.    I recommend continuing to see not just listed properties but make an effort to find unlisted units.    Competition among buyers for attractive properties remains fierce. 

If you're a seller, frankly, this is your market.   Negotiation leverage is on your side and if you happen to own a less than desirable unit, now is the time to unload it.   Carefully analyze market conditions and price slightly ahead of the trend for your particular unit type and location.  If you want top dollar, you should still stage your property. 

The advice in this blog post is generic.   The market can vary tremendously by price range, location, and many other characteristics.   Contact me directly to schedule a confidential appointment to discuss your specific real estate situation.    Who am I?.  

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Like this analysis?    Subscribe to my research.       Want to meet me in person?    Attend a Boulder Real Estate Meetup.    Ready to buy or sell?  Call me at 303.746.6896.  

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