Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Boulder Inventory Update [Analyze This]

by Osman Parvez

It's time for a quick look at inventory trends in Boulder real estate. 


Since the start of the year, inventory in Boulder has risen to 177 houses (79% gain) and 156 for condos and town homes (50% gain). Our buyers are finally seeing a more reasonable selection but inventory remains well below the long term average. 



Percentage of inventory under contact gives you a better picture of what it's like to be a buyer in Boulder. In a balanced market, about 15% of available real estate inventory is under contract. Today's market is running at a 3-4x multiple of normal.   

In an normal market, percentage under contract bottoms during winter and peak occurs in mid summer. This year, we saw an absorption spike in early to mid February. Since that time, inventory under contract has remained in the mid 50% range for houses and low to mid 60% range for town homes and condos. 

Believe it or not, for buyers this is good news. The relative consistency of % under contract suggests that many buyers responded to tight inventory and low mortgage rates by getting into the market early. In other words, it may not get much more competitive from now through the peak in June or July.   

For market participants, our advice remains the same. Buyers should exercise patience. Only enter bidding wars for new listings you wish to own for the long haul. Homes in poor locations, with dysfunctional layouts, with serious repair issues, or which don't meet your long term needs should be avoided. In this market, Sellers have safety in testing a high price well ahead of the comps, but should carefully manage low appraisal risk when negotiating multiple offers.   It's also important to keep in mind that if your listing remains on market for several weeks (or months!), the majority of buyers will conclude that something is wrong with it.   

Buyers, don't ignore old inventory. You may find some hidden gems that have been on the market for more than 30 days. Seasoned sellers are more open to negotiation. Remember, 40% of sales last month were for LESS than asking.   See our post March Madness for more details.

In our negotiations, we're seeing a huge range of professionalism and skill from both buyers and sellers agents. In this strong sellers' market, the right Realtor can make the difference between getting the house or being left in the dust from the bidding war. For sellers, it can also add up to tens of thousands of dollars left at the table. In one negotiation we were directly involved with, the listing agent could have gotten $100K more for their seller, but they never called other bidders to see if they would up the ante. It boggles the mind.

Get the facts. Make a smarter real estate decision.   




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The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

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