Market Trends Category

Boulder is #1

Our little piece of paradiseBoulder’s housing market has been the most stable residential real estate market in America since 1991.  I’ll let that statement soak in for a moment.

The most stable housing market in America, as defined by the finance site SmartAsset, is the market with solid upward growth in home prices partnered with a low probability of home values declining by 5% within a decade of the home being purchased.  The site looked at 358 housing markets in the county for the past 25 years, from 1991 to today.

Sitting at the top of the list is Boulder, Colorado where home prices have climbed more than 300% in the past 25 years and “the average homeowner in Boulder hadn’t suffered any significant price declines since 1991,” the analysis showed.

The year 1991 caught my attention because that’s the year our son was born and we bought our home in Louisville.  Using current MLS data for homes in our neighborhood that sold already this summer, I determined our home’s value has increased an incredible 338%, all while we were busy raising our family in it.  Cue the happy dance!

But Boulder wasn’t the only Colorado market to land in the top 10 communities for most stable housing market.  Fort Collins came in at #6 and Denver was named #9.  You can see the entire list here.

There has never been a better time to own a home in beautiful Boulder valley. If you’d like information on buying a home in this hot market or if you want to know what your home’s current value is please give Jeff a call at 303-579-1617.  He’d be happy to answer all your questions.


Starbucks and your home value – are they really connected?

We talk a lot about how to increase the value of your home in this blog. We explain things like how stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors make the top home improvement list. Or how central air conditioning and more storage space are what buyers wish for in a new home.Starbucks in Louisville, CO

But silly us, it turns out all along we should have been telling you to buy your next home near a Starbucks in order to really build your equity.

In their new book, “Zillow Talk”, the researchers at Zillow tell us that since 1997, homes within a quarter mile of a Starbucks have appreciated on average 96 percent compared with 65 percent for all homes in the United States. They call it the “Starbucks Effect”.

But come on, can Starbucks really take credit for increasing the value of your home and the surrounding community? We know that buyers want to have restaurants and coffee shops within a short walk, bike ride or drive from their home. But does Starbucks really carry that much weight? Doesn’t Starbucks have a stable of analysts who study the growth trends and then place their stores accordingly to be ahead of that growth? We’d sooner think the growth isn’t there because of Starbucks but that Starbucks is there because of the anticipated growth.

Apparently the gurus at Starbucks anticipated this kind of response so they ran different numbers to double check their results. They studied home values within a quarter mile of a store, and then compared those values with homes in a ring between a quarter mile and a half mile from the store. Turns out the houses in the closest ring to Starbucks appreciated more than 21 percent over five years, while the homes in the farther out ring only appreciated 17 percent. Interesting.

We like to our visit our local Starbucks and enjoy catching up with friends and neighbors there. In the warmer months we often walk down on a Saturday morning with our dog, Tucker and sit on the patio to enjoy a chai. So we can see the attraction. Yet, we strongly advocate for frequenting a favorite, locally owned coffee shop, like Paul’s Coffee in Louisville, Cannon Mine Coffee in Lafayette, and The Cup in Boulder. Supporting locally owned businesses makes for a stronger more connected community and we believe that’s one of the best ways to increase home values there is.

Rising home values for Louisville and Lafayette

We all know that Louisville and Lafayette are wonderful communities and a great place to live. They both have vibrant downtown areas, excellent schools, lots of open space and more recreational opportunities than you can ever hope to do on a weekend. If you live here you probably also know your home value has been climbing lately. But would you have guessed by 30-40%?Louisville Home Values Rise

Yes, its true. NerdWallet, a consumer website set out to rank cities with the biggest increase in home values since the big depression of 2009. They discovered Louisville had a 41.17 percent increase in overall home values and Lafayette had a 31.39 percent increase.

NerdWallet utilized median home value data from Zillow for January 2009 and December 2014 and found the percent change over those years for home values in each city. The top 10 cities on the list are all in California and Florida and clustered around two specific areas – Silicon Valley and Miami.

But if you scroll down just five more slots you’ll see Louisville, CO sitting at #15 and Lafayette a little further down the list at #50. Here’s how the stats worked out: Read the rest of this entry »

UPDATE: Price Per Square Foot is Climbing

853 W Linden LouisvilleBack in late May I posted about a new listing at 853 W. Linden in Louisville that was just on the market at a record breaking $399,999 for the typical bi-level floor plan commonly found in Louisville. You can see the video here. I’ve been watching for the closing data to hit the MLS because I promised I’d give you an update on the price per square foot.

Well, the house has closed and even I was surprised by the outcome.  This house was on the market with an asking price of $399,999 and closed on July 19th for $393,500 which is a price per square foot of $212.70 – up $25.70 per square foot from the other two comparable sold homes I had researched for the post.

You can read the whole story here.  

If you are considering selling your home all the indicators are pointing to a hot sellers market.  If you would like an experienced and caring realtor to help you through the process please give me a call at 303-579-1617.  I’d be happy to talk with you.

Boulder County Has Lowest Foreclosure Rate in Colorado

Our little piece of paradiseMore good news for Boulder County.

It was recently reported that Boulder County has the lowest foreclosure rate in the entire state of Colorado for the first quarter of 2013.  There was one completed foreclosure for every 1,783 households.  Across the state of Colorado the average rate was double that of Boulder’s with one completed foreclosure sale for every 670 households.

Boulder County saw a 15.6% drop in foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2013 with a total of 124 compared to 147 for the same time last year.  Completed foreclosures are counted when a home is sold in auction and Boulder County had 68 for the first quarter which was a drop of 29% from last year’s 96 completed sales.

This is all good news for homeowners in Boulder County.  Combine this with expected employment growth and continued low mortgage rates, foreclosure rates are expected to continue to drop here in our little piece of paradise.



Market Update for June 2013

Active listing comparison for June '12 - June '13Tracking statistics gives us a clear view into our real estate market and points out trends and helps us forecast into the next few months.  The numbers for June have been posted and we’d like to share some observations with you.  The statistics compare June ’12 to June ’13 and we have figures for the Denver MLS as a whole and then we drilled down into our Boulder County communities – which as always gives a very different picture.

Overall MLS highlights for the entire Denver metro area:

  • 19% increase in the number of closed sales year to date
  • 39.4% decrease in average days on the market – in June it was 43 days for entire MLS
  • 16.7% decrease in active listings
  • 7.7% increase in average price sold – $349,339 in June for entire MLS

When you compare these statistics to our local market you’ll see we are in line with the trend but here are a few standouts:

  • Most Boulder County markets saw a decrease in number of closed sales year to date instead of the 19% per MLS for entire Denver Metro area
  • Denver Metro along with Louisville and Broomfield had similar decreases in average days on the market.  But Boulder and Superior had huge reductions and saw their average days to contract plummet  57-61%.
  • Active listings are tight – especially in Louisville, Superior and Broomfield.  See chart above for details.
  • The average price sold increase of 7.7% is good for folks in Denver Metro area but our communities saw increases up to 22%.
  • The average price sold was $349,339 for our Denver Metro MLS but looking at our communities separately you’ll see the lowest average price sold is significantly higher at $418,000 in Lafayette and as high as $744,225 in Boulder.

Here are the MLS highlights by community: Read the rest of this entry »

Pending Sales and Available Inventory In Boulder County [Market Update]

Here’s a quick look at pending sales and what that means in terms of available inventory across Boulder County as of July 21, 2013.  What we are tracking today is the percent of homes under contract by a buyer waiting to close compared to the total active inventory of homes listed on the MLS for each community.  We’re looking at Boulder, Louisville, Superior, Lafayette and Broomfield.

Boulder has made a big surge in under contracts in the last 30 days and is now leading the market at 63% of active listings currently under contract.  That’s great news for Boulder sellers.  But what if you are a buyer?  Then Superior is your best bet right now.  “Only” 44% of Superior listings are under contract which means 56% are still available.  Shopping is a little more limited in Superior with 41 currently on the market but if you are looking in the $400,000-$750,000 price range there are several terrific choices and we’ve toured many of the newest listings already.

Most of these homes will be closing within the next 30-45 days.  But some buyer remorse is creeping with due to the bidding wars some buyers have found themselves in.  So don’t despair if you didn’t get the house.  A back up offer may be in order.  Talk to your agent on how to best approach it.


Price Per Square Foot is Climbing

Louisville is seeing the price per square foot climbing for homes listed on the market now that summer is almost here.  It’s an important indicator that I track and its vital for both buyers and sellers to know and understand before stepping into negotiations.

I’m always tracking details like this for my clients and today I found an interesting new listing that I’ll share with you.

853 W. Linden is in the Hillsborough West subdivision of Louisville and is a bi-level floor plan found throughout this side of town.  This home has been nicely updated and remodeled to give an open, bright floor plan and is within easy walking distance of Coal Creek Elementary.  With an asking price of $399,900 however, it will set the record for this 1850 square foot bi-level foot floor plan if it sells for list price. Read the rest of this entry »

Buyers Advice in an Escalating Market

742 Wildrose Way Louisville COBuyers are flocking to brand new listings in Louisville.  Yesterday I showed this home at 742 Wildrose Way after it had been on the MLS for only a few hours.  By evening the sellers had multiple contracts to consider – my client’s included.

This home was in terrific shape, it had been well cared for, nicely staged, and in the popular Centennial neighborhood of Louisville.  Its an easy walk to Coal Creek Elementary School and Louisville’s Rec Center.  Harper Lake and Davidson Mesa Open Space are only a few short blocks away.

The kitchen had stainless appliances and slab granite.  The hardwood floors were gleaming and the main floor family room opened out onto a big deck and yard.  It was no wonder there were so many buyers looking at this home.

Writing contracts in these high demand conditions takes Read the rest of this entry »

Does Your House Have These Top Features?

9972204_sBuyers are out looking for homes and they know what they want. Does your home have “It”?

Here is this year’s buyer’s wish list and the values attached to having each feature in the home.

Does your home have any of these features?

Top on the list are kitchens.  It seems the Food Network has had a huge influence on home buyers and the kitchen is now the central gathering place in a home.

Stainless steel appliances –  $1,850 Read the rest of this entry »

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