How Hot is Boulder Real Estate: Sales Velocity #1: South Boulder – Entry Level Homes

If you have had even a small interest in buying or selling a home in Boulder over the past couple of years you have probably realized that the market is and has been extremely popular. Most people get this information by hearing about a neighbor’s or friend’s home that has sold extremely quickly and/or for more than the listing price. I thought it would be interesting and useful for both buyers and sellers of houses in Boulder and the surrounding towns like Louisville, Lafayette and Longmont to see just how popular the different parts of Boulder are and how nearby communities compare. Rather than using anecdotes I will rely on data from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to give us a clearer, data driven picture of what is happening in the market.

I’m going to call this an analysis of “sales velocity”, because we will primarily be looking at how quickly properties sell, regardless of the inventory of homes available. We will also look at pricing because this is extremely important to both the real estate buyer and seller. I plan to do this analysis as a series, with this first article focusing on South Boulder houses and then moving to different zones within Boulder and then onto nearby communities.

I also thought we would look at only entry level housing to begin with, since an entry level house in Boulder would be about as valuable as a castle in Indianapolis, where I grew up. I will also be limiting this initially to detached single family homes, that is, not multi-family or condos. Along the way, if anyone is interested in getting data on a different set of housing or a neighborhood I’ll likely skip over, like Mapleton Hill,  let me know in the comments and we can explore those data sets as well.

To begin with, let’s define the area we are looking at today – below you can see the map I’m using. The data is drawn from within the reddish shaded zone. This encompasses an area that attracts family owners and student renters. The homes are modest, mostly built in the 60’s and 70’s and range from original finishes (not good) to fully renovated and popped. Many of the sub $700,000 homes in this area are not-at-all, somewhat or fully updated but not usually expanded in square footage. The typical updates are at the moderate end of things, not extravagant.

Data Set Criteria Quick Look

Listing Price: below $700,000

Area: South and South East Boulder (see map for details)

Time Frame: from Nov 2013 though Oct 2014 (12 months)

Housing Type: Detached, Single Family (meaning, no condos, no apartments)

Data Set Map

South and East Boulder area borders
South and East Boulder Area Boundaries for this Real Estate Sales Data Set

First, let’s look at how quickly homes in this defined group sell:

# of Sales Average DOM Average DTS Average DTO
Totals 154 53 63 26

Wow, that’s fast! Only 26 days average to get an accepted contract. and yielding 53 average days on the market. Homes are considered to be on the market until the sale is finalized at closing, so the home is still on the market after an offer is accepted. By comparison the national average is around 90 days on the market. Interestingly, one area that has an even higher velocity than Boulder is the Denver market with an aggregate DOM of only 37 days! that means homes sell within a week of listing on average. I took the Denver data from here.

Next let’s look at how much these homes sold for relative to their listing price.

Sold Statistics Count High Low Median SP/LP
Total 122 $686,000 $257,269 $470,000 99.00%

Another eye-popper – these homes sold for an average of 99% of the listing price. Which is the expectation with such a short time to an accepted offer, you would anticipate that the offers are fairly close to and often above asking as the market to purchase is highly competitive.

Well, no surprises here, the Boulder real estate market is fully back based on velocity and valuations. Next we’ll look at another area of Boulder to see if there is any difference in popularity of areas around the city.

I hope this is helpful and interesting to you. In the comments please leave ideas for future posts and criticism of this one.

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