Kalinski: 2015 housing recap – a historic sellers’ market

The 2015 year-end statistics are in, and the results confirm that there is no place better to own a home than the Boulder Valley.

Overview

Colorado: At 12.66 percent, Colorado homes appreciated more in 2015 than those in any other state, according to the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency index. Likewise, Colorado has enjoyed more home appreciation than any other state since 1991 — a whopping 264 percent.

Boulder Valley: As remarkable as the above Colorado numbers are, the Boulder Valley’s numbers are even more impressive. Boulder, at 13.39 percent, had the seventh-highest appreciation of any metropolitan area in the country in the past year. Since 1991, Boulder County has enjoyed a 296.6 percent increase in home values, nearly 30 percent more growth than anywhere else in the country.

Key statistics

Here are my top three market statistics from 2015 and what they mean for buyers and sellers:

 Average sales prices were at all-time highs for every market in Boulder and Broomfield counties.  For sellers, this means that we have more than recovered from the Great Recession. Even if you bought a home just before the price peak in 2006-07, your home is likely worth more than you bought it for. For buyers, this might cause you to suspect that we are near another peak; however, you would be wrong (see my previous Bizwest articles for more on this).

 Inventory of single-family and attached homes were at all-time lows. For home owners, 2015 was an excellent time to sell. It is important to note, however, that even in this market not every home sells; 142 homes in Boulder County failed to sell in 2015. For buyers, there were many fewer homes to choose from and a lot more competition for each available home.

 Average sale-price-to-list-price ratios for single-family homes in Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont and Superior were all more than 100 percent; for attached dwellings, every market in Boulder and Broomfield counties averaged more than 100 percent. That is, properties in those areas sold on average for more than their asking price. For sellers in these markets, you likely had multiple offers to choose from when selling your home. For buyers, this meant that you should have been prepared to pay above asking and waive contingencies if you wanted to compete in the market.

Bonus Statistic #4:

There was less than one month of inventory for properties under $2 million in Boulder County at the end of 2015. That is, if no additional homes entered the market, the existing inventory of available homes would sell out in less than a month. A balanced market is approximately six months of inventory. This simply reinforces the fact that it is a great time for owners to sell but possibly the most competitive situation a buyer could imagine.

All indications are that 2016 will offer a continuation of these trends. The advice for sellers is simple: 2016 will be a great year to sell. The advice for buyers? Buy now, if you can, before homes appreciate further and interest rates rise again.

Jay Kalinski is broker/owner of Re/Max of Boulder. He can be reached at jaykalinski@remax.net.