The Boulder real estate market has been buzzing with interest from buyers eagerly looking for new listings in the neighborhoods that they would like to call home. While Boulder isn’t a large city, different neighborhoods appeal to different buyers – with factors affecting a home buyer’s search including price, location, and local amenities. For that reason, across the 8z Boulder team, the agents specializing in each Boulder neighborhood shared what is happening in the local markets.
Located in Central Boulder, the Whittier neighborhood has some of the oldest homes in Boulder, is named after the highly demanded Whittier International Elementary School. Specializing in this area for the 8z Boulder team is Marcia Cotlar. In her recent neighborhood market report, she reported that they are seeing more activity in Whittier as Spring approaches. At the time of writing her market update on March 6th, there were 20 total listings, 6 of which are under contract.
Also noteworthy in her report was the variety of real estate, currently for sale in Whittier; ranging from a $224,000, 2 bedroom, remodeled condo to a $2,195,000, 6000+ sq ft., 5 bedroom, stunning home on .22 acre, built in 2006.
Just west of the Whittier neighborhood, Marcia Cotlar also covers the Mapleton neighborhood. Neighbors love Mapleton’s convenience to the shops and restaurants located on Pearl St while still being tucked away in the mature neighborhood. The Mapleton neighborhood is unique and will continue to be popular with those looking for homes that have character and a special location. It’s to no surprise that, in this popular neighborhood, that the market is picking up, but that they still need more inventory, for the number of interested buyers.
Last week, Marcia reported that five new listings went on the market in February, one of which went under contract immediately. Other current inventory includes 2 homes that were listed in Jan. and 7 stale listings (over 250 days on the market). She also is quoted, “this is a Sellers Market, as buyers are sitting on the side lines waiting for their new home to come on the market.”
NEBO – Kings Ridge
“NEBO” – North East Boulder or the Kings Ridge neighborhood is a small subdivision with 350 homes. Shelby Downs, who has been a NEBO resident for years, also covers the NEBO area for the 8z team. Throughout 2012, Shelby reported the low number of listings in the area. So in her most recent neighborhood market update, she reported that “by mid February, 7 of 7 properties on the market, including attached dwellings and single family homes were under contract in Kings Ridge. That is 100% under contract!” The homes are going under contract in 7-18 days on average, which is faster than the overall Boulder market.
These indications make Shelby confident to say that it “most definitely a seller’s market” and that homeowners looking to list their Kings Ridge home will almost certainly receive an offer in 1-7 days.
Heading further South is the Martin Acres neighborhood, where neighbor and Realtor, David Lorraine specializes. Like the other Boulder neighborhoods, David reported that, “We are in a severe listing drought right now in Martin Acres.” There is a healthy demand in the Martin Acres market that has very limited inventory. David warned buyers that “if we don’t see the number of new listings rise we are at risk of seeing prices over-inflate because of competition for the limited supply.”
David also reported good news that the Martin Acres market is already ahead of last year, having had closings in January, compared to 2012, when the first sale in the neighborhood wasn’t until March 1st. However, he warned, “unless we get some more inventory on the market soon buyers will have nothing to choose from.”
A little further south lies SoBo, where Realtor and neighbor Brigitte Furst specializes. The SoBo neighborhood encompasses the Devil’s Thumb, Rolling Hills, Shanahan Ridge,and Table Mesa subdivisions. With only 5 listings available for sale, within this SoBo area, as of Brigitte’s February 25th market update, the market is screaming for inventory - of these five listings, only one of those under $800K.
Brigitte said that the SoBo market has definitely and abruptly turned into a seller’s market. Her advice to buyers,” if they can’t be cash buyers, need to be armed with a solid pre-approval letter from a reputable local lender and be prepared to move quickly, often immediately if the house they are considering has most of the features and attributes they are looking for. Waiting for the perfect house will lead to disappointment as no such thing exists and buyers’ dollars will only buy them less as the prices are increasing rapidly.”
But Brigitte also warned sellers that “this doesn’t mean that sellers should merely put sales signs in their yards. If they want to maximize their sales price, they need to still pay attention to showing conditions and price their house just right—not too high, but not too low either. There is a fine line between risking leaving money on the table and scaring buyers away!”
Across Boulder, interested buyers are limited in their selection of homes. 8z’s President, Lane Hornung, also located in Boulder, wrote in the most recent market update that, “the market stats for Boulder County tell a story of surging volume and tight inventory. Sales volume increased 18.7% in January compared to last year, and the supply of inventory was a scant 4.6 months compared to 9.0 months at this time last year.”
Boulder is not alone in the activity in the real estate market - market activity along the Front Range continues to defy seasonality. The total volume of real estate sold was up 33.7% compared to January of last year, according to Hornung.