Sales, inventory point to promising year

Sales, inventory point to promising year

Sales, inventory point to promising year

The drop in the Boulder area’s January home sales was typical for the middle of winter, but the market continues to perform well compared with a year ago, which gives hope for a promising spring sales season. Sales as a whole in 2012 showed substantial improvement over 2011. “The year-over-year sales numbers are pretty dramatic,” […]

The drop in the Boulder area’s January home sales was typical for the middle of winter, but the market continues to perform well compared with a year ago, which gives hope for a promising spring sales season.

Sales as a whole in 2012 showed substantial improvement over 2011.

“The year-over-year sales numbers are pretty dramatic,” said Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor Association.

The 3,898 single-family home sales in 2012 represented a 23.6 percent increase compared with 2011’s 3,152. And the 1,257 condominiums/townhomes that sold last year improved 20.5 percent over 2011’s 1,043 sales.

“Basically, this is the confirmation of market soundness,” he said. “This continues to show the strength of our market area and how Boulder area real estate retains its value over time regardless of most economic challenges that we face.”

That is also demonstrated by the fact that month-over-month statistics have improved every month for the last year: the 203 single-family homes that sold in January represented a 21.5 percent increase over the 167 homes that sold a year ago; the 67 attached homes that sold in January climbed 28.8 percent compared with the same month in 2012.

And as has been the case during the winter months, home sales fell compared with the previous month: January’s single-family home sales declined 13.6 percent compared with December’s 235 home sales, and the attached-unit sales dropped 20.2 percent compared with December’s 84 sales.

The number of homes on the market also continues to lag, with the number of single-family homes for sale falling 27.3 percent compared with 2011, and the number of attached units on the market declining a substantial 36.8 percent from 2011 to 2012.

A bright spot regarding inventory lies in the fact that the number of single-family homes for sale increased slightly – 6.4 percent – in January compared with December, and the number of attached units for sale increased 8.4 percent.

Hotard called it a “modest” improvement but one worth noting.

“We are continuing to see increasing sales and declining inventory year over year, but for the first time in a while inventory increased month over month,” he said. “It’s too early to say there’s a trend but we’re headed in the right direction. Hopefully we will continue to see inventory increase as head into spring and summer months.”

The average and median sales prices improved in January, with all Boulder-area markets’ median sales prices increasing and all but one market’s average sales price increasing; average sales prices of condos/townhomes improved in all but two markets and the median sales prices improved in all but one market.

“It is a very good start to the year,” Hotard said of the overall market. “There is a lot of optimism among our Realtor members. There’s good reason to be optimistic at this point.”

One factor at a national level that could impact the local market is ongoing budget issues that could potentially reduce funding to the many federal facilities in the Boulder area. Significant job losses would impact the local economy and housing, Hotard said.

Tom Kalinski, broker-owner of Re/Max of Boulder, can be reached at 303-441-5620 or tomkalinski@mindspring.com.