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Boulder County's real estate continue to soar, a look at how the market faired in 2021

As a county prices rose 27%
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Happy New Year everyone! It feels like more than a month since the last time I did stats. December was a busy month with the holidays and our kids were home from college. Sadly, we had a lot of neighbors have their New Year ruined by fire. I can’t imagine how their lives have been turned upside down. Together, we can all be a small part of helping them put their lives back sooner than later. Prayers for all.

Something new in the stats report this year is that I’ll be doing stats for all of Northern Colorado. There will be a piece for Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville, Superior and Erie. Then there will be another for Ft. Collins, Loveland, and Greeley.

You will notice there is an extra link in this month’s report. The extra report is my annual year-over-year value comparison and there are a few surprises we’ll review, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The local markets in December had a few things to say to us, so let’s take a look.

First of all, the yearly closed sales volume for single-family homes in the entire area was about 10% lower than last year. Closed volume started the year at -21.1% in January of 2021 and never really recovered. This was also the trend throughout all the Northern Colorado region with a couple minor exceptions in Boulder and Loveland. With fewer homes on the market, the two things that should happen did happen. Those two things are fewer days on market and increasing prices.

We’ve talked about this many times and it’s the basic economic principle where if demand stays constant and supply drops, prices will rise. This universal economic truth was proven in every single Northern Colorado market in 2021.

The December buying frenzy in Longmont for both single-family and attached homes was pretty surprising since it felt like the market was starting to cool off. Both segments made huge price gains despite each having less than a month of inventory. The mild weather probably had a little something to do with this, but remember, most of those December buyers went under contract in November. The price surge in Longmont attached homes pushed their value to the same as Longmont single-family homes were back in 2016 … just five short years ago.

December 2021 Longmont Area Real Estate Statistics (.pdf)

December 2021 Longmont Area Real Estate Statistics (.jpg)

The Boulder County Plains … I never know what to do with this group. It’s a disjointed area stretching from north of Longmont, over to Boulder, east to Erie and actually goes all the way south of Highway 36, just past Superior. What does south of Superior have to do with north of Longmont?

The housing in this area is too diverse and the area too large to make it make any sense. We end up with wild swings in monthly prices and it really doesn’t mean anything to us here in Longmont. 

The Carbon Valley — Firestone, Frederick, and Dacono — have been our market of the month many times and even the market of the year last year, but even they look to be running out of steam. They are still kind of bedroom community for people working north, south and west. There has been higher turnover recently and more new construction to keep prices lower, but their inventory is finally shrinking like the rest of the world. Their days on market are shrinking fast and their prices are booming. The area isn’t looking or acting like the lower-priced alternative that it’s always been. But honestly … what area does anymore?

Let’s take a peek at the year-over-year comparison. Last January, my good friend Mike Baucom predicted that we’d have a 15.5% increase in yearly housing prices. I’d say he nailed it. My 14% was a solid guess, but that’s just merely in the ballpark. It was only two years ago when the average price of a home in Longmont crossed the $500k mark. If we have a 2.7% increase in 2022, we will cross $600k. Not only is that likely to happen, but I also guarantee it happens. Mark my word.

2020 vs 2021 Year-Over-Year Stats Comparison

And to see the average price of an attached home here in little old Longmont is now $407,121 is staggering. At nearly $175k less than the average single-family home, the attached market represents our entry-level housing. Most of us used to think of entry-level at somewhere in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. Ha! No such thing exists anymore.

Last year there were four condos sold for under $200k. On the other end of the spectrum, there were nine that sold for over $700k. The new construction market isn’t helping either since the 15 new condos and townhomes that sold last year averaged $518,208 … hardly entry level.

I love it that y’all bullied me a couple of years ago into including the year-over-year stats for the city of Boulder in this report. It gives me a look into our future. Longmont and Boulder are nearly the exact same size at about 100,000 residents.

As Boulder prices go up, more people choose to live in Longmont. But the higher their prices go, the higher ours will. The average price in Boulder is now $1,569,332! It’s been over $1M since 2016, but to have an average price increase of 22.3% is unbelievable. For goodness sakes, it was $1.3M last year.

Who knew it had that much room to run? Here is a big stat for you to quote — despite there being 457 fewer homes sold last year in Boulder, compared to Longmont, the total value of homes sold in Boulder was more than double than Longmont at $1.3 BILLION!

I saved my favorite stat for the end. I only added the entire Boulder County stat to visually balance out the overall appearance of this report with the addition of the city of Boulder. It’s now paying off. Get this … the average price of a home in all of Boulder County is $994,626?!?!

I could hardly believe my eyes when this number came out. So, of course, I had to look deeper. Last year there were 1,184 homes in our county that sold for over $1,000,000. That’s a full 30% of all homes sold. “Only” 571 (or about half) of those were in the city of Boulder. Longmont had a respectable 38 of them, which is about a dozen fewer than Lafayette, Louisville and Superior each.

As a county prices rose 27%. Nationally, prices increased 16% last year, so we are a good 11% better than the rest of the country … but we’ve known that for years.

As a special treat, attached here is the new and updated 2022 Contract Date Guide. There are quite a few changes to the contract this year so please let us know how we can help. 2022 Contract Date Guide.

Cheers,

Kyle Snyder

ksnyder@firstam.com

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