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Boulder Area Market Update- Third Quarter 2017

Happy Friday!

As the fourth quarter of the year approaches, it is a good time to do a quick update on the market. We just finished compiling the most recent numbers for Boulder County and the surrounding areas. See below for market stats and our analysis.



Boulder single-family home sales are holding steady. We are seeing a bit more inventory in the market as total new listings in August were 130. That is a 14% increase when compared to this time last year, so it seems our inventory issues may be softening just a bit.

While the total number of new listings was up in August, the number of sales were down. Sales in August were down when compared to the previous 30 and 90 day numbers and, of course, this accounts for seasonality. As the school year starts, the sale’s season winds down and should pick back up in January.

What is particularly interesting is that the number of sales are also slightly down from this time last year. When compared to one year ago, the total number of single family homes sales are down 11% in Boulder.

The last few falls and winters have been particularly busy. Home buyers have had issues closing on homes in the summertime due to inventory issues and have had to keep searching for homes through the fall. It may be with increased inventory, we will have fall and wintertime sales numbers more closely correlated to what we have seen in the area historically.

Both single family median sales price, as well as attached unit sales price, are down year over year about 4%. This could be a small correction in home values and could be due to the historic appreciation we have seen in home values over the last several years. Alternately, this could be a small blip in median values and we could see very strong appreciation pick back up again next spring. Only time will tell.

Another metric Realtors use to evaluate market data is the “Absorption Rate”. This number is the months of supply of listings currently on the market. This number lets us compare how many listings we have to how many buyers are in the market. An Absorption Rate of 6 months means that if no new listings were to come on the market, all current and active listings would be sold within 6 months. An Absorption Rate of below 6 months indicates a Seller’s Market.

In Boulder, under $900,000, we have an average 2 month Absorption Rate, or a 2 month supply of current listings. This metric shows that we are still in a strong Seller’s Market in that price range. 

From $900,00 up to $2 Million, we are seeing Absorption Rates in the 6 month range. This indicates a balanced market.

Over $2 Million we have a 9 month Absorption Rate which indicates a Buyer’s Market.

The Absorption Rate for attached homes continues to be extremely low, albeit up from the spring time. The Absorption Rate average for all attached homes is 3 months, indicating a strong Seller’s Market.

While the numbers for Boulder have softened a bit, we do not have any of the variables present that would indicate a large market shift. It is likely we are experiencing seasonal variation and Boulder will continue to see more modest appreciation come springtime.


Magnifying glass to zoom in on a model of a house



Lafayette’s numbers are a bit different than Boulder’s.

The total number of new listings in August (30) in Lafayette is actually down a bit from last year (-3.2%), indicating a continued inventory issue. While the number of new listings were down, the total number of sales in August were up 20% when compared to last year.

The average Absorption Rate for all price ranges was 1.3%. That is down 10% from last year, indicating an extreme Seller’s Market across all price ranges under $1 Million.

While we continue to experience a strong seller’s market in Lafayette, the median sales price when compared to this time last year is only up 3%. This indicates that, while homes are being scooped up quickly, buyers are not paying 10’s of thousands over the list price to get them under contract.

It may be that we see a stronger Seller’s Market in Lafayette due to continued affordability issues in Boulder. A few years ago, these buyers may have purchased in Boulder but now that affordability continues to decrease in Boulder-proper, these buyers are moving further east.



Broomfield’s numbers mirror those of Lafayette in some ways. The number of listings are down from 12 months ago (-14%) and the number of sales are up (+23%).

Median sold price is up (+17%) from this time last year, boasting the strongest year over year gains in our area.

Under 600K, there is a 1 month supply of active listings. That number signals an extremely hot Seller’s Market.

Buyers are being pushed from Boulder to Broomfield County and further south and east due to lack of affordability. This means areas like Broomfield, Longmont, Frederick, Firestone, Arvada and Westminster will benefit from Boulder County’s high home prices.

Areas adjacent to Boulder-proper will continue to boast strong numbers as well-qualified buyers purchase outside of Boulder to get more bang for their buck.


phone and computer



Longmont continues to be an affordable option for buyers needing to stay in Boulder County.

Longmont’s median sales price increased 11% compared to this time last year. The median sales price for single family homes in Longmont is now 395K.

The Absorption Rate in Longmont is still very strong at 1.6 months, and that is up 28% from last year.



Louisville continues to mirror the market conditions in Boulder.

While the number of total listings is down, the number of sold homes is up. The median sales price is up 1.6% year over year, and again this more modest gain could be due to seasonality, or the fact that home buyers feel the need to move further south and east to acquire the kind of home in the condition they want.

The Absorption Rate in Louisville (1.3 months) still indicates a strong Seller’s Market.

The numbers outlined above are supported by what Realtors are saying in the market. There are areas that are still red hot, and there are others where buyers are finally starting to have some choices with regard to which home they might choose, what price they might offer, and in those areas, buyers are gaining some traction in the negotiation.

And while Boulder-proper real estate has cooled a bit, we do not see any indicators that lead us to believe there is a big market shift on the way. It is more likely that the years of double digit appreciation have gone, and we have a time of more modest gains ahead.

For buyers who have been waiting for a calmer market, now may be the time to make a move. And for sellers who have been waiting for signs that the years of double digit appreciation could be coming to an end, we may well be on the way to a more balanced market.

As always, if you have more questions about your market, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Allison and Ken