The real estate market in Boulder County completely stagnated in 2019, according to data recently released by the Colorado Association of Realtors, and with a projected slowing of the economy and a presidential election, which often causes consumer confidence to dip, it doesn’t appear the market will be on the rise again anytime soon.
“Boulder County’s homes prices are stuck in the snow and the wheels are spinning,” Boulder-area Realtor Kelly Moye stated in a Colorado Association of Realtors news release. “It’s like someone just held it in time and nothing changed. I think it’s a trend we are going to see continue, too.”
According to the November market update from the association, the median price for single-family homes in Boulder rose 2.2% in the past year and 1.7% in Longmont. In Lafayette, the median price of a single-family home stayed the same and in Louisville, the median price for a single-family home dropped 2.8%.
Meanwhile, in Broomfield, the median home price rose by 7.2%.
For Boulder, Moye said the problem is centered around the city’s affordability and growth limitations. The median price of a single-family home in Boulder is $940,000. For the same price, prospective buyers could purchase a much nicer home in Broomfield, where the median home price is $565,000.
Additionally, while the median price of single-family homes remained relatively flat for much of 2019, the median price of townhomes jumped 14.8% in Lafayette, 9.9% in Louisville, and 7.7% in Broomfield. In the latter, townhomes cost roughly $100,000 less than in Boulder, where the median cost of a townhome is $433,700 and only appreciated 0.9%.
“Wages aren’t keeping up with home prices in Boulder, so people are going to the outlying areas, like Broomfield, and enjoying Boulder on the weekends,” Moye said. “Boulder likes to think their city is insulated from these market fluctuations, and in a lot of senses, they’re right, because of the university and (the city’s) no growth policies, but they’re not as insulated as they think.”
In Longmont, where the median price of a single-family home is $447,500 and a townhome is $325,000, Moye said the problem is one of supply and demand. With so much new construction beginning since the passage of its new zoning regulations, there’s little competition to drive up prices — especially with many of the state’s larger employers still located in Boulder and Denver, the latter of which can be more easily reached via Louisville or Lafayette.
While Longmont’s population growth is likely to quickly catch up with the supply, it’s unlikely to happen in 2020.
The local real estate market is not the only market indicator likely to remain flat. According to The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder, which released its 55th annual economic forecast on Monday, job growth in Colorado is expected to drop from 1.9% in 2019 to 1.4% in 2020 and economic growth is projected to slow from 2.3% to 1.8%.
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