It’s that cozy time of the year where the crockpot comes out, tea makes a daily appearance, and you suddenly find yourself in the slipper section at Target. For those of us in Colorado, fall also means golden aspen leaves, snow capped peaks, and crisp mountain air reminding us that winter is around the corner.
Just because the weather is cooling off does that mean this red hot housing market is cooling off as well?
We have hopeful news for those of you who have been patiently waiting and endlessly scouring Zillow to buy a house. While the market has not completely cooled off to pre pandemic levels, it is showing positive signs of normalizing. Prices and inventory are still not as enticing for buyers as they were at the beginning of 2020 especially in sought after markets such as Boulder, CO but our data is showing slight price decreases as well as a bit of wiggle room in inventory vs demand. The market has constantly been keeping us realtors on our toes.
In typical years such as 2019 when going into October, we historically see a slight decline in median sales price from the spring and summer. For example, in April of 2019, Boulder County’s median sales price was 535k whereas the median sales price in October of 2019 was 527k.
As you can see from the chart below, the median sales price in Boulder County topped off at $707k and then started slowly declining, ending at 657k in September 2021.
Looking at 2019, Inventory did start to ramp up in the spring and cooled off in the fall which is pretty typical for our market and based on the above chart we are seeing the same trend.
More recently, inventory has declined from the peak in June 2021 and is still lower than inventory in 2020 – 282 (Sept 2020) vs 194 (Sept 2021). However, even though inventory has not rebounded, prices are cooling showing less demand from buyers (still high but less than the previous months).
The seasonal decrease in price creates a window of opportunity for buyers to snag their dream property before prices potentially rise again. The fall is a time where school is in session and holidays are right around the corner. Buyers who are looking in the fall are typically serious and not the lookie-loo traffic we often see in the summer. Sellers who list in the fall also tend to be more motivated to close and negotiate.
A couple of tips for buyers entering the market:
1- Have your ducks in a row. By now you should have narrowed down your criteria, figured out what your budget is, and an ideal time frame to close. By having this knowledge once you find the right property you should have less hesitation to put in an offer. And even though we see signs of cooling, time is still of the essence.
2- Get pre-approved. Reach out to a reputable lender to get a pre-approval letter in hand. Not only will your offer look more attractive to the seller but you will also be able to know what you can afford and potentially close a bit sooner since you got the prerequisites out of the way. We have a list of great lenders we have used in the past. Feel free to reach out for an introduction.
3- Hire an agent. Make sure to hire an agent who is familiar with the area, well connected, and responds promptly. This is especially important in a competitive market. They will be able to negotiate on your behalf, speak directly to the listing agent on specifics, and be able to create a smart plan around your search and ultimately your offer.
The market still has plenty of demand and we would not discourage any sellers from selling to get top dollar for their home right now. However; now may be the perfect opportunity for buyers to get into a home and see a slight discount from the prices we have been seeing before the market ramps up again. We don’t see demand in Boulder County slowing down in the long run. These new prices may be our new normal. If you’re in the market to buy, don’t wait! Take advantage of this window.
At Lovato Properties, we know the Boulder market. We have run, walked, biked, and driven every inch of Boulder County and we are deeply invested in this amazing area. Now grab your pumpkin spiced latte and let’s see some houses! Reach out today to our team of experts.