Lately, as I’ve been watching my daily hotsheets, I’ve noticed an apparent shift in the number of condos for sale in Boulder County with many more attached homes showing up than what feels like normal. Whenever I notice something like this, my first step is actually look at our market data to see if the data actually supports my subjective feel. If the data does support my subjective feel, then I want to try and figure out what the meaning is of the shift I’m feeling if possible.
So, are there more condos for sale in Boulder Cunty than normal? Yes and no. There are more condos for sale than there have been since 2016 and their percentage of the total market has also increased, see the chart on the next page. If we look back further into the past however, we see that the total number of condos for sale back in the period from 2003 through 2011 was much higher. Interestingly, the percentage share of condos on the market back then is about what we’re seeing today. So, a change from the recent past but more of a return to older patterns than the establishment of a totally new pattern. If condos continue to increase their percentage of what is available on the market above the levels we’re at now and have seen in the past, that would signal something new.
Some people are saying this perceived surge in condos onto the market right now is a COVID effect, but if you look at the chart below, this trend started back in 2016 and has been rising steadily since then and any COVID effect should only have started this spring. I’ve debated with others if this is the start of a downturn with condos leading the way but am not sure that’s the right answer either. Hard to say this is the start of a downturn if it has already been happening for over four years. I wonder if it may just be a reflection of the general quality of attached homes in Boulder County, with most of that inventory existing in older, tired complexes. We are seeing buyer preferences shift towards homes that are turnkey and require no updating prior to occupancy and that doesn’t describe many of our local complexes. It also might not be any of the above but just a return to an older pattern for condos while the pattern for single family homes hasn’t adjusted yet. If we consistently breach the level where condo listings are 35% or more of the total available homes in our market, we’ll have to further debate and explain this new phenomenon.
As always, we’ll be watching the market movements to see where we’re headed. Be healthy!