Time to take a look back at the 2020 sales numbers for the Boulder County real estate market. As is usual, these stats are IRES data only and may miss sales only attributed in REColorado and any sales not reported to an MLS system. Due to the duplication problems between the MLS systems, I am not including any REColorado data. Hopefully soon, we’ll be able to reliably include that data in our stats.
In looking back at my Feb. 2020 article, I remember a song lyric from the late 90’s, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.” Not sure COVID officially hit on a Tuesday, but pretty sure that the novel Coronavirus wasn’t on my list of worries at the start of the 2020 real estate market. Having effectively lost our two busiest months, it’s amazing we ended the year with annual sales up 4.5%. Most of that gain was in Single Family sales although Attached sales eked out 7 extra sales in 2020 compared to 2019. We’ve been wobbling around 4,600 total annual sales for 8 years now and maybe are starting to see the formation of an upward trend in the number of annual home sales, stay tuned.
After we all got back to work in early May, we had a very active market with showing activity quickly exceeding the pace of the previous year and staying mostly 20% above the 2019 levels. Multiple offers were commonplace although Attached Homes were softer than Single Family. The big story going into 2021 is the lack of Single Family homes available for sale across Boulder County. In the chart below you can see we are at new historic lows. It gets a little silly in some of the individual cities. On the morning of Jan. 25th, there was 1 Single Family home in Louisville and 3 in Superior that were available for sale and not under contract. Interestingly, in the Cities of Boulder, Louisville, and Lafayette, there are more Attached homes available for sale and not under contract than Single Family homes.
The number of homes available for sale and not under contract, in the chart above, is the metric I’ll be watching most closely as we move through 2021. If this number stays at the current historic low level, the buyer feeding frenzy will remain in place. If we move back into the middle of the pink area in the chart above, we’ll return to just a strong market. My gut feel for this year is that we’ll stay somewhere between feeding frenzy and a strong market through the summer. Hopefully by the fall we’ll have much better feel for the effectiveness of widespread COVID vaccinations and the return of normality which in my mind will have more to do with the return of consumer confidence in close-quarters, social consumption as actual medical safety.