The activity in the Boulder County market remains very strong as we move into Spring and a time period where we normally see even more strength. I’ve been trying to find a way to convey to my clients just how atypical the last few months have been and have settled on showing them the charts below showing the percent of single-family homes in Boulder County that are under contract and the number of single-family and attached home that are on the market. As you can see, both charts show we are in territory we really haven’t been in before.
I think this chart accurately shows how unprecedented the current market is. In the last 17 years, we have never seen levels this high. As of March 22nd, the six-week rolling average for the percent of single-family homes under contract breached the 65% level. When so many homes are under contract, buyers start experiencing all sorts of distress out in the market. I have one young couple who just assume they will have to offer 10% over asking to even be in the running for a property while we’re experiencing these conditions. This strength isn’t limited to the Boulder County market, I’m hearing the same things down in metro Denver and nationwide.
I have been asked if this market strength is due to an excess of buyers or a deficit of sellers and I believe this chart clearly shows we’re missing sellers. We’re at the lowest levels of sellers since 2000 when I started tracking this metric. 507 homes for sale, single-family and attached, at the end of February 2021. Less than 1/8th of the number we saw at the peak in inventory in the summer of 2006.
The scary thought looking ahead, what’s going to change? I don’t think Boulder County is going to become a less desirable place to live. Boulder County isn’t suddenly going to become a pro-development area that dramatically increases our housing stock. I don’t foresee more sellers suddenly deciding to leave the area as COVID impacts lessen and the economy recovers. So, unless mortgage rates rise to a point that stunts buyer demand, I can see the current market conditions continuing for some time.