Front Range real estate watch: Year-end figures for 2012

By the time you read this, it will be 2013 and I would love to review the year-end figures for 2012. Publishing schedules, however, mean that this was written back in December before the holidays and we’ll have to wait until next month for the 2012 year-end numbers to be available.

What I would like to talk about this month is the remarkable level of activity we’re seeing in what traditionally is the slowest time of the year. Traditionally, a time for planning, rewriting marketing pieces, setting goals and preparing for the next year, etc. Sounds really good, but this year we’ve been too busy to get all that stuff done.

This level of activity seemed out of the norm to me so I wanted to look at the numbers to see if my gut was correct. What I found was remarkable.  From the period of Nov. 1st through Dec. 15th, the total number of sales across all of Boulder County rose 25.95% from 424 sales in 2011 to 534 sales in 2012. While sales were up, the number of homes for sale was down sharply. As of Dec. 15th, the number of single family homes for sale in Boulder County was down from 1,051 homes in 2011 to 666 in 2012 or down 36.63%.

The next indicator of market activity I looked at was showing activity within my office.  This metric was a little more interesting. If we only look at gross showings, the stronger activity wasn’t apparent. The gross number of showings we had from Nov. 1st through Dec. 15th actually was down 1.45% when 2012 was compared to 2011. That was an unexpected result which made me dig a little deeper.  The number of showings per active available listing however, was up 42.44% from 2011 to 2012.  That’s the active end of the year I was expecting to find. So, many fewer listings, but the listings out there are getting shown quite a bit. This not only positively impacts your sellers, but can frustrate the buyers who are seeing homes snatched up before they can get out to see them.

Another metric that reflected the busier end of the year is the percentage of homes for sale that are under contract in the various cities within Boulder County. In the chart below you can see that every city in Boulder County has a far higher percentage of homes under contract than we did a year ago. Before you get too excited about the Superior change, realize that Superior is the smallest city in Boulder County and small changes in their numbers can result in abnormally large changes. What struck me the most about the percent’s under contract is that this change in activity was all positive and widespread across all parts of the County.

One last way to look at market activity is the Months of Supply of homes existing in Boulder County. This chart shows the supply of Single Family Homes across all of Boulder County. Remember that the light blue area below represent a balanced market with between 5 and 7 moths of supply on the market. Aside from the one rise in September back into the balanced area, this entire fall/winter has been in the Seller’s market territory. As you can see from the dark blue 5 year average supply line, over the last five years, our market has started each New Year in the buyer’s market territory.  The way the last couple of months have gone this year, it will be very interesting to see where we start 2013. Will the sellers or buyers have the upper hand? We’ll know soon. Hope everyone has a wonderful and prosperous 2013.

By Mike Malec, RE/MAX of Boulder 


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