BOULDER – Boulder-area home sales showed growth in the final year-to-date data for 2015, despite the continued challenge of low inventory, according to Ken Hotard, vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.
“December closed 2015 very strong year-over-year for single-family homes and in attached dwellings the area basically matched last year’s sales,” says Hotard.
Sales of single-family homes in Boulder County improved 11 percent year-to-date through December 2015 compared to the prior year with 4,869 units sold versus 4,385. Month-to-month sales increased 24.4 percent in December compared to November – 351 units sold versus 282.
In condos and townhomes, year-to-date sales inched up a scant .7 percent – 1,562 units versus 1,551. Month-to-month sales dipped 17.4 percent in December 2015 compared to November 2015 with 76 attached dwelling units sold versus 92.
“At this point, given the economic factors affecting the condo/townhome market, I’d say that’s pretty solid,” says Hotard.
Hotard cites lack of inventory as major factors in both housing markets, particularly for condo/townhomes.
Inventory of single-family units dipped 20.2 percent in December compared to November –declining to 584 units from 732, while multi-family unit inventory decreased 21 percent – 67 units versus 86 – over the same period.
“We’re not seeing production of new for sale owner-occupied multi-family units at any meaningful level, even though there continues to be clear significant demand for that type of product,” he says, noting that the lack of adequate construction-defects legislation is one reason new condos and townhomes are not being built.
“Developers are making other choices because of the potential cost of construction-defects litigation,” Hotard says.
Price growth overall was strong throughout 2015 for single- and multi-family homes. “This is a highly desirable area with a highly educated workforce that is growing,” he notes.
Looking ahead to 2016, Hotard expects demand to remain strong, but inventory will continue to be a significant challenge.
Many national-level forecasters “suggest we’ll have a year of growth but it won’t be as robust as 2015,” he adds. “I think I would probably concur with that. The Boulder area markets are likely to reflect that national trend.”