Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Real estate sales records across Colorado shattered and median home prices hit record highs in July, according to the latest monthly housing data from the Colorado Association of Realtors® (CAR).

A record 10,771 single-family homes sold statewide in July, topping the previous month’s sales by 15.7% and year-over-year by 21%. The median home price rose 4.5% over June to $443,925 – which is up 8.6% from a year ago, while inventory is still low with active listings dropping more than 11% compared to June and down 42% compared to last year, reports CAR.

More than half of homes sold – 6,500 – were in the seven-county Denver metro area, which include Boulder and Denver. This is up nearly 14% from June to July and more than 20% from July 2019. The average price of a home in the Denver metro jumped to a record-high $601,863 in July, a 7.68% increase from June.

In Boulder County, the strong real estate story continues. While inventory remains tight with 11% fewer listings in July 2020 than last year, prices rose 9.4% year-over-year for single-family homes. Townhomes and condos are holding steady with no price increase compare to July 2019.

The sustained demand, lack of inventory, and low interest rates are driving median prices to record highs while the economy wanes and unemployment rises due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every measure of the performance is contrary to what you might expect in the face of serious economic pressures resulting from the pandemic.

In fact, according to the mid-year Colorado Business Economic Outlook (CBEO) report released this month, the state’s economy is poised to lose 128,500 jobs or drop 4.6% by the end of the year. This is revised from the annual CBEO issued less than a year ago in December 2019, which initially predicted the state would add 40,100 jobs in 2020.

The impact of unemployment in Colorado varies by area. In June, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood reported the highest unemployment in the state at 11%, while the Fort Collins metropolitan statistical area had the lowest unemployment at 9.2%.

Even so, Colorado enters this period of employment decline from a position of having had among the strongest job growth over the past several years. There are silver linings such as Colorado information employment – a jobs engine in Colorado – increased 1% in 2019, and was down 2.4% year-over-year in June 2020, while national information employment is down 10% year-over-year.

The labor force in the information and professional and business services (PBS) sector is well-educated and adaptable, enabling many employees to quickly transition to working remotely during the pandemic. The PBS sector is the third largest employing sector in Colorado, with 437,300 employees in June 2020, making up 16.8 percent of total employment.

But Colorado real estate, for now, seems unshaken by the prediction of rising unemployment.

See Boulder County statistics published by CAR at car-co.stats.showingtime.com/docs/lmu/x/BoulderCounty?src=page

Read the full CBEO report on employment and the economy at www.colorado.edu/business/sites/default/files/attached-files/cbr_2020_issue_3_final.pdf.

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in residential and commercial real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at tomkalinski33@gmail.com, call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.