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Boulder County Market Insights

for the month of October 2015

Millennials currently make up the largest consumer group according to recent national statistics. Thankfully, real estate purchases are on the horizon for many of them, although there are obstacles to be overcome.

Large numbers are graduating from college with high student loan payments, low employment prospects and they are too independent to easily move back in to the parental family home.

Tight inventories of affordable homes to buy present an obstacle on one side. Skyrocketing rental costs are hemming them in on another side. The real estate industry will need to find and present the happy medium that makes home ownership the most attractive option for this tech savvy generation.

In the meantime, what alternatives are available to resolve the immediate housing needs short of roommates or roommates you call Mom and Dad?

One possible temporary solution might be found in a Tiny House.

A Tiny House refers to a structure of 400 square feet or less that has all the amenities and less of the costs of traditional single family housing. While the first exposure to a Tiny House may put you in mind of a backyard playhouse, these Tiny Houses do the hard work of full sized homes.

A Tiny House isn’t simply a miniature version of a traditional home. Neither are they an RV with a traditional house façade, though some of them are built on mobile platforms. They are an uncommon and quite interesting living experience that lend themselves beautifully to the personality of the souls that occupy them.

Alas, as Tiny Houses are not marketed like traditional homes in Boulder County, the 273 houses that sold and closed this past month were all full sized. Comparisons to last year’s number of 208 sold and closed at this time expresses that rebounding market place which is still gaining steam.

It is our contention that the average days on market of 62 is more a reflection of inventory levels than consumer demand factors. Days on market will no doubt increase as we come into the fall and winter seasons, as we already are receiving reports of slowing showing schedules.

Median sale prices in Boulder County in September of $369,000 were up from 2014, while active listings available of 507 reflect less than a 6 month inventory supply.

Out of the 7.3 billion people on the planet, there are 75.3 million consumers identified as millennials with 93% of them declaring they want to own their own full sized home one day. That’s good news, as sales numbers are slightly down overall in spite of national economic growth being up 3.7%.

But are the low numbers due to homes not selling? Or is it due to the low number of homes available on the market to be purchased? While home prices have risen, homeowners’ resistance to selling indicates they haven’t yet risen enough to inspire a rush to market.

Hopefully, as those homeowners begin to trust the rebounding market numbers we will see more homes go up for sale. Those sale prices and market times will provide a clearer picture of the actual real estate market.

Thankfully new home builders have begun to see the trend and are responding, but the new home market is still lagging in relation to the demand for more housing.

Mortgage rates remain virtually unchanged thanks to the Fed holding them steady; however, all indications are that those increases will be implemented at some point in the not too distant future.

All in all this is NOT a scary real estate market for buyers or for sellers!

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