Boulder County homeowners have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Despite the highest interest rates in decades causing downward pressure on purchasing power, annual statistics show that much of Boulder County still holds double-digit gains in single-family homes median prices.
Nationally, real estate news has been dire. Rates for a 30-year fixed-rates mortgage jumped from about 3% as 2022 kicked off to 7% today. Quickly rising mortgage rates brought nationwide home sales down 23.8% year-over-year in September, according to the National Association of Realtors® latest existing-home sales data.
Despite strong headwinds, Boulder County sales prices continued an upward momentum through October. Median sales prices grew year-over-year through October 2022 from a high of 48.4% for Niwot to a low 2.4% for the Mountains area, according to statistics from the Boulder-Longmont Realtors trade association (BOLO Realtors). Following Niwot’s near 50% median sales price rise, the top areas for price gains are Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Longmont and Boulder with percentage increases of 22.7, 15.7, 15.4, 14.1 and 12.9 respectively.
There’s also positive news for homebuyers. Since home sales have slowed across Boulder County, inventory is rising with 874 homes available at the end of October 2022. That’s compared to 206 homes for sale in December 2021.
Despite the growing challenges of becoming a homeowner in recent years, owning a home is still the American dream. Seventy-four percent of respondents in a survey conducted by YouGov Plc for Bankrate.com said owning a home is the top achievement of success. Others marked the following as pinnacle achievements: 66% being able to retire, 60% having a successful career, 50% owning a car, truck, or other automobile, 40% having children, and 35% getting a college degree, reported Bankrate.com in March, 2022. But younger adults are less likely to value homeownership as highly, with 59% of Gen Z and 65% of millennials selecting homeownership as the highest accomplishment, compared to 78% of Gen X and 85% of baby boomers.
Even with the recent added costs of buying a home, 72% of those who own their home are glad they made the choice. They say they would still buy their current home if they had to do it all over again, while just 18% would not, and 10% don’t know.
The pandemic had a lasting psychological effect when the necessity of staying home from work and social engagements created a renewed sense of gratitude toward homeownership. “In fact, 64% of American homeowners say living through a pandemic has made their home more important to them than ever. That makes sense, especially because 83% of homeowners say their home has kept them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” reports NARrealtor.com.
In this holiday season, Boulder County homeowners and those seeking to buy a home can take comfort and feel gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us, a rich community spirit, and a strong real estate market that has maintained its value over the years.
Read more about the impact of the economy on the housing market at www.nar.realtor/magazine/real-estate-news/economy/stabilizing-economy-holds-key-to-reviving-home-sales.
See the full Bankrate.com report at www.bankrate.com/pdfs/pr/20220330-march-fsp.pdf
Tom Kalinski 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 commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit boulderco.com.