At the top of the lists
Coldwell Banker’s Home Listing Report, which compares more than 2,300 North American housing markets, ranks the cities based on listing prices for four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes.
The real estate brokerage reported Boulder’s average listing price as $860,671 for such properties, placing it at No. 30 on the list. No. 1 on the list was Newport Beach, California, with an average of more than $2.5 million. The only other Colorado community to make the Top 50 was Evergreen, which, with an average price of $922,183, ranked No. 23.
Colorado’s five most-expensive markets included Evergreen, Boulder, Durango, Broomfield and Golden. (Broomfield’s average was $470,345.) In contrast, the most-affordable markets in the state were Pueblo, $141,160; Alamosa, $186,890; Montrose, $208,875; Colorado Springs, $222,936; and Thornton, $234,856.
Other nearby communities included Lakewood, $242,481; Brighton, $285,534; Arvada, $299,364; Westminster, $299,603; Longmont, $301,562; and Erie, $338,909.
Boulder is not new to such lists. Last fall, Coldwell Banker ranked the city as the No. 4 most-expensive college town. The Coldwell Banker College Home Listing Report compared the average home-listing price from April 2010 to September 2010. Boulder’s average price was $791,877. Palo Alto, California, home to Stanford University, placed No. 1, at $1.4 million.
Boulder’s continued placement near the top of such lists likely won’t change any time soon. Although the market continues to experience a glut of homes on the market priced at $1 million or more, other factors have helped the city weather the real estate downturn far better than most.
First, Boulder simply didn’t experience the overbuilding seen in places near and far, from Weld County to Phoenix. A lack of available land and a protected greenbelt mean that very little acreage is available for redevelopment. So, homes within the city have continued to appreciate in value, even as prices in some communities have plummeted.
Second, Boulder continues to benefit from the presence of the University of Colorado, federal laboratories, high-tech companies, the natural-products sector, aerospace and other industries that employ highly paid workers driving strong demand for housing. The presence of such employers helps keep the housing market stable.
Don’t get me wrong: Boulder’s housing market has its challenges, the glut of high-priced homes among them. But, so far, sellers have been reluctant to lower prices, preferring to hold onto the homes until they get their price.
That could all change, of course, if the United States experiences a double-dip in the housing market, or a second Great Recession. Either of those could become the tipping point for reductions in prices in the city by the Flatirons.
But I wouldn’t bet on it. My guess is that Boulder’s attractiveness will continue to drive demand. Natural beauty, a diverse economy, quality housing, walkability and many other factors will serve the city well.
And although no one would root for Boulder to be at the top of any ranking based on price, my guess is that you’ll continue to see the city show up in any Google search for “expensive housing markets”.
P.S. In case you’re wondering, the No. 1 least-expensive market in the Coldwell Banker study was Niagara Falls, New York, with an average price of $60,820, showing that proximity to natural beauty doesn’t necessarily equate to a booming economy, or a booming real estate market.
The Boulder County Business Report continues to seek story ideas for Distinctive Homes of the Boulder Valley. If you would like to suggest an idea, please contact me at the phone number or email listed below. Ideas for features, trend pieces or other content are appreciated.
Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-440-4950 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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