July 2021 Post for Reference Material

It feels like there are a million things to share this month, so I’ll apologize right now if this goes long. But stick with me. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

First off, Longmont, again, set an all-time high in monthly average sales price. The previous high of $612,544 set in April of 2021 was blown out of the water by last month’s average of $634,972. The year-over-year (YoY) increase of this July compared to July of 2020 also set an all-time record for ANY YoY increase of 25.1%. And, July is the fourth straight month with a double-digit average price increase percentage. We have officially reached the Cliffs of Insanity folks, but honestly, it makes sense, for several reasons. Let me see if I can lay it all out.

Much higher prices in Longmont were imminent. Boulder established growth controls over twenty years ago and over the past few years their average price of a single-family home has been well over $1 million. Due to those high prices, people chose to live in Lafayette, Louisville and Superior to be close to Boulder and be near Denver. It was a more convenient choice than Longmont and more affordable than Boulder, so, consequently, average prices in these towns eclipsed $700,000 a few years ago. I charted these numbers for several years in the Housing Affordability Study I used to create. Turn now to the average price of the Boulder County Plains in this report. It’s over $1 million for the 9th month in a row. If you have $1+ million prices in Boulder, the Boulder Plains and $700k+ homes Louisville and Superior… where do you find an affordable home… Firestone, right? Due to Longmont’s anti-growth stance and surrounding itself with unbuildable open space, developers were forced to create their urban sprawl east of I-25. Eventually the drive across the county will get to anyone and the new destination became Longmont. It’s the least expensive option in the county, and closer to Boulder than the Carbon Valley. I am sure the gap between the average prices of Longmont and its nearby Boulder County towns has narrowed in the past couple of years. Look for an updated Affordability Study in January 2022.

On another topic, let’s peek at the charts in the middle of the report. The one on the left is updated from years past. It shows a clear pattern of higher inventory during the summer months (orange line) and lower days on market (blue line) during the same periods. Then, the opposite happens with higher days on market and lower inventory during the winter months. It’s also evident that the high points of both inventory and days on market are declining. The continued and steady decline is staggering.

The graph on the right was brought to my attention by my friend Chris Treharne. He forwarded me a newsletter from a Summit County Realtor that contained this graph from the Census Bureau. You see, last week Chris was listening to me talk to his Rotary club about real estate statistics. I made a claim about the deficit of new home construction in this country. The problem is… I’ve never seen a graph or report like this. I knew the deficit existed and have been talking about it for a couple of years. It turns out we are waaaaaay behind on new construction to fill the demand created by new household formation, millennials finally moving out of the basement, and general population growth. So, due to the lack of new home construction during the recession and builders being slow to make up for the missing housing stock, we are now short 5.5 million homes in this country. If you think demand is going away any time soon get a clearer view of this chart and read the story that goes with it CLICK HERE. And while you are on that site, click on the Foreclosures link.

July 2021 Longmont Area Real Estate Statistics (.pdf)

Now we are going to have some fun. A few months ago, I addressed the odd question Realtors are being asked while talking to homeowners who may want to list their home for sale. “Where would I move”? This has never been a thing, but it’s a real thing now and Realtors should arrive at a listing appointment prepared to answer/solve this if they want the listing. The real question for a seller is “where do you want to go or be?”. If they want to move across town or downsize, the answer is in the MLS. If they want to retire to another country, move to another state, have beachfront property, lower taxes… I’ve done the legwork for you. Enjoy this list of possibilities and let me know if anyone makes a choice off any of these lists. That’d be fun to hear.

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2021 Places with the Lowest Cost of Living


Kyle Snyder