The one thing I never really liked about my own stats report is the lack of a global overview in each area. In a typical report, the monthly numbers are compared to that same month from the previous year. So, when you see an average sales price, it’s for that month only, and it’s compared to that month only from the year before. The whole thing lacks an answer that ubiquitous question “How’s the market”? I can never answer this question. As we have discussed several times in the past, averages don’t tell the whole story either, but it still kind of drives me crazy. A yearly comparison is what the people want, so here they are!

Of course I didn’t abandon my traditional reporting for those of you who use this information to track what is going on in the area. All I did was add an additional page that took a bit of extra work. But before we get to that I have some other explaining to do regarding the yearly totals in each area. I can honestly say they are a little low and not correct. The problem here is that I can’t prove the numbers are wrong. It all has to do with a little data sharing issue between the two dominant MLS systems in the area. After they had their little fracas earlier in the year not all data was reinstated. I record the number of sales each month and add them up from one month to the next. IRES is really good about going back to scrub the monthly sales to remove duplicates and such. Because of this, about every quarter I go back and do a re-count of the sales to make up for any errors that might not have been fixed at the time this is published. The problem is…I don’t save the underlying data. So after the mess between the MLS’s, some old data wasn’t restored because it was either too old or lost.

I have to go with what I absolutely know for sure when doing these reports. I know is that there are 1,301 SFR sales reported for Longmont. The number should be between 1,319 and 1,323. The difference is about 1.5% off in all areas. I don’t feel this is statistically significant at this point so I’m going move forward with what I can prove. The odd thing about the number 1,301 is that it’s the exact number that The Predictor calculated from back in January 2015. I didn’t publish this prediction because my model isn’t built for long term projections. But in the spirit of good fun…The (now) Awesome Predictor says there will be 79 SFR home sales in January. When that total comes in I will make a prediction for 2016, which we will publicly revisit in a year.

December 2015 Longmont Area StatsIMG_3020
Click here for .pdf file

Since y’all will be quoting this information to your clients for the next six months,let’s jump right into the Full Year Comparison. Every single area shows the same general trend: more sales in 2015 than in ’14; fewer days on market; higher median sales price and higher average sales price. Whoever is surprised raise your hand. There are a couple of specific items that are remarkable at this time. The first being the 11%+ median and average price gains in Longmont SFR homes. In most ways we see this as a good thing, but in the big picture it’s unhealthy to continue this for years on end. It’s too steep a curve that will price too many people out of the market. It needs something more normal like 6-8% for 2016 to let income levels to catch up. I fear it may not let up this year due to the continued lack of inventory. If interest rates rise just a bit we could see slightly lower increases, but it may come at the cost of fewer sales.
2014 vs 2015 Longmont Area Stats
Click here for .pdf file

The rising cost of single family homes is the cause of the 19.2% increase in the price of attached homes in Longmont. Condos are now sitting at $230,000 for the year and it was as recent as February 2012 when the average price of a single family HOME (not condo) in Longmont was lower than $230k. My how the world has changed in four short years.

Still, the #1 surprise of 2015 the sales total of single family homes in the Carbon Valley. A 44.1% upward change is simply unbelievable to me. I dare you to jump into IRES and take a look at the agents who are listing and selling these homes. If you are looking for homes to list and sell – head east. Their prices are keeping up with Longmont; their sales totals are growing; and there is new construction throughout the area. Many of the buyers are coming out of the metro area or heading east from the high prices prevalent in Boulder County. FYI – I took a peek and Erie is doing the same thing.

This leads me to my last point. I have talked before about migration east to take advantage of lower price points. “They” have even named this phenomenon – Drive ’till you Qualify. In my last report I said I’d have some informational slides from the BizWest Boulder Valley Real Estate Conference in December. Those never came through, but I do have one slide created by John Covert of MetroStudy that graphically shows the easterly migration of home buyers, driven by the high prices and lack of construction in BoCo, to take advantage of lower prices and more availability. I can’t repeat his whole story, but if you ever get the chance to see him you will see where the future potential is in our market. Click here to see Dave’s migration slide.

If you haven’t done your business plan for 2016 yet, answer these three questions and you will be better off than if you stop reading. What will I start doing? What will I stop doing? What will I continue doing? Answer honestly. Only you know answers and there is no test. All I know is that if you do this answer these questions, and write down your answers, you will be ahead of about 80% of your competition. That would be a nice place to be when we talk next January.

Here is to your best year yet!