More Boulder Real Estate Conference Notes

The recent Boulder real estate conference included a wide variety of commentary, and some interesting analysis of the local real estate marketplace.

Here I have for you some more digests of my notes from that conference that will give you insight into what’s been happening and what we think may happen in the local real estate market for 2009.

If you have thoughts about Boulder real estate or questions about the market, why not call or email me today, so we can talk about what’s on your mind?

The consensus from many at the real estate conference was that the area between Arapahoe and Balsam, south to north, and Folsom to the foothills, east to west, made up the area many locals consider the ‘downtown urban core’ of Boulder. This amounts to the area generally thought of as the Whittier neighborhood, with some minor adjustments.

A comment from local developer Bill Reynolds was that there’s a specific value in retail purchases for each residential downtown unit at just over $90k. He said that there were a little over 120 residential condominium units under construction in Boulder with an average size of about 1700 square feet.

Kelly Davis, Managing Partner of Oz Architecture said that there are only about 300 residential condominium units in downtown right now, and there’s a lot of renewed interest in living in downtown Boulder due to the variety of the products (types of condos and amenities). He said he’s seeing buyers trading quantitative value (size) for qualitative value when buying downtown condo homes. Qualitative specifics such as location, facility amenities, convenience, walking, sustainability, and low maintenance are all attracting buyers over raw square feet.

Reynolds added that many buyers are downsizing their space, but not their budget in downtown. He seemed to think that buyers are making consideration of common areas and amenities as a value add worth trading for raw square footage in their living space. Leaving the sub-urban homes of 5000′ to 6000′ for urban dwellings around half that size.

It was also said that many of the urban Boulder buyers are locals, including empty-nesters as well as younger urban professionals. Second (vacation/alternate) homeĀ  buyers seem to exist but are apparently a small part of the overall downtown buyer market. Another segment gaining in strength are the ‘grandparent’ buyers. People that have adult children living in Boulder, finding themselves visiting often to see their kids and grand-kids are entering the urban buyer market in lieu of hotel visits and impositions on their families.

A prominent local Realtor who specializes in representing developers said that the new construction sale rate was quite a bit stronger than the resale market of pre-owned condominiums.

There are fewer speculators and investors looking to buy from new projects and then flip the homes to owner occupied buyers. With this trend fading, owner-occupied homes is more the norm in central Boulder. When looking at two downtown Boulder developments, The Walnut has no investor/speculator buyers so far, and the project at 1155 Canyon has only one.

I’ll have more later including perhaps a few comments about what I heard regarding the commercial market in downtown Boulder.

In the meantime, if you want to talk about real estate or the Boulder market, please call or email me soon. I look forward to meeting you, virtually or in person!
-Zachary Epps, full-time professional RealtorĀ® and EcoBrokerĀ®


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