LONGMONT — Following a year in which the Longmont real estate market saw a 21 percent jump in total homes sold and a median sale price increase of 12 percent over 2011, numbers through the first quarter indicate 2013 could be another strong year.
Through March 31, both of those categories are on the upswing year-to-date in Longmont, while the average days on the market has fallen by more than one-fifth, according to statistics gathered for the Longmont Association of Realtors by Kyle Snyder of Land Title Guarantee Co.
Janet Thompson, who runs Thompson Daviau Realty with her daughter — and business partner — Kirsty, under the Metro Brokers umbrella, said the market today is a far cry from just a few years ago, after the
market came crashing down in 2008.
“By 2011 we had our best year ever, and last year we matched our best year ever,” said Thompson, who’s been in the business 11 years. “And the reason I’m telling you this now is, in the first quarter of this year, we’ve had the best quarter ever.”
She said she’s seeing strong movement in single-family homes, condos and townhomes in just about all of the markets she works in, which are primarily Boulder and surrounding counties. Multiple offers, often either at asking price or above, are common, Thompson said.
The biggest issue in the real estate community at the moment, she said, is lack of choice for buyers.
“I don’t really know why — people have stopped listing their homes,” Thompson said. “The interest rates are so low, there’s no problem getting a loan. As long as you’ve got good credit and you’ve got a down payment you can get a loan.
“The problem for the buyers is there’s nothing for them to buy. … We’ve got a lot of qualified buyers that we can’t find properties for.”
“As far as inventory, we’re probably down 60 to 65 percent of where we should be in a normal year,” agreed Edward C. Regel of Regel & Associates. “And I think that’s creating a false seller’s market, because we wouldn’t be in a seller’s market if we had the inventory.”
That lack of homes for sale is creating some intense competition in the real estate community, Regel said.
“Right now we’re seeing things go to contract in 24 to 48 hours — we’re talking $250,000 or less (for a single-family home). … (In that range) if you go see a property and it’s something your client likes, you’d better put in an offer.”
Dene Yarwood, a broker/associate with Wright Kingdom Real Estate and president of the Longmont Association of Realtors’ board of directors, agreed about the tight inventory, but cautioned sellers that their homes still need to be priced appropriately.
“It’s not a free-for-all right now,” she said.And she added that it’s not just the $250,000-and-under market that’s hot right now.
“In the southwest part of (Longmont), if you’re correctly priced, the $350,000 range is also moving fast. Really, anything under $500,000, Yarwood said. “There are some areas that are selling faster than other ones. But really, across the board, we’re doing very well.”
Asked to break out her crystal ball, Yarwood said she doesn’t feel like excessively tight inventories are something real estate agents — and those in the market for a house — are going to have to deal with all year.
“I think there are pent-up sellers,” she said. “I think once sellers see what’s going on they’ll be more inclined to put their houses on the market.”
Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-684-5291 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.