David Sparks, left, checks out the faucets while being shown around a $2 million condominium in The Walnut properties by real estate agent Miles Kunkel of Re/Max of Boulder on Wednesday.
Marty Caivano
David Sparks, left, checks out the faucets while being shown around a $2 million condominium in The Walnut properties by real estate agent Miles Kunkel of Re/Max of Boulder on Wednesday.

BOULDER, Colo. –

Twenty single-family homes sold in Boulder during each of the months of January and February, marking the seventh month in a row of sales volume declines for the city, according to area real estate figures.

Compared with February 2008, the city’s sales volume declined 60 percent, according to recent statistics from the Boulder Area Realtor Association.

“That’s probably one of the slowest starts we’ve seen going into a new year in some time, but it’s obviously reflective of the market,” said Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor Association.

Hotard added the past two months are an “aberration,” and cautioned that month-over-month comparisons can be volatile.

During the 12-month period that ended on Feb. 28, home sales in the city of Boulder and the entire Boulder area were down 25 percent and nearly 16 percent, respectively, according to Camera calculations of the Realtor association’s figures.

The area’s biggest hit has been in sales volume, but not in values, Hotard said.

The median value of a single-family home in Boulder for the 12-month period that ended on Jan. 31– the most current 12-month statistics offered by the Realtor Association — was $551,375. For the month of February, the median sales price was $541,000, according to the report.

National figures released Wednesday show a somewhat rosier outlook for the rest of the country’s home sales.

The Commerce Department said sales rose 4.7 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 337,000 from an upwardly revised January figure of 322,000. Even after the revision to January’s sales results, that month remained the worst on records dating back to 1963.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected February sales to fall to a pace of 300,000 units.

Since the report reflects signed contracts to buy new homes rather than completed sales, it could reflect the early impact of a new a new $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers signed by President Barack Obama in mid-February.

Despite fewer homes selling in Boulder, Hotard and others in the area’s real estate community said the spring buying season is coming into bloom.

Lower interest rates, recent national home sales gains and effects from the federal stimulus package seem to be spurring activity and confidence, said Jim Bodin, owner of Bodin Realty International in Boulder.

“If you called me a couple months ago, I would’ve said, ‘Yikes.’ … But (real estate activity has) turned the corner,” he said.

Re/Max of Boulder hopes to stimulate activity in its own way, by launching a campaign noting its intentions of buying down interest rates further, said company broker/owner Tom Kalinski.

“I think people are starting to feel better about buying, especially with the lower rates,” he said.

The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.63 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s March 20 report.

On Wednesday, David Sparks, 55, of Alaska, walked through a couple of new condos at The Walnut, a new development off 17th and Walnut streets. Sparks sold his construction business two years ago and wanted a place that was close to his family, a place that would be “low-maintenance.”

“With the market today, it’s better than it was three years ago,” he said.

Sparks said he is looking in the $1.5 million to $2.5 million range, a high-end market that has seen increasing softness and substantial price reductions, said Osman Parvez, owner of Silver Fern Homes in Boulder and author of a local real estate analysis blog at boulderrealty.blogspot.com.

Jumbo loans — those larger than the federally mandated caps on what some mortgage companies may buy — have been difficult for some to attain during the credit crunch, said the Realtor Association’s Hotard. However, he said he is optimistic about some movement by lenders in recent weeks to add on more high-end loan products.

Bank of America officials last week said they are looking to bring down rates on jumbo mortgages and issue more of those loans this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Archived comments

Anything that lowers property values and causes slumlords like Fowler et al to close shop is a good thing for Boulder.

NukesInBoulder

3/25/2009 9:24:59 PM

Realtors are so full of crap.Real Estate in Boulder is going to fall further and they know itbut just can’t bring themselves to admit it.

Realtors are in denial and will say anything but the truth about the economy.

rungreger

3/25/2009 9:37:23 PM

Realtor Spokesman = Baghdad Bob

It’s *always* a good time to buy a house, and waste 7% of the equity using a glorified taxi driver to show the property.

You might as well ask the NASD if it’s a good time to invest in Stocks, or ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.

It’s the media’s inane pandering to the very industries that contributed to the economic collapse that is part of the systemic problem of the lack of objective, honest investment information in this country.

Pathetic. Utterly pathetic.

TheBitterTruth

3/25/2009 9:51:48 PM

I’m sure the skyrocketing unemployment rate is doing wonders for the RE market. With the situations at IBM and Sun just here in Boulder County, I find it hard to believe the outlook is optimistic. Bitter hit the nail on the head.

The “stimulus” package did nothing to help those of us who played by the rules, got a place we could afford, stayed up on payments, and are now looking to sell and buy. We would love to be putting our house up to sell right now, but there is no way we will do it at this present time.

dludler

3/25/2009 10:14:39 PM

There are a lot of foreclosures in Boulder that aren’t advertised.The bank forecloses, and gives it to a local realtor to sell.There are foreclosed houses in Boulder (City of) financed by Indymac Bank after it failed, and listed in the assessor records as owned by some Dutch bank.When Indymac was bailed out, I wonder if there was a name change.Houses over the median prices.I saw one over a million.Indymac of California, home of Peleton Developers.

There are also houses purchased in Boulder this past year with euros (before it devalued) but they are listed in the sales reports as dollar conversions.One third false sale’s price.

The numbers of homes in the 1million plus range for sale is phenomenal.

Wake up developers, planners, and City Council.Boulder home prices are going to crash like the stock market.It is all involved with the credit swap derivatives, and when AIG and Wall Street stop scaring the government with their potential to do even more damage, they will come after the CROOKS elsewhere.Boulder is full of them.AIG under other guises are active and raping Boulder.I would imagine Longmont is worse.

Are City Attorneys and DA’s and other Financial Crime Units Paying Attention?

Since Boulder’s DA is a Real Estate Attorney, he knows all of this.Or he should.

creation

3/25/2009 10:32:23 PM

None of these comments have any relevancy to reality, as the housing market isn’t based on opinions of bitter and lonely people, but simply upon what someone is willing to pay or sell a property for.

The Boulder market this winter was interesting – everyone just sat there waiting to see what would happen in the spring.There were few listings, few sales, and minimal price reduction.Home ownership in Boulder isn’t based on income, it’s based on wealth, and so owners aren’t forced into selling … they can sit and wait for the demand to come to them.

Because if you want in, you have to buy.Rents are high, and the development rules are so strict, you basically have to purchase an existing home – you have to get inside the “moat”.Once past the moat (city limits) you are IN … property values will rarely decline because the supply is finite and the demand is not.There are tens of thousands of people who would like to live here, and they will pay the price, and in all probability, they will be happy they did.You gotta live somewhere, and in spite our recent spate of strange and regressive rules and regulations, this place sure beats Pittsburgh.

Buzz

3/25/2009 11:06:22 PM

Clueless Clowns!

http://www.foreclosure.com/search/CO_013.html

Boulder Foreclosure Results 1 – 25 of 360 (THREE HUNDRED SIXTY!!)

1 Details- Meadow St Longmont CO 80501 4 / 2 $152,000$175,500 SF

2 Details- E 8th Ave A… Longmont CO 80501 2 / 1 $58,000 $113,500 CO

Get foreclosure deals in your inbox FREE!Activate now

3 Details 2 Stardance Cir Longmont CO 80501$449,900 $675,000 UN

4 Details 2 Clark Dr Erie CO 80516 2 / 1 $165,000 $264,500 SF

5 Details 2 Williams Fork Boulder CO 80301 1 / 1 $71,300 CO

6 Details 2 County Road 16 Erie CO 80516 5 / 3 $218,900 SF

7 Details 2 Montgomery Dr Erie CO 80516 3 / 2 $110,000 $173,000 SF

8 Details 2 Martin St Longmont CO 80501 3 / 1 $115,000 $160,000 SF

9 Details 2 S Burlingto… Lafayette CO 80026 4 / 2 $160,000 SF

10 Details 2 Linden Boulder CO 80304 4 / 3 $705,000 SF

11 Details 4 Modred St Lafayette CO 80026 3 / 2 $79,900 $155,500 UN

12 Details 7 Linden Ave Boulder CO 80304 4 /$705,000 $809,000 UN

13 Details 7 Red Mountain Longmont CO 80501 2 / 2 $129,000 CO

14 Details Active 9 Williams Fo… Boulder CO 80301 1 / 1 $71,300 $113,500 UN

15 Details Active- Logan Ln Longmont CO 80501$175,900 $173,000 SF

16 Details Active- Mount Sneff… Longmont CO 80501 2 / 2 $148,000 $179,500 SF

17 Details Active- Hover St Longmont CO 80501 2 / 1 $105,000 $180,500 SF

18 Details Active- Agape Way Lafayette CO 80026$173,000 UN

19 Details Active- Montgomery Dr Erie CO 80516$196,500 UN

20 Details Active- Judson Dr Longmont CO 80501$313,000 UN

21 Details Active- Hwy 36 Lyons CO 80540$786,500 UN

22 Details Active- Ashford Cir Longmont CO 80501$295,500 UN

23 Details Active- May Ave Lyons CO 80540$311,500 UN

24 Details Active- Whitehall Dr Longmont CO 80501$405,500 UN

25 Details Active- Labelle Rd Boulder CO 80302$1,102,500 UN

Boulder Foreclosure Results 1 – 25 of 360 (THREE HUNDRED SIXTY!!)

ROTFLMAO !!

TheBitterTruth

3/25/2009 11:54:46 PM

Wow, Bagdad Bob!Whatever happened to that guy?I’m sure that Letterman could have launched a career that the Bush administration would have jumped on.

I think Bagdad B. made us love him for being able to deliver such messages of total krap and be so serious about it.What a gift!I hear the GOP is looking for a new front man….

smithomon

3/26/2009 12:20:52 AM

@bittertruth — there are some foreclosures in Boulder proper. but most are in East County as your sample demonstrates.

This has been a historic dropoff in number of sales in town.Realtors must really be hurting as this trend dates from late last year.We’ll see how the next few months look as we go into the busy selling season.

I disagree that the sellers hold the cards here.If you must move or can’t make your payments, you need to sell your house.Only thing that ever made the buyers panic is when prices were running away from us.We’re not there now.

Make no mistake — if there continues to be a huge drop in volume of sales, prices are next.

eltamarindo

3/26/2009 12:23:19 AM

Posted by windskull

flyonthewall if you visit here this basically confirms what I said about the bond company wanting cash now instead of the 60% depreciated house after bailing out this vermin! http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2009/mar/24/niwot-joseph-cardillo-sex-assault-drinking-urine/#comments

windskull

3/26/2009 12:42:11 AM

And so our overvalued property is losing value. Am I supposed to be surprised? More importantly am I supposed to be upset? I just want to see the whole mess come down to earth. Equalization of wealth benefits everyone. What is so awful about that? Trickle down rather than up.

Quite simply, we’ve reached the limit. Extortion hit the wall of global resource limits. It needs to be much better for those billions that suffer on so little when so few live on such massive excess. That’s all you hear on the news now. Wealth disparity. Finally.

lynn_segal_aka_lds

3/26/2009 12:44:16 AM

“We’ll see how the next few months look as we go into the busy selling season.”

Factor 360 foreclosures into the unsold inventory, divide by the sales/month and let us know how long it’s going to take to liquidate the *current* inventory — then add the NEW foreclosures and listings each month.

Anyone who thinks city inventory/sales are isolated from county market pressures ain’t got the brains that god gave a prairie dog.

The existing home sale percentage drop in the Boulder Valley at 14.9 percent is worse than the nation, which saw existing home sales fall by 13.1 percent in 2008.

By city, existing home sales in 2008 fell the sharpest in

Superior, down 26 percent;

Louisville, down 23 percent; and

Lafayette, down 20 percent.

Median sale prices for existing single-family home sales in 2008 fell the sharpest in

Longmont, down 8.4 percent to $219,900;

Boulder, down 2.3 percent to $538,000; and

Lafayette, down 2.3 percent to $311,500.

TheBitterTruth

3/26/2009 12:49:51 AM

Whenever you hear the argument that Boulder is different and is immune to housing price declines, watch out.There were many others who believed the same in their communities.

Santa Barbara is one example — beautiful, nice weather, beaches, university town, and strong growth restrictions.They even love 3 story mixed-use developments.Median prices are down about 25 percent from the peak.I don’t know whether that will happen in Boulder, but to say Boulder is different and that prices won’t decline is naive.

eltamarindo

3/26/2009 12:58:58 AM

Ad hominem attacks are the mark of a weak argument, TheBitterTruth.Conflating foreclosure statistics in Erie and Longmont with those in Boulder proper is poor analysis.Erie and Longmont have been distressed markets for a while and have seen sizable price declines, while Boulder is just starting to head that way (although further along at the top end).

eltamarindo

3/26/2009 1:11:21 AM

“Posted by Buzz on March 25, 2009 at 11:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

None of these comments have any relevancy to reality, as the housing market isn’t based on opinions of bitter and lonely people, but simply upon what someone is willing to pay or sell a property for.”

The Boulder market this winter was interesting – everyone just sat there waiting to see what would happen in the spring. There were few listings, few sales, and minimal price reduction. Home ownership in Boulder isn’t based on income, it’s based on wealth, and so owners aren’t forced into selling … they can sit and wait for the demand to come to them.”

—————————————

Sorry Buzz, as this comment of yours at 11.06 seems like it was a response to my previous comment and I know I am correct.

1.I’ve lived in Boulder a long time and my home ownership is based on wealth.Your comment is moronic, as very few people pay cash, and mortgages are in short supply.No mortgages, no sales.Why continue developing?The fantasy has ended.

2.A home I moved from three years ago, I drove past a few nights ago, and it was for sale.The owners had also done some nice upgrades.

3.Curious, I started looking on the Internet, and discovered they had just walked away from the house, Indymac bought the house for less than it was sold to them and the couple had another house listed as a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.The foreclosed house is currently listed for sale for 10% less than what I sold it to them, three years ago, with upgrades, and you can assume it will sell for 5% less than asking.Indymac purchased it from the people I sold to for 130K less at foreclosure.

4.My searching concerning their foreclosure took me to many other foreclosures.The DC lists frequent foreclosures in Longmont, but I can’t remember seeing one in Boulder.I found many and have links to them.

5.Buzz, you work for the city in some capacity and it is appalling to have you perpetuate this lie.

Nobody is bitter and lonely.My additional comment related to the deceptions involving the prices that are purchased with euros involves friends I have who have done so, also as a second home in the U.S. with wealth, not income.

6.AIG and Wall Street and Credit Default Swaps in Boulder.There are multiple developments failing.Boulder isn’t going to be ruined like so many towns in America by conmen, phony mortgages, etc.The beginning of the end is in process, unless the Developers are STOPPED.

7.Interesting finding this story a few days later.

I felt some local oversight should be notified, but realized Stan Garnett and the City Manager and City Attorney have to be aware of what I write, and didn’t need me to tell them.

But, are they telling the people of Boulder, or are the developers raping Boulder as is happening on Wall Street and with AIG in London?I’m sure there is a big connection.

creation

3/26/2009 2:12:45 AM

Once again there goes Mr. Bitter-Know-It-All.

I say this wouldn’t be a problem for anyone if they didn’t try to live beyond their means.All those nice houses with the BMWs in front…they don’t own that……the bank does.It’s all about the status and fitting in in Boulder and look what it gets them.I’m not cry-cry for them. They are fools to try and live a life they can’t afford.

Moosi

3/26/2009 3:11:57 AM

lynn: “Am I supposed to be surprised? More importantly am I supposed to be upset?”

Who are you asking? Who is allegedly doing the supposing? Why do you care? Oh, I got it, you must believe in thought control, particularly over others’.

lovechild

3/26/2009 3:53:02 AM

tbt

as usual you have no point. Just google stuff.

thesurfrider

3/26/2009 4:03:12 AM

(1) It’s easier to Buy than to Sell.

(2) A Fool and their Money will soon part.

(3) If you don’t Buy you won’t Win.

(4) Land appreciates but Houses depreciate.

(5) HOAs can be a liability.Buyers should AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE HOAs that have had prior lawsuits. There are dysfunctional HOAs that will get you into extremely expensive lawsuits (ugh, I learned by experience)!

GOOD NEWS: Homes near cities that have favorable business conditions (attractive to business = will create jobs) will do okay.

But supply and demand rule.

Pinda_Lick_o_yi

3/26/2009 6:45:38 AM

fishheadsoup – why aren’t you whining about the FAR restrictions?Did you do your remodel of your home uncoded?Good for you!

You obviously have no economic background and don’t understand what caused the current financial crisis, and it is still occurring.

Of course we don’t won’t affordable housing.We never had affordable housing.It was a City Council Sham, to justify meeting fantasy Kyoto Protocols.Since there is no money for FasTracks, what developers will be building won’t be the “never existed” affordable housing.Green house gases won’t matter.The whole thing is as dumb as the LEEDS Platinum awards.What idiots bought Pollard and Valmont Buttes and why?What is that blight the Peleton doing in town?

Boulder has engaged in credit default swaps, derivative trading and overleveraging of mortgages, so the Developers on Planning Board and City Council could engage in the theft occurring worldwide.

When Boulder has no libraries, maintained parks and bike paths,you are robbed and no cop shows up, we have another big fire in town and no firemen exist, it will be because City Council, Planning Board and others have absconded with the City Money.

Markel, DeCava, and all the rest – we know who you are.

Ken Wilson, we know about you and XCEL.

Cowles, too much to say about you.

It doesn’t matter if the timing in Boulder is different from the rest of the country.Huge layoffs are occurring in Boulder.There are many people in Boulder in unsellable million dollar houses who lost all their money in the stock market crash.Most IBMers don’t live in Boulder.

And wasn’t it nice of Conoco Phillips to hire their architect locally, NOT!

creation

3/26/2009 7:59:47 AM

It’s almost as if there is some sort of relationship between price, supply and demand.Someone needs to do some investigative reporting.

gsegiet@flash.net

3/26/2009 8:10:12 AM

Boulder has a similar housing bubble as a lot of the towns in southern California Laguna Beach, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, ect outdoor recreation view of the ocean/mountains basically a place everyone wanted to live.

Just ignore that real estate is double the price of all the surround area (Bubble).

“The price is only going to go up” (Bubble).

“Now is the time to buy” (Bubble).

All economic bubbles popâ ¦ it is a flawed system and bubbles are a side affect.

It is funny I still see places with For Sale signs that have been up for months.. Like a 2 bedroom condo in Tantra for $300.000 so they drop the price to $285,000 and it sits, once in a while the signs get blown over and someone props them back up.

People are in denial.

sidd

3/26/2009 8:10:47 AM

the good news is that if this keeps up, the cool people can move back to town.

bouldermeister

3/26/2009 8:39:33 AM

Something needs to give.We cannot support everyone moving back.We have no water.

siggy1123@hotmail.com

3/26/2009 9:00:48 AM

Maybe if you greedy pretentious bags of corruption didn’t try to sell a dilapidated 2 bedroom home with no amenities for $750,000 people might start buying.

getcraziesout

3/26/2009 9:03:14 AM

IndyMac Bank turned into IndyMac Federal Bank.

Thanks for playing the Angry Poster Game, and please consider getting a full neurological scan soon, from a well-respected doctor.

claroofusjones@comcast.net

3/26/2009 9:12:58 AM

Let’s hope it gets worse and the Boulder pricing bubble pops too. Pricing for single family homes in Boulder needs a serious market correction.

snarlpup

3/26/2009 9:17:14 AM

Posted by claroofusjones on March 26, 2009 at 9:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

IndyMac Bank turned into IndyMac Federal Bank.

Thanks for playing the Angry Poster Game, and please consider getting a full neurological scan soon, from a well-respected doctor.

———————————————————

Boulderwannabe, so sorry the construction jobs and subprime loans are no longer available for you to steal.Try around Greeley and the slaughterhouses.Great prices amongst the stench of death and manure.

I understand a long lineage of claroofusses live there.You may find “long lost mom and ten dads”.Good luck!

creation

3/26/2009 9:34:08 AM

“Posted by sidd on March 26, 2009 at 8:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Boulder has a similar housing bubble as a lot of the towns in southern California Laguna Beach, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, ect outdoor recreation view of the ocean/mountains basically a place everyone wanted to live”

The average price per square foot in Boulder is $267…not cheap, but:

In Newport you would pay $650 a foot, in Laguna $800.Closer to home, in Cherry Creek it’s $397, in Cherry Hills $332, and in Greenwood Village its $296.If you include Vail, Telluride, etc., Boulder barely cracks the list of most expensive towns in the state of CO.Colorado has three cities on the list of 100 most expensive places to live in the US:Boulder isn’t one of them (Vail, Aspen, Telluride)

I grew up in Boulder.It’s a nice place.But I never have understood why so many people try to make it out as something it isn’t.It isn’t anything like Laguna, or Newport, or Santa Barbara, or Cherry Hills for that matter, and the property values reflect it.

If you think there is a bubble waiting to burst, think again.I predict this is the cheapest real estate you will ever see in Boulder.And no, I am not a realtor, I have no dog in this hunt.

IXLR82

3/26/2009 10:11:56 AM

I gotz prime real estate, I just wish I had cool neighbors.

bouldermeister

3/26/2009 10:18:19 AM

…rats leaving Sinking Ship.

Now IBM chops heads.

Who will buy your BMW?

Who killed Jon Benet?

thinice

3/26/2009 10:19:32 AM

Cherry Creek North –home to some ofColorado’s wealthiest individuals and(a rather small 16 block neighborhood) hassome of the highest prices per square foot outside Aspen/Vail..some as high as $1600 psf.,and condo prices up to over ten million.In that isolated niche market they are currently seeing -25%.Why would people in Boulder be surprised by the recent failing numbers. Properties in Laguna/Newport coast have gone from average plus $1000 psf. to around $850 in less than two years time..Boulder is just now feeling what many have for a while..Correction in pricing seems aways off by many indicators

newport1

3/26/2009 10:27:54 AM

Not surprising but still curious that the Boulder real estate market draws such weird and emotionally invested ramblings. Predictions? A dime a dozen. Too many macro economic forces in play to know for sure where things will settle, but the long term trend since the US was founded is up. As for me, I’ll be refinancing and shaving a point and a half off my loan and working a few years longer than I had hoped for. A prime example of microeconomic adjustment.

bnorthrop

3/26/2009 10:30:42 AM

“Posted by bnorthrop on March 26, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Not surprising but still curious that the Boulder real estate market draws such weird and emotionally invested ramblings.”

Because many of the residents, mostly transplants, have convinced themselves Boulder is on par with places like Laguna Beach; that everyone would die to live here, and there must be a national concern about its real estate values.

Reality (pricing) suggests Boulder is among the list of 2nd tier “pretty nice” cities to live in.

Boulder is, therefore, #1…….in the #2 business.Congratulations.

IXLR82

3/26/2009 10:44:21 AM

Affordable Housing in Boulder (however that is defined)-not in any of our lifetimes!

registeredvoter

3/26/2009 11:19:31 AM

When I read posts from people who are rejoicing over “equalization of wealth” and the decline in housing prices, I reminded who (i) the idiots were that actually elected the group of misfits that we call our city council and (ii) that common sense and intelligence may not be the commodity that the education level of this community suggests it should be.

456ded

3/26/2009 11:28:10 AM

“Posted by registeredvoter on March 26, 2009 at 11:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Affordable Housing in Boulder (however that is defined)-not in any of our lifetimes!”

There are more affordable alternatives within 10 miles.Quit whining already.The have-nots want everything others risk, work, and pay for…but without the risk, work, or payment.”Give me what you work for”Is the message, stripped of platitudes.

IXLR82

3/26/2009 11:55:34 AM

No whining here, I was merely pointing out the hypocracy of Council imposing more regulations and more cost and the ridiculous belief that this will create “affordable” housing.This City can’t even afford to keep its core services intact.Instead this Council keeps wasting time on non-issues raised by the chronic complainers.Housing values will only go up over time, not down (simple supply and demand).What cracks me up is that is exactly what all the no-growth, no-development, keep everything exactly as is bloggers don’t want.

registeredvoter

3/26/2009 12:48:42 PM

fisheadsoup -google your name and see how many times you have posted and whined about FAR.

None of your comments logically follow,so please refrain from commenting about me or my comments.Keep that thought in your head.

creation

3/26/2009 1:13:48 PM

When will the lazy media stop asking the Realtors themselves if they think it’s a good time to buy real estate?

Like someone else said earlier, you might as well ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut. Even if you’re bald, he’s going to suggest a wax or eyebrow trim.

Why not ask the next Bernie Madoff if his hedge fund is a good bet? Or ask a stock broker if it’s a good time to buy or sell stocks? Or ask AIG last year if credit default swaps are a good investment?

Asking the very industry if they think that investing in their industry is a good idea, then posting it as “news” isn’t good journalism, it’s irresponsible pandering — pandering to the newspapers LARGEST $$ advertising block, a perverse conflict of interest, at the expense of the average Joe Schmoe who is naive enough to believe what the newsmedia feeds him.

Cut the advertorial crap, or at least let the NAR purchase the space for their fluff piece press releases and label them as such.

Daily Camera — you are not serving your readers.

Kemo_Wasabi

3/26/2009 1:18:04 PM

From the PR guy: “If you called me a couple months ago, I would’ve said, ‘Yikes.’ … But (real estate activity has) turned the corner…”

Comgratulations Mr. Hotard! You are the only one around not saying “yikes!” Our economy is in shambles – nationally, we have collectively spent far more than we’ve brought in, or produced, and to suggest Boulder won’t be affected by this is madness. We as a nation have lived wildly beyond our means – why not accept it? Until we accept it, we can’t change (nod to all the 12 step programs out there). What to do to fix this mess is another topic but specifically, with regards to the Boulder real estate market, even the wealthy, at some point, have to ask themselves, ‘is this a good investment?’ and in the near future, our housing prices – if they stay at these high levels- are not going to be reasonable for even the current economic demographic (even the wealthy here will be losing some money over the next few years). While demand for Boulder real estate may always be high, low interest rates will not be. Ultimately interest rates will rise, and even upper middle class families will have a nearly impossible time justifying a $500,000 3 bedroom house at 8 or 9% or 10 % interest when they are looking at their comprehensive financial picture (debts, unemployment, family responsibilities, saving for retirement, paying for children’s rising college tuitions, etc. etc.). It’s insulting that leaders within key industries continue to try to deceive us, to lie and still be respected. I’m tired of the AIG’s and I’m tired of real estate PR people trying to pull fast ones, even now, when we really need transparency, a bottom (i.e. a true baseline, a true fresh start for our economy) and leadership. Leadership starts with character. No wonder our country seems so adrift (Good luck changing our corporate culture Obama!).

DanC

3/26/2009 1:39:46 PM

Hello, any intellect out there?

“Lee Conrad, an official at Alliance@IBM, said the organization has received “hundreds” of comments and messages from affected workers. As of midday Thursday, he had yet to see Boulder mentioned specifically, but noted an e-mail saying that The Hartford insurance company plans to work directly with IBM staff in India.

“I do expect cuts to happen (in Boulder),” Conrad said. “The Hartford insurance off-shoring impacts Boulder.””

From the IBM layoff story today. And folks, there’s another kind of off-shoring– that of corporate tax breaks (evasion) in the Cayman’s.Hartford Insurance is actually correctly termed OUT-SOURCING.

Like Ward says “The Chickens are coming home to roost”.

For those who didn’t know this was coming, you need to learn a new word. Empathy.

lynn_segal_aka_lds

3/26/2009 1:42:50 PM

Those banging on the Camera for mostly gathering quotes from realtors have a point, but accusing them of cowardice when they ran this story as their above the fold lead article is ridiculous.They didn’t have to run this article at all, have every incentive not to run it (with the dependence on RE advertising), and certainly didn’t have to make it the lead story with a big headline on the huge drop in sales.

Who else are they going to call to get a counterpoint on the state of our local RE mkt?Realtors, title companies, appraisers, and lenders all have an interest in a healthy RE market.Is there a CU economist that has a good read on this?

eltamarindo

3/26/2009 1:54:57 PM

“Is there a CU economist that has a good read on this?”

ROTFLMAO !!

… you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows …

— B. Dylan

Kemo_Wasabi

3/26/2009 2:00:21 PM

Some people are really hostile at the though of losing money on real estate.

Haha I love the smell of east coast transplants losing money.

P.S. if you are a real estate agent your career is over for about the next decade.. sorry maybe you can sell shoes.

sidd

3/26/2009 2:18:56 PM

Headline should have included the term “volume”.

lynn_segal_aka_lds

3/26/2009 2:33:57 PM

“if you are a real estate agent your career is over for about the next decade”

With the advent of the internet, and private party databases and search tools, the era of the real estate agent is dying — for good.

The only reasons why they were able to exist for so long, and extract so much equity from other people’s investments was because they held and tightly controlled access to the MLS. Once the internet pried that listing data out of their exclusive control, people no longer needed to contact an agent to find what they need.

Additionally as the average real estate buyer/seller grew more knowledgeable and experienced, they realized that squandering 5-7% of a property’s equity on every transaction was a frivolous waste of capital.

Real estate agents are not allowed by law to give investment, legal or accounting advice — even if they were smart enough to know the same.

Agents in the past either worked for the buyer *or* the seller, and lately with the advent of “transactional brokers” they work for neither — merely working for themselves in clawing that commission.

Back in the day when the average home sale was $100-$200k, wasting $7-$14k on commissions may have not bothered some naive investors. But when the average home is $500k, wasting $20k-$30k for some vacuous Vanna White to point out the kitchen and bathroom in her Prada pumps is an absurdity.

A licensed, experienced real estate attorney — who can and will render legal advice specifically tailored to benefit their client — even if they charged $350/hr wouldn’t have 10-20 hours in the deal, saving the average investor $20k or more while providing actual legal advice and protection. You can even throw in a certified public accountant and still save huge 10s of thousand of $$.

The days of the Realtors® are numbered, society and investing have evolved to the point where they are about as necessary as the town blacksmith.

It’s actually good news though, as 5-7% of each and every real estate transaction won’t be siphoned off on unnecessary commissions, leaving that equity where it belongs, between the seller and the buyer, in the real estate itself.

Kemo_Wasabi

3/26/2009 3:04:32 PM

“‘With the market today, it’s better than it was three years ago,’ he said.”

It’s amazing how desperate real estate agents and developers seem when the average market value declines $30k in a few months. These same people were perfectly happy when it increased $200k in less than a decade.

josh@hillhaus.com

3/26/2009 4:01:44 PM

Kemo,

You have it accurately pegged.

Real estate agents are less needed than a stoplight intersection camera.

thesurfrider

3/26/2009 5:06:07 PM

So now you accept the bitter truth?

What changed?

Kemo_Wasabi

3/26/2009 5:34:11 PM

I’m truly shocked that thousands of people aren’t at this very moment lined up 5 abreast, arms akimbo, punching and kicking each other and vigorously waving their checkbooks

just for the privilege of doling out half a million dollars or more for a 60yr-old, 1600 sq-ft dump within the traffic-choked city limits of Boulder.

Smells like a great buyers opportunity to ME!

bouldersuks

3/26/2009 6:53:00 PM

Horseradish, I think people just want to shut you up.Go walk the dog.

Go visit Kabul and pontificate.

Go blow up a building in NY.

creation

3/26/2009 6:34:51 PM

If it’s such a good time to buy, why aren’t the Realtors® themselves snapping up all the “fantastic bargains” ?

LOL!

Kemo_Wasabi

3/26/2009 8:17:33 PM

I can’t wait to pony up $450K for a broken-down patched together 1960s Boulder ranch house right next to some illegal CU rentals! That’s Boulder value right there! And if I can’t purchase one of those beauties, there’s always a new, formaldehyde off-gassing, developer 2-bedroom special for the same amount! Wooo hoo!

snarlpup

3/26/2009 8:49:03 PM

Since everyone is taking a cut in wages why not the realtors take a cut in their rate.

joanne3750@comcast.net

3/26/2009 9:07:28 PM

Gotta love “Free Market Economics”.

Adapt or Perish.

Kemo_Wasabi

3/26/2009 9:13:30 PM

‘ I can’t wait to pony up $450K for a broken-down patched together 1960s Boulder ranch house right next to some illegal CU rentals!’

har…!see what that same price buys you in NJ.Where would you rather live ?

yeah, thought so…

JakPott

3/26/2009 11:13:04 PM

Posted by eltamarindo on March 26, 2009 at 12:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Whenever you hear the argument that Boulder is different and is immune to housing price declines, watch out. There were many others who believed the same in their communities.

Santa Barbara is one example — **************************

I don’t understand Boulder real estate from this perspective either. Boulder is not Santa Barbara. SB is seriously hemmed in-mountains to east, ocean to west-not a vast expanse of land to east as is the case in Boulder. The developers here have tried to fix that with the open space issue-make land around us undevelopable. And SB north and south gets very narrow-it doesn’t even expand up and down the coast at the same width. The 101 runs right along the mountains south to Ventura on a 4 lane next to Rincon that looks like it could fall into the ocean with next earthquake. You have to drive north or south an hour to get to an affordable city with more space. Goleta, Solvang, Santa Ynez, Carpinteria-all very expensive. Boulder has a few of these issues-artifically created as mentioned, but when you can go 9 miles to south Longmont or 12 miles to Louisville and about 10 miles to lyons and get housing 1/2 to 1/3 the prices…the only thing that keeps us paying the extremely high prices in this town is our egos, constant running down of Longmont to feed our egos, and the fact that Longmont has some issues around their downtown-extreme ugly problems. But there are some nice neighborhoods out there and more open space designations that Boulder and best of all-no spending all your time fixing up a run down house as so many houses in Boulder seem to have been built really poorly during one of our past booms.

Flyonthewall

3/26/2009 11:22:32 PM

p.s. I’m not a realator. Only an owner.

I think Longmont and Louisville will have problems as their real estate prices are job based-people work there for a living. But on the plus side-the prices have been flat out there for years and didn’t have the run up b/c people here constantly run those towns down. Boulder is probably seeing problems as many people here seem to buy from trusts and there has been a run-down in investment portfolios. And maybe-people are just tired of paying these prices for homes that are in serious need of fix up and seem totally inadequate. Maybe people are getting smart. Don’t be happy to see a run down in prices. You may think it will be a good opportunity for you, but the fact is that it more than likely will just result in job losses from people spending less. Unless you’re sitting on a boat load of cash, it never works out quite the way you think.

Flyonthewall

3/26/2009 11:28:50 PM

Posted by Kemo_Wasabi on March 26, 2009 at 3:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

With the advent of the internet, and private party databases and search tools, the era of the real estate agent is dying — for good.

*******

AND the reality is that real estate agents seem to add very little to the transaction. In my last real estate transaction the agent was horrible. I had to work out all the problems ask all the questions. She just sat there with her hand out to collect a fee at end and didn’t do a thing. I even had to write the contract correctly. It isn’t just the internet that is driving these people out of business. It’s also that they are supposed to be providing a service but seem to have very little knowledge of the problems that can arise in what they are selling. They just keep their mouth shut and hope things go smoothly until close and then the buyer is stuck with the problem.

I was out at Uptown and asking agent there about live/works. As live/works are part commercial there are commercial tax issues and she was trying to tell me there wouldn’t be any-that the assesor was not charging them. She also told me there were no restrictions or HOA issues you’d have to pass with what sort of business you put in. Or insurance issues. Either the Boulder County Tax assesor is seriously giving this developement a great break they don’t give any other live/work in town or she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And I’m sure the HOA is not going to let someone put in a disco or whatever when they are paying the insurance on the building. If you put in something like a coffee shop, the insurance rates would increase dramatically for the HOA. Would they not want a say so on the type of business in there?

Now tell me, what are these people adding to the transaction if they aren’t bringing up these issues for buyers? All she did was flirt with my partner. She should have been telling me about these things instead of me having to ask her the questions. This is why the agent business is dying. They are uninformed and overpaid. And if you’re selling-they always want the quick sell and price it too low-or tell you they’ll sell it for a great price, list it high, do little and just hope someone else sells it so they’ll get half the commission. Many seem confused about the meaning of fiduciary duty and they need to be kicked to the curb.

Flyonthewall

3/26/2009 11:46:27 PM

Posted by bnorthrop on March 26, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Too many macro economic forces in play to know for sure where things will settle, but the long term trend since the US was founded is up. As for me, I’ll be refinancing and shaving a point and a half off my loan and working a few years longer than I had hoped for.

******

This is the best thing to do. We’re all going to loose “paper” value in our homes. The real value in a home right now is in securing the cheapest loan possible. We are going to see double digit inflation in the next few years and rents are going to continue to increase-a loan under 5%is going to be our best friend in times like these. In five years you’re going to see mortgages around ten percent and not care as much if you’ve lost 50k on your house if you’re loan is locked under 5.

The man gets you one way or the other. You can pay a lesser price in a year and be in a higher mortgage or visa versa. And if you don’t buy at all, you’re going to be stuck with higher rent. You can’t time the bottom or top ten percent of the market. If you’re on a fixed income, secure a fixed housing payment now. If you’ve got a ton of cash-wait. When mortgage rates increase next year, prices will probably come down somewhat. If you need the loan-you’re at a nexus of lowest possible price and lowest possible interest rate.But don’t be stretching in times like these. If you seriously can’t afford Boulder and not just the high prices, but the constant fix up the homes here need, buy where you can afford and don’t listen to the mean people here that run down other towns to keep their home prices artifically high.

Flyonthewall

3/26/2009 11:56:55 PM

Posted by windskull on March 26, 2009 at 12:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Posted by windskull

flyonthewall if you visit here this basically confirms what I said about the bond company wanting cash now instead of the 60% depreciated house after bailing out this vermin! http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2009/…

******

This headline is a bit confusing but it doesn’t say homes have depreciated in price 60%…it says sales volume is down 60%. There’s a difference. There were 60% fewer number of homes being sold. Eventually that will correlate into a drop in price. But that isn’t what this headline is imparting.

Flyonthewall

3/27/2009 2:45:13 AM

kemo_bitter_bond_etal

Sometimes, little squirrel, even you find the truth.

thesurfrider

3/27/2009 6:01:10 AM

The intelligentsia (NOT) of Boulder speaks, as he wipes out.Careful!

creation

3/27/2009 8:20:31 AM

surfboi,

Don’t forget the bitter truth:

No Sentence = No Conviction

LOL!

Kemo_Wasabi

3/27/2009 9:26:47 PM

“With the market today, it’s better than it was three years ago,” he said.

**********

Do you think he told his clients that three years ago or was he telling them to build an excess of overpriced homes? I smell another developer on the run. Boulder is a good place for him to be. Lots to exploit here. He’ll fit right in.

Flyonthewall

3/28/2009 3:45:45 AM