Boulder’s average single-family home price surpasses $1.2M

This 4,987-square-foot home on Boulder Creek was featured in Bizwest’s Distinctive Homes of the Boulder Valley in April 2016. According to Zillow.com it sold in May 2017 for $3,495,000.

 

At the close of 2017, many were speculating that Boulder had finally reached a price ceiling at the limits of people’s purchasing power. The speculation continued that prices in Boulder would level off for some significant period of time as the city waited for buyers to accumulate more savings, wages to rise, etc. After all, approximately 40 percent of the homes sold in Boulder were over $1 million last year, so surely the pool of buyers able to buy a million dollar home must be depleted, right? The first quarter of 2018 has largely disproven that theory.

The average single family home price in Boulder reached $1,207,403 by the end of March, which represents a whopping 21 percent increase over the same period last year. Anecdotally in my real estate sales practice this year, I have seen multiple homes listed over $1.3 million ultimately sell for at least $200,000 over asking price. On the seller side, it is a cause for celebration, as the next chapter of their lives will be unexpectedly more comfortable. On the buyer side, it can be incredibly frustrating and demoralizing to save for a major purchase, believe you are well-positioned to make your dream come true, only to have the finish line moved forward on you. When you include the fact that about one quarter of the city’s recent home purchases have been cash transactions — and mortgage interest rates are a full point higher than last year — you begin to understand the size of the challenge facing buyers.

Looking back to 2008, you can see that home prices have almost doubled in the last 10 years (see City of Boulder chart).

Looking back even further to 1978 (see Appreciation chart), one can see that this appreciation trend is not an anomaly in Boulder. In fact, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Boulder County has appreciated more than anywhere else in the country going back to 1991.

I have used earlier versions of the chart [to the right] in previous articles to try to assess when our current appreciation cycle would level off. Back then, I noted that the pattern going back to 1978 would have predicted that our appreciation cycle would have ended in mid-2017. I further stated, however, that there were factors present today that were not issues previously, the most prominent of which being that Boulder has almost reached full build-out under current zoning regulations.  That is, we are much closer to running out of land now, which will continue to put upward pressure on existing homes.

 

What does all of this mean?

Crossing the $1.2 million threshold means that Boulder is becoming disconnected from the surrounding cities. Some call it becoming a “resort market” like Aspen, others compare it to Silicon Valley (Nerdwallet published a study in support of this assertion, wherein in Boulder was listed in the top five least affordable housing markets, along with San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Honolulu and San Diego). However you characterize the situation, it is becoming clear that this is not an aberration and the challenges facing buyers will likely continue to mount as summer approaches.

 

Jay Kalinski is broker/owner of Re/Max of Boulder.

Originally posted by BizWest on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018. Original found here.

Posted on May 3, 2018 at 3:52 pm
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ONE MINUTE TAX UPDATE

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brings major federal tax changes.

Important to us estate planning attorneys, the new law doubles the estate and gift tax exemption, from $5.49 million in 2017 to approximately $11.2 million in 2018. The new tax law maintains “portability” (which allows surviving spouses to use their deceased spouse’s unused exemption), meaning a married couple’s combined estate and gift tax exemption is now approximately $22.4 million. Just to be clear, that’s the amount a married couple can transfer, during life or at death, without paying any estate or gift taxes. The tax rate on anything over the exemption amount remains steady at a flat 40%.

The annual gift tax exemption has increased from $14,000 (where it has been for the past five years) to $15,000. This is due to inflation adjustments and not the new tax law. I explained how the annual gift tax exemption works in an interview last year (note, however, that since the interview was recorded before the new tax law it uses the old 2017 figures).

It’s also important to understand what the new tax law hasn’t changed. The new law keeps the step-up in basis at death, which is a huge tax boon to those who inherit appreciated assets.

Many folks have estate plans that were designed to avoid or delay estate taxes. Such plans may no longer be appropriate now that the estate and gift tax exemption is much higher. In fact, many tactics used to plan around the estate tax eliminate the step-up in basis at death, meaning those who in inherit have to pay higher capital gains taxes.

To learn more about these tax changes and how to protect your estate, contact our office for a no-obligation consultation. Contact us here or call 720-588-9830.

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Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:19 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,