Sales closed over $2m up 100% from 2012 and any previous year.
Boulder Colorado, once a sleepy college town with average homes selling at $500,000 has an average sale price pushing ever closer to $1M. Most surprisingly, 2013 has been a record breaking year for the ultra-luxury homes over $2 million. This year, Boulder County has doubled the amount of ultra-high-end sales from 20 in 2012 to 40 sales this year. After working in this market for 22 years I have been surprised at the transformation from a town to a destination city. Boulder is well on its way to transforming into a highly educated population hosting many global companies and numerous startups that are able to capitalize on the IPO market, creating numerous multi-millionaires. The majority of the new luxury home buyers are young, 45 and under. The second buyer profile are buyers that arrive from New York City, Chicago and other metro areas that are purchasing destination homes for the quality of life that Boulder now has become famous for.
A major transformation is taking place most notably within the city of Boulder. With land values at all-time highs due to scarcity, a growing majority of sales over $2M are undergoing major renovations and updating, many in the older neighborhoods of Boulder. This trend effectively pushes the value for the older homes closer to downtown to all-time highs. Just this month one of the highest recorded sales in Boulder closed on Mapleton Hill for $6.5M, a home I previously sold for $3.5M before renovations. This is a comforting sign to buyers who are undertaking major projects on these century old homes. We use to talk of the luxury market in Boulder as over $1M, I would suggest now we are safe to say this market is now at the $2M mark and going higher.
The driving force is quality of life and safety, other than the 500-year flood event. Recently, we have seen a higher demand for top quality products such as food, clothing, cars and homes. For example, Boulder has in one square mile: Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes, Lucky’s and Alfalfas Market. How can one small city support so many high-end grocery stores? Where $250 gets on bag of groceries. This, to me, is a significant indication of the profile of new residents seeking the best of the best from food, cars and homes. Tesla cars are on every corner, a $100k electric car. Boulder has to be one of the ICON cities for Tesla.
My buyer profiles this year were such that I was shocked all were CEO’s or COO’s of public or private firms. Some of the notable executives included Mr. Brian O’Meara (O’Meara Ford), CEO of Vail Resorts, CIO of Intrawest, CEO of ” Hear no Evil”, former CEO of Lefthand Networks, CSO of Genmark Diagnostics, Former CSO of First Solar, CEO Infrastructure Engineers and Former Chancellor of Penn State Berks. This is just a few notable executives we worked with recently on major home sales up to $5 million.
Another very large factor in rapid relocation to Boulder is the Alexander Dawson School wherein many young affluent retirees will come to have their children attend one of the finest private schools in the country in a beautiful city. These entrepreneurs may not have a draw here for a job but have cashed in elsewhere and chosen Boulder as a top pick to raise a family.
We are now a Silicon Valley type city with a talented tech workforce available. Some of the successful companies with a presence or headquarters in Boulder are Google, Bing, Array, Whole Foods, Seagate, Intrado, Digital Globe, Crocs, and Spectra Logic just to name a few. Recently, Boulder was named the #1 city for US Tech start-ups, and was one of four Colorado cities to place in the Top 10 in the report. Boulder is now one of the major cities for venture capital and angel funding.
The rare mix of beautiful location, technology, healthy lifestyle and education will continue to push Boulder home values and the luxury market to new heights in the coming years.