Tight Inventory in Boulder

Legendary Properties is happy to be quoted in this article from the Boulder County Business Report:

The home market has shown growth in every price range locally. At the top end, Boulder County had more than 40 homes sales eclipse $2 million in 2013, a leap from just 18 such sales in 2012 according to figures from Legendary Properties broker Scott Franklund.Franklund, who specializes in homes priced at $1 million and up, said he doesn’t expect to necessarily see the same volume of luxury sales in Boulder County in 2014.

The 2013 surge, he said, included the absorption of most of the high-end homes that had been languishing on the market in recent years due to the economic downturn. Franklund said the appreciation, however, because of a lot of that absorption, should remain strong in 2014. And that appreciation should coax enough people to sell to help keep the high end healthy.

“If it was a million-dollar home in 2012, they’re going to want a million-five for it now,” Franklund said. “And they’ll probably get it.”

Full article here.

January Luxury Line Newsletter

Happy New Year from The Legendary Group!

The Daily Camera reports a Luxury Sales Boom in Boulder County for 2013 and the statistics back it up. Boulder experienced more than double the amount of homes sales over $2M last year as compared to 2012, 36 sales up from 18. This was due to many factors mainly including low interest rates and surplus of available listings. Also to note the last of the recession “deals” languishing on the market were finally purchased for current market price, much lower than previous listing prices reflected.

As we move into 2014, we are seeing very low inventory levels yet buyer demand remains high as the interest rates steady around 4.0%. Boulder had a similar start to 2013, last year homeowners who listed in the first quarter of the year yielded higher sales prices and quicker transactions vs. later in the year as inventory levels grew giving Buyers the upper hand. Currently there are approximately 750 single family residences for sale in Boulder County which is historically low compared to 2004-2011 where an average year-end inventory sits around 1400 homes. Interest rates remain historically low and buyer demand is still very active. We predict the first half of 2014 will give Sellers a slight upper hand as inventory remains low giving a higher likely hood of achieving desired price. If you are considering selling in 2014 as we witnessed last year, now is the time to showcase your home to ready, willing and able Buyers. We look forward to working with you in 2014!

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Scott Franklund in Daily Camera

This article appeared on the front page and business page of today’s Daily Camera and features insights from Scott and one of our clients, see the highlighted text below for Scott’s quotes: 

Luxury home sales boom in Boulder County

By Alicia Wallace
Camera Business Writer

Million Dollar Homes in Boulder CountyCraig Wrigley talks about the views of the mountains from the luxury home he recently
bought in north Longmont after selling his home in Niwot for $2.3 million. This year
has seen record sales of high-end homes across Boulder County. ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )

A short jaunt from downtown Boulder is a three-story Victorian home nestled on a half-acre lot.

The outside of the baby blue house, which was purchased in 2004 for $3.4 million, is highlighted by a swimming pool, guest house and gardens. The back balcony looks out onto the Flatirons.

Inside, the spacious and wide 7,627-square-foot home boasts five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a “grand” dining room and a gourmet kitchen. A recent remodel resulted in the inclusion of some top-of-the-line finishes.

The home that was listed for $7.95 million in July sold four months later for $6.43 million — making it one of the most expensive single-family home sales in the city of Boulder.

Driven by sales in Boulder, the luxury home market in the Boulder County area is booming.

20131213__16DCBCOVw_TEST~3_300The master bathroom of Craig Wrigley’s new home, like rooms throughout
the house, features high-end finishes. This year’s boom in the luxury
home market across Boulder County got a boost from low interest
rates, pent-up demand and a healthy business climate,
particularly in the city of Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

So far this year, nearly 40 homes have sold for more than $2 million, according to Multiple Listing Service data provided to the Daily Camera. Last year, 18 homes sold for $2 million or more.

“The desire is here,” said Scott Franklund, a partner and broker associate at Legendary Properties, a Boulder-based brokerage specializing in luxury home sales. “Companies want to be here because there’s so much talent here. That’s why you see the big homes getting sold now.”

The higher-end market — much like other segments in the residential real estate industry — has benefited from low interest rates, the release of pent-up demand and a healthy business climate, Franklund said. In addition to out-of-state buyers interested in the quality-of-life aspects, the high-end market benefited from local business transactions that include acquisitions of technology firms and the initial public offerings of companies such as Noodles & Company, he added.

A favorable mortgage lending market helped to contribute to the high-end sales boom, said Lou Barnes, mortgage banker with Premier Mortgage Group in Boulder.

“Jumbo lending last year became easier … . In 2009, ’10, ’11, we were forced to pick apart appraisals at top-end deals,” said Barnes, who also is a member of the Camera’s editorial advisory board.

As cash heavily plays into luxury sales, the pick up in the market also can be attributed to the strength of the Boulder economy, the city’s high-end home prices not being more expensive than metro-area markets, a release of pent-up demand and a relaxation of economic concerns, he said.

“The Great Recession directly hurt a lot of people, but it made a lot of people, who were not hurt, cautious,” he said.

There is no way to predict how much steam is behind this push, he said, but the last big move in the top end of the housing market coincided with the technology boom, he said.

“There’s a clear migration of money from the stock market to the housing market,” Barnes added.

While the majority of the Boulder real estate market picked up steam last year, the luxury segment did not start seeing gains until this year, said David Scott, broker associate at Colorado Landmark Realtors.

“And they’ve been steady,” Scott said of transactions in the $2 million-plus market.

After a total of four homes sold for more than $2 million between January and March, sales of luxury homes picked up in April, when four sold in that month alone and then three sold in May, Scott said, referencing MLS sales data of Boulder-area homes sales by month.

During each of the months between June and October, at least four homes in the $2 million-plus range were purchased, he said.

In the city of Boulder, there are 13 active luxury listings.

“I don’t think we’ve seen this kind of strength in several years,” Scott said.

Franklund believes that Boulder is emerging into a market “like Aspen,” the Colorado mountain resort town known for its skiing and wealth.

“Boulder has changed so much dramatically in the average income of people that come here and the people I see come here,” he said.

Franklund said his No. 1 buyer sold his business for stock out of state. His typical buyer, he said, made his/her money out of state and chose to move to Boulder for its quality of life.

The low interest rates also have allowed some locals to move up in the market while paying less for their mortgage, Franklund added.

Craig Wrigley, who recently sold his family’s home in Niwot’s Somerset neighborhood for $2.3 million and landed an 8,814-square-foot Longmont home on a 10-acre lot for just under $2 million, said the local high-end market has not changed dramatically since before the recession.

“It’s largely lower interest rates,” he said. ” … I don’t think that we’ve seen much increase in net price point of a home yet.”

In fact, Wrigley said he and his family decided to move forward on the Longmont home after the price was reduced. The home was built in 2008 and priced according to pre-recession standards, he said.

During his house-hunting efforts, Wrigley intentionally stayed out of Boulder so that he could not only more easily find a house, but land one with “a lot of elbow room.”

“In this price point, if you’re in the city of Boulder … the houses sell before the sign is even staked in the yard.”

The 1002 Mapleton Ave. home that fetched one of the highest price tags did so primarily because of its large, 23,000-square-foot lot, the Flatiron views and a recent remodel that resulted in the addition of top-of-the-line fixtures, said Legendary Properties’ Franklund.

“Plus, it was wide,” he said.

According to county property records, the Mapleton house sold to BMD Holdings LLC, an entity registered to a Basalt law firm that specializes in real estate transactions and serves as a registered agent for other corporations and businesses in Colorado.

The Mapleton transaction, however, is most likely not be the most expensive single-family residence to sell in Boulder.

In 2008, an offer was put on the table for the “Glass House” — a 9,716-square-foot glass-laden mansion at 333 Bellevue Drive near Chautauqua — which was listed for $21.9 million.

Sales deeds recorded with Boulder County show a $0 transaction. The deed was recorded in this fashion as the property changed hands as part of a business asset trade, said Franklund, who was a broker involved with the deal.

Franklund declined to disclose the transaction value, but said the price was “eight digits.”

20131213__16DCBCOVw_TEST~2Driven in part by sales in Boulder, the luxury home market across Boulder County area is booming.
Craig Wrigley purchased this 8,814-square-foot home and its 10 acres of land in north
Longmont for just under $2 million. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

20131213__16DCBCOVw_TEST~1_500Craig Wrigley recently purchased this Longmont home on a 10-acre lot after selling
his $2.3 million Niwot house, which was one of 38 homes countywide
that sold so far this year for more than $2 million. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332, wallacea@dailycamera.comor twitter.com/dc_alicia

Boulder County Luxury Home Market Soars!

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.  

Boulder Flatirons

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. 

Legendary Property Highland Flatirons

My buyer profiles this year were such that I was shocked all were CEO’s or COO’s of public or private firms. 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.

Governor’s Task Force Proposes New Rules

Via The Daily Camera

Governor John Hickenlooper’s fire task force has proposed a number of recommendations to deal with homes built in woods to try to mitigate losses due to fire. How quickly things have changed from too dry with fire potential, to too wet with flooding all over Boulder and the Front Range. Many in the area will continue to deal with the effects of the historic flooding for months and years to come. On the flip side, the housing market and construction projects were already strong before the flood and post-flood continue to be. The economic impact is causing a boom for contractor’s this fall. 

The fire task force has included recommendations for fees on homes built in the woods, rating homes at risk for insurance and sellers would have to disclose wildfire risks to buyers. To read the full article click here.

It will be interesting to see how these recommendations may develop into law over the next few years, especially here in Boulder County where homes are either in Fire Zone 1 or 2. This map from Colorado State Parks shows the current wildfire ratings and this article from 9 News says 1/4 homes in Colorado are in fire zone. 

No matter the risks, the beauty and unique feel of Boulder will always draw homeowners to the area. 

Boulder Junction Development Continues

Boulder Junction

via The Daily Camera

Development continues for Boulder Junction, a joint effort between the city of Boulder, the Regional Transportation District and private developers. The city has eyed the area for two decades to develop a mixed-use residential and business district. Coming to the area: housing, retail, restaurants and a new Hyatt Hotel. To read all about the project visit the Daily Camera.