(Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

The Boulder County housing market is slowing down.

Data from the Colorado Association of Realtors suggests fewer single-family homes were sold last month compared to a year ago, as more inventory became available. Single-family home sales fell about 23 percent and new listings grew more than 4. 2 percent.

Sales of townhouses and condos in Boulder County were down a little more than 19 percent, while new listings grew close to 7 percent in January 2019 compared to the same period last year.

"Consumer confidence is a bit shaky. That's what is causing a sluggish start," said Kelly Moye, a Broomfield Realtor and former president of the Boulder Area Realtor Association.

The January data reflects the volatility of stock markets in December and the partial federal shutdown, and it might not indicate a long-term trend for the year.



Economists don't foresee a recession ahead, at least this year, she said. "We could see these numbers improve quickly." The median sales price for single-family homes in Boulder County dropped 2.7 percent to $535,000 last month from $550,000 in January 2018. (A median price reflects the mid-point: exactly half of homes listed are above the price and exactly half are below). The median sales price of townhouses and condos fell more than 8 percent to $365,000 last month from $399,950 in January of 2018.  "It's the first decrease in median prices in Boulder County in five years," Moye said. The average sales price for single-family homes in Boulder County saw an increase of 3.2 percent last month compared to January 2018. This data point, like the rest of the monthly data, needs to be seen in a wider context, said Todd Gullette, managing broker with RE/MAX of Boulder, Inc.

"This is a snapshot. You can get some discrepancy there," he said.

Last month, the city of Boulder's average sold price of a single-family home was $1,436,705, which is higher by almost $200,000 than in 2018, he said. With only 17 single-family properties selling last month, including a $4.5 million home, it simply inflates Boulder's average home price, Gullette said.

The January slowdown is not unusual, Gullette said. Since the latter half of 2018, the housing market has been hampered by uncertainty surrounding Federal Reserve interest rates, he said.

It's fair to say Boulder had a sluggish start in January, he said.

Boulder County still has historically low single-family home inventory, Gullette said.

"Cities and towns within Boulder County continue to have more buyers than sellers. Boulder County in January had 3.9 months of inventory, which is up 34.5 percent over this time last year (2.9 months) and up 44 percent over January 2017 (2.7 months)," he said.

"We typically see a buyer's market (more buyers than sellers) somewhere after seven months of inventory. A seller's market occurs with less than five months of inventory, and a balanced market of buyers and sellers between five and seven months of inventory."

It will continue to be a seller's market, Gullette said.