Boulder boasts most expensive homes in area

Date: Nov. 24th, 2009
Contact: Inside Real Estate News

The most expensive homes that sold in closed in the third quarter were in Boulder.

Indeed, three of the five most expensive ZIP Codes are those that serve Boulder (see chart below).

Overall, the median home prices in Boulder County – which also includes Broomfield, Erie, Lafayett, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons and Nederland – were down only 1.4 percent from a year earlier, according to data compiled by California-based

As to be expected, the median prices in Boulder proper were much more expensive than in nearby communities.

The lofty prices in Boulder, even during this economic and housing downturn, is no surprise to Chris Mygatt, president of Coldwell Banker in Colorado.

Although he now lives in Washington Park, Mygatt grew up in Boulder and lived there for much of his career in real estate.

“Having lived in Boulder for 25-plus years, I can say that Boulder is truly a unique place,” Mygatt said. “There is some truth to that old adage that Boulder is 16 square miles surrounded by reality.”

He said he is generalizing, but there are two main type of luxury homeowners in Boulder and neither are buffeted by economic downturns as most people.

“There are a significant number of buyers who purchased their upper-end properties in Boulder, who derive their wealth from their families,” Mygatt said. “These people have landed in Boulder and just love Boulder. These people are not terribly connected to the U.S. economy. Period. “

Another significant owners of expensive homes in Boulder are those who a “true entrepreneurs,” who have made so much money they can weather any downturn.

What the data shows is that the most expensive ZIP Code, 80302, where the median price of a home sold was $481,325, showed a 34.8 percent drop in sales in the third quarter.

And that is to be expected, among both the categories of owners described by Mygatt.

“Sales slow down significantly, but prices keep their legs,” Mygatt said. “In Cherry Hills, if someone needs to sell their home and they first list it at $4.3 million, they keep lowering the price until it sells. In Cherry Hills, there are a lot of captains of industry. They are directly effected by what happens in the U.S. economy. If they get over-extended, they absolutely must sell.”

But many owners in Boulder, although they have a lot of their net worth tied in in their homes, would just wait it out.

“They might have a net worth of $7 million and $2 or $3 million of that in their homes,” Mygatt said. “They might like to sell their home, but they don’t have to, so they don’t. They”ll say, “Boulder is a really cool place so I’ll just live here another two or three years and sell my home when the market is better.”

City         ZIP Code        Median Price
Boulder    80302            $481,325
Boulder    80304            $470,000
Denver     80209            $403,000
Littleton   80124            $400,000
Boulder    8005              $381,000