If you don’t know Jennifer Egbert, 45, you’ve probably seen her advertising. As a successful local luxury real estate agent, she markets herself far and wide in Boulder — magazines, events and more.
Her mix of style, grit, chill and savvy makes her a quintessential Boulder resident. Her irreverence makes her stand out a bit.
With the demand pressure cooker that defines Boulder and its appeal, Egbert’s on the front lines of Boulder’s wild real estate market.
Not only is Boulder the Front Range real estate queen, it is among the nation’s housing royalty, up there with Oakland, California; Austin, Texas; and Portland, Oregon — but with higher sales prices, and appreciation.
(Boulder is a shade below the uber luxury markets of Malibu, Aspen, San Francisco and Miami. But it’s emerging as top of the class among U.S. cities in the next category.)
Median Boulder single-family home sale prices jumped 29.5 percent to $861,000 from November 2014 to November 2017, according to MLS data from Redfin. Oakland home sale prices jumped 28.6 percent to $800,000 and over the same time period; while Austin and Portland prices shot up 19.7 percent to $365,000 and 28.4 percent to $430,000, respectively, in those three years.
Jennifer estimates that approximately 65 percent — nearly two-thirds! — of the roughly 20 deals she’s done in 2017 were sold off-market, not through the MLS. This is common on area homes above $3 million, she says. Given her high average price point of $2.2 million, Jennifer sees her fair share.
She sees so many because her average price point on homes she helps sell hovers around $2.2 million. From above, that price point for Boulder single-family homes is not rare.
Changing market, California eyes
The Boulder market is changing, Jennifer says. While appreciation is still high, it is slowing. From third quarter 2016 to third quarter 2017, Boulder metro homes values rose 8.8 percent, according to the latest U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency House price index, which calculates appreciation by comparing mortgages, appraisals and sales of individual homes.
Over the last five years, Boulder metro homes’ 58.3 percent equity gain is among the nation’s highest, behind only a handful of comparable metros such as Seattle (68.9 percent), San Jose, California (67.4 percent), and Miami (64.4 percent).
Higher-priced Boulder homes — those above $2 million — are seeing longer days on market compared to a year ago. “It’s not the frenzy we’ve seen in recent years,” Egbert says. Those that hit the MLS, an important caveat in Boulder, currently have a 12-month absorption rate — meaning from date of list to close is approximately a year — and price-sensitive buyers. However, she stresses, if these upper-range homes are priced in alignment with the market and their value, they will go under contract much sooner than that.
Homes under $2 million still see a flourish of action.
Jennifer is seeing a lot of interest from out-of-state buyers, in particular those in California. Approximately half of her e-newsletter readers are from the Golden State, especially from Silicon Valley, thanks to Boulder’s burgeoning tech scene, and Malibu, thanks to Boulder’s superb lifestyle.
Jennifer moved to Boulder in 1991, drawn to our mecca after visiting her best friend at CU. She worked as a salesperson at high-end clothing shop MAX Clothing Stores’ Boulder location in downtown. “I worked for [owner Max Martinez] for years and he taught me a ton,” she says.
She became a real estate agent in 2002, earning rookie of the year with her Keller Williams Realty brokerage that year.
“There was nothing north of Pearl Street back then,” Jennifer says. Then there was a real estate push toward Iris starting around 2004. Same thing with areas east of Broadway — the area near the mountains defined Boulder’s real estate gravity back then.
Pearl Street is also no longer Boulder’s sole epicenter. Pockets of commerce, community and chill live up and down Broadway Avenue, including Alpine-Balsam and North Broadway in the north and Table Mesa to the south. To the east, the emerging mixed-used hub of Boulder Junction will define another evolution for the city.
Boulder’s latest commercial blossom is out at 55th and Arapahoe Ave., Jennifer says, anchored first by Ozo Coffee’s flagship cafe in 2007, then Pica’s Taqueria in 2010 and nailed down by Chef Hosea Rosenberg’s Blackbelly Market in 2014.
How to anchor a commercial center.
2017 Neighborhood Highlights (highest price home sold in 2017, through Dec. 15, using MLS data)
3265 Lafayette Drive sold for $4.1 million in September.
1305 Pine Street sold for $2.8 million in June.
860 6th Street sold for $4.1 million in August.
Jennifer sold 3747 Mountain Laurel Place for $2.5 million in May.
There’s rumor of an off-record sale north of $10 million, according to Jennifer. Some home sales never get recorded in the MLS.
3633 21st Street sold for $3.5 million in May.
Jennifer sold 318 Timber Lane in June for $2.3 million.