When people move to this area from other parts of the country rarely is their first thought Longmont. But over the past few years more and more people are seeing Longmont as a great option for buying real estate in Boulder County. The obvious appeal is the price of homes, (median prices for a single family home in Longmont were $307,000 last year while in Boulder it was $790,000) but more and more people are appreciating Longmont for it’s great downtown and its quality of life. People are recognizing Longmont as a great long term investment option. The graph below shows median prices of single family homes over time. Longmont is represented by the purple line at the bottom.
This graph could be read in two ways. You could see that it shows that Longmont has lagged other areas in terms of price appreciation over the last 18 years. The other way to look at it is that the houses in Longmont are now very affordable in comparison and that they are due to pop! Note that some of the descrepancy between Boulder and Longmonts prices is explained by the quality and size of the houses. Over the past 20 years houses in Boulder have been enlarged, re-built and remodeled much more than in Longmont.
Over the past year there were more sales in Longmont than in the larger Boulder. The graph below shows sales over the past four years. Since 2012 Longmont has gone from below 1200 sales to almost 1800 and Boulder has gone from around 1700 down to around 1300. There is more activity in the market in Longmont as people are able to sell and move up.
The third chart is an interesting one. It shows the percentage of sales that occurred in each price range. The top line shows that 90% of the sales in Longmont closed for $500,000 or less and that a majority of the sales were between $250,000 and $500,000. The middle line shows that 40% of the sales in the City of Boulder sold for $500,000 or less and that 16% sold for over $1,000,000. The bottom line shows the county wide averages. Clearly Longmont is more affordable. But as prices rise the lower price range will shrink and shift to the right. It’s already happening! In Q4 of 2008 69% of the sales in Longmont closed for $250,000 or below. That number is now 27%.
Longmont may not be a Boulder doppelganger but it is a great community with many housing options that are affordable to many more people. As we gain even more population over the years Longmont will become even more of a destination. I think it’s a strong investment.