On Sale

With interest rates so low, one could argue that money is essentially on sale.

It’s actually half off.

30-year mortgage rates hit 3.75% which is exactly half of their long term average.

Rates have averaged 7.5% over the last 40 years so today buyers are getting half of that rate.

The “sale” on mortgage rates creates a significant savings in monthly payment because of the 1%/10% rule.

For every 1% change in interest rate, the monthly payment will change roughly 10%.

So when rates go up to 4.75%, a buyer’s payment will be 10% higher.

For example, the principal and interest payment on a $400,000 home with a 20% down payment at today’s rates is $1,482.

If rates were 1% higher, the payments jump up to $1,669.

Posted on August 9, 2019 at 7:34 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Investment, Real Estate

What We Notice

Here are some observations we have about the market right now:

  • Inventory is up, price reductions are up, the length of time to sell a home is up
  • Seller concessions are more prevalent
  • Sellers are more willing to accept contingent offers (especially in higher price ranges)
  • If a home doesn’t sell within a week, it often becomes stigmatized by the market and potential buyers assume there must be something wrong with it
  • Homes that likely would have sold within hours a year ago, are now sitting on the market
  • Condition is super-important as buyers become even more picky
  • Pricing a property correctly on day one is paramount
  • Sellers who over-price their property are finding themselves chasing the market
Posted on August 2, 2019 at 1:56 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Seller Tips

Homeownership Rate

An interesting stat which can give some insight to the national market is the Homeownership Rate.

It simply looks at the percentage of Americans who own their home instead of rent.

The most recent report from the Census Bureau shows the rate at 64.2%.

Most importantly, this number is showing stability after many years of change.

After many years of hovering around 64%, the Homeownership Rate started increasing in 1996 and reached as high as 69.5% in 2005.

2008 started several years of declining back to the pre-1996 levels of 64%.

So today it’s back to what seems to be “normal” based the long-term average.

Posted on July 26, 2019 at 3:23 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Real Estate

The Scoop – 3rd Quarter 2019

WELCOME TO “THE SCOOP”

Everything You Need to Know About the Northern Colorado Real Estate Market – Produced Quarterly by Windermere Real Estate in Northern Colorado

The 10-Year Rhythm

As we study 40 years of price appreciation data for Larimer County, an interesting pattern emerges.  We call this pattern the 10-Year Rhythm.  It shows that price appreciation in ten-year segments tends to closely mirror the 40-year average of 5.42%.  This demonstrates that our market grows in a steady, predictable way instead of taking wild swings like other markets.

Long Term Home Prices

A trusted resource is the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) which tracks nearly 300 markets across the country and produces a quarterly price appreciation index.

Larimer County

Weld County

State Ranking

According to the Federal Housing Finance Authority, these are the top 5 states for home price appreciation over the last 5 years:

A Mile High

Did you know our state grows by a Mile-High Stadium’s-worth of people each year?  That’s right, we’ve been growing by about 75,000 people each year, and we will keep growing.  The State Demography office estimates we will have 7.5 million people living here by 2040.

Market Speedometer

Each quarter. our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner produces his economic report for Metro Denver and Northern Colorado. Inside you will find his market speedometer. This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

According to Gardner, “I have moved the needle very slightly towards buyers as a few Front Range counties saw home inventories rise. However, while I expect to see listings increase in the coming months, for now, the housing market continues to heavily favor sellers.”

Rental Numbers

What’s Up With Down Rates

It was only a few months ago when experts predicted that 30-year mortgage rates would hit five percent by the end of 2019. For many, it was a foregone conclusion. At the end of 2018, they were already in the high fours. It appeared as if the low interest rate party was over. Then along came mid-2019 and rates kept going lower and lower. Now they are in the high threes and back to where they were in the fall of 2016. What gives? It turns out that trade tensions between the

U.S. and China have caused concerns about a global economic slowdown which, in turn, have pushed rates lower. Lower rates are of course great news for buyers and people thinking about refinancing.

A Unique Solution

Windermere Listings

 

Posted on July 25, 2019 at 7:29 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Evans Real Estate, Fort Collins Real Estate, Johnstown Real Estae, Johnstown Real Estate, Longmont Real Estate, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate

Sign Surprise

Given how active our market is today and has been over the last few years, many people assume that virtually every home with a “For Sale” sign in the front yard is already under contract.

They are surprised to learn that, in most cases, the “For Sale” sign does indeed represent a home that is actively for sale.

For example, today in Fort Collins there are 655 single-family homes on the market.  290 of these are under contract and will be closing soon.  365 of these are still active.

So, 56% of the signs in Fort Collins are in front of homes that are still available.

Here are the specific numbers for each of our Northern Colorado markets:

  • Fort Collins = 56%
  • Loveland = 57%
  • Windsor = 58%
  • Greeley = 41%
Posted on July 12, 2019 at 2:51 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips

Over List

A statistic we keep our eye on is the percentage of homes which sell for at least list price.

In a robust, healthy, market with lower inventory, we will frequently see homes selling for their asking price or even higher.

Here are the number of sales that occur for list price or higher in each of our major markets:

Fort Collins = 60%
Loveland = 60%
Greeley = 71%
Windsor = 56%

There are a couple of things we notice about these numbers. First, well over half of all sales are for at least list price. This means that a buyer needs to be prepared to make a full price offer (or higher) in most cases. This also means that if a seller is priced right and marketed effectively, they should achieve their asking price.

We also notice that these percentages are lower than one year ago. In 2018 these numbers were 5% to 10% higher in each market. This is good news for buyers of course because the bidding wars are not as intense as last year.

Posted on June 28, 2019 at 2:38 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Seller Tips

Where Is The Inventory?

There are 6,331 single-family homes for sale in Metro Denver.

If we look at inventory broken out by price range, there are some interesting take-aways.

Only 15% of the inventory is priced under $400,000
35% of the inventory is priced between $500,000 and $750,000. This price range represents the largest amount of homes for sale.
And would you believe, there are more single-family homes for sale priced over $1,000,000 than priced under $400,000.

If you are curious to know what the value of your home is in today’s market, we’d be happy to show that to you.

Posted on June 14, 2019 at 7:39 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Real Estate, Seller Tips

New Home News

Nationally, sales of new homes are stronger than they have been in a long time. March was the best month since 2007 and April was the third-best month in that same time period.

This research comes from the National Association of Home Builders who show that we are on pace to sell 673,000 new homes this year across the Country. 5 years ago there were roughly 450,000 sales of new homes.

For the first four months of 2019, new home sales are 6.7% ahead of the sales pace of the initial four months of 2018.

What is interesting is that those gains have distinct regional clustering. Year-to-date sales are up 10.3% in the South, 6.7% in the West (concentrated in the Mountain states), and 1.3% in the Midwest, while recording a 17.6% decline in the Northeast.

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 1:44 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Seller Tips | Tagged , , ,

Down Again

Mortgage rates dropped again for the fourth week in a row.

The average 30-year rate is now 4.06% which is the lowest it has been all year.

Rates today are actually the lowest they have been since early 2018.

The main factor driving rates down is the trade war with China.

Investors are shifting money from stocks into bonds which causes the yield on the 10-year Treasury to drop.

Mortgage rates are closely aligned with the 10-year Treasury.

At the beginning of the year, most experts believed that 2019 would have a trend of increasing mortgage rates eventually reaching 5.5%.

Instead, the opposite has happened which is good news for real estate.

Posted on May 24, 2019 at 2:56 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips

New Gardner Report!

 

The following analysis of the Metro Denver & Northern Colorado real estate market (which now includes Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Park counties) is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.

 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Colorado’s economy continues to grow with the addition of 44,800 new non-agricultural jobs over the past 12 months. This represents a reasonable growth rate of 1.7%. As stated in last quarter’s Gardner Report, we continue to see a modest slowdown in employment gains, but that’s to be expected at this stage of the business cycle. I predict that employment growth in Colorado will pick back up as we move through the year, adding a total of 70,000 new jobs in 2019, which represents a growth rate of 2.6%.

In February, the state unemployment rate was 3.7%, up from 2.9% a year ago. The increase is essentially due to labor force growth, which rose by more than 84,000 people over the past year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, unemployment rates in all the markets contained in this report haven’t moved much in the past year, but Boulder saw a modest drop (2.7%), and the balance of the state either remained at the same level as a year ago or rose very modestly.

 

HOME SALES

  • In the first quarter of 2019, 11,164 homes sold — a drop of 3% compared to the first quarter of 2018 and down 13.5% from the fourth quarter of last year. Pending sales in the quarter were a mixed bag. Five counties saw an increase, but five showed signs of slowing.
  • The only market that had sales growth was Adams, which rose 4.9%. The rest of the counties contained in this report saw sales decline, with a significant drop in the small Park County area.
  • I believe the drop in the number of home sales is partially due to the significant increase in listings (+45.6%), which has given would-be home buyers more choice and less need to act quickly.
  • As mentioned above, inventory growth in the quarter was significant, but I continue to believe that the market will see sales rise. I expect the second half of the year to perform better than the first.

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • Home prices continue to trend higher, but the rate of growth is tapering. The average home price in the region rose just 2.1% year-over-year to $456,243. Home prices were .3% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2018.
  • I anticipate that the drop in interest rates early in the year will likely get more buyers off the fence and this will allow prices to rise.
  • Appreciation was again strongest in Park County, where prices rose 21.9%. We still attribute this rapid increase to it being a small market. Only Clear Creek County experienced a drop in average home price. Similar to Park County, this is due to it being a very small market, making it more prone to significant swings.
  • Affordability remains an issue in many Colorado markets but that may be offset by the drop in interest rates.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in Colorado rose five days compared to the first quarter of 2018.
  • The amount of time it took to sell a home dropped in two counties — Gilpin and Park — compared to the first quarter of 2018. The rest of the counties in this report saw days-on-market rise modestly with the exception of the small Clear Creek market, which rose by 26 days.
  • In the first quarter of 2019, it took an average of 42 days to sell a home in the region, an increase of four days compared to the final quarter of 2018.
  • Job growth drives housing demand, but buyers are faced with more choice and are far less frantic than they were over the past few years. That said, I anticipate the late spring will bring more activity and sales.

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

For the first quarter of 2019, I have moved the needle a little more in favor of buyers. I am watching listing activity closely to see if we get any major bumps above the traditional increase because that may further slow home price growth; however, the trend for 2019 will continue towards a more balanced market.

 

 

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

Posted on May 2, 2019 at 3:13 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Evans Real Estate, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Investment, Johnstown Real Estae, Longmont Real Estate, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,