Interest rates on a 30-year mortgage right now are just about the lowest they have ever been in history.
- The rate today is 3.45%
- The lowest-ever in November, 2012 was 3.31%
- A year ago they were 4.35%
So, what gives? Why are rates so low? It turns out that the coronavirus is pushing rates down to historic lows.
The virus is causing uncertainty in the global financial markets. When there is uncertainty, there tends to be a flight from stocks into bonds.
Specifically, there tends to be a flight to U.S. Treasuries.
High demand for U.S. Treasuries means that the interest rates on those bonds goes down.
30-year mortgage rates track the rates on the 10-year Treasury and the 10-year Treasury just hit their lowest rates ever at 1.31%.
The uncertainty around the virus will likely keep rates down for the foreseeable future.
If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to reach out to your mortgage lender to see if you would benefit by refinancing your loan.
Every so often we will hear a concern that another housing bubble is forming.
To help answer that question it’s valuable to look at the reasons that caused the last one.
There were three main drivers of the bubble that burst in 2008:
1. Easy Credit – loans were very easy to attain
2. Over-Leverage – people were using their homes at ATM’s
3. Over-Supply – too many new homes were being built
Now, let’s compare that to today:
1. Stricter Credit – the average home buyer today has a FICO score of 755
2. High Equity – collectively, U.S. homeowners have $19 Trillion of equity in their homes and collective mortgage debt has not increased for 13 years
3. Under-Supply – today we are building only two-thirds of the new homes being built in 2004 yet the population is much higher
Given this healthy information, we don’t see another housing bubble forming today.
Northern Colorado gave us a real-life economics lesson in January 2020.
Compared to one year ago…
- Inventory was down 10% (Supply)
- Homes under contract went up 31% (Demand)
- Prices were up 5% (Result)
Housing affordability is a hot topic especially after the strong price appreciation that has occurred in our market over the last 7 years.
Here’s some interesting research on affordability…
Each quarter the National Association of Home Builders measures affordability in hundreds of markets across the Country.
Their method is to count the number of homes in a market that could be purchased with that particular market’s median income.
For example, San Francisco is the least-affordable market where only 8.4% of the homes could be purchased with their median income.
The most-affordable is Monroe, Michigan where 95.3% of the homes could be purchased with their median income.
Guess where all of the 10 least-affordable markets are. California!
Guess where almost all of the 10 most-affordable markets are. The rust belt (cities in Michigan, Ohio, upstate New York, etc.)
The U.S. average is 63.6%.
Metro Denver comes in at 55.3% and Northern Colorado at 54.5%.
So, roughly half of the homes in our market could be purchased with our local median income.
Here is our interest rate Forecast for the next year.
Our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, predicts that rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage will stay between 3.8% and 3.9% for 2020.
He doesn’t see rates going above 4.0% until at least the first quarter of 2021.
This is obviously great news for buyers as their payments will stay much lower as compared to having a rate at the long-term average of 7.5%.
If you would like to see the slides from Matthew Gardner’s Forecast presentation, we would be happy to get those in your hands. Just let us know if we can help!
Millennials often get a bad rap. One of the myths about Millennials is that they don’t own homes and will be renters forever.
Not true! Especially on the Front Range of Colorado.
Based on research by our very own Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, Millennials make up a significant percentage of all home buyers in Metro Denver and Colorado.
In Metro Denver, 50% of all buyers last year were in the Millennial demographic.
In Northern Colorado, the number is 41%.
It turns out that Millennials, as they move into their mid to late 30’s, see the value of home ownership and are at the point in their lives where it makes sense to own instead of rent.
A lot of real estate changes hands in Northern Colorado over the course of a year.
In 2019, Larimer and Weld Counties had…
- 12,830 residential sales which is 1.2% more than 2018
- $5,224,834,424 of sales volume which is 4.45% more than 2018
For a detailed look at all the 2019 numbers plus our forecast for 2020, click the link below…
It’s time to register for our annual Market Forecast event. We will be live at 5:30 on January 16th at the Marriott in Fort Collins. Back by popular demand is our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. Save your seat HERE.
A quick, simple Fun Fact for you this week…
It’s time to sign up and register for our annual Market Forecast event.
We will be live in Denver on January 15th at the Wellshire Events Center.
And In Fort Collins on January 16th at the Marriott.
Both events start at 5:30. Choose which location works best for you.
Matthew Garder, our Chief Economist, is the Keynote speaker.
Click the links above to RSVP.
While your true love may be getting you a partridge in a pear tree in the near future, we decided to give you the 12 facts of Colorado real estate:
- 1 is the ranking Colorado owns for long-term home price appreciation versus all other states
- 2.6% unemployment rate in Colorado right now
- 3.73% mortgage rate for a 30-year mortgage which is about half of the long term average
- 4.7% apartment vacancy rate in Metro Denver, the lowest since 2015
- 5.5% is the long-term average for yearly home price appreciation along the Front Range
- 6,000,000 live in Colorado
- 7,000 residential properties are for sale in Metro Denver right now and the average for this time of year is 14,700
- 80,000 is the number of people that is added to our state’s population each year
- 9 homes are for sale in Larimer and Weld County priced over $2,500,000
- -10% is the decrease in new home construction in Larimer County compared to last year while Weld County grew by 17%
- 11 times in the last 40 years home prices have gone up at least 8% along the Front Range
- $1,202,488 is the average price for a single-family home in the City of Boulder