The luxury market is very active right now. Buyers in the high-end are taking advantage of low interest rates and the equity they have built in their prior homes.
Closings of million-plus single family homes are up significantly along the Front Range.
When compared to this same time last year, sales of properties in this price range are up:
87% in Metro Denver
150% in Larimer County
67% in Weld County
Windermere Real Estate in Colorado recently hosted a private online event for our clients with our very own Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We would be happy to send you the recording if you would like.
The activity in the Front Range market is causing us to hear the bubble question again.
People are curious to know, based on recent growth in price appreciation, if we are in a housing bubble.
This questions seems to crop up when prices go up.
While we do not believe that the current double-digit price appreciation is sustainable, we firmly believe we will not see prices crash or see any kind of a bubble bursting.
Here’s why we think that…
This past Tuesday we hosted a private online event for our clients which featured our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.
Matthew is well-known and well-respected in the industry. He is often quoted in leading real estate publications.
He sees four reasons why there is no real estate bubble that is about to pop in Colorado.
- Inventory is (incredibly) low. The number of homes for sale is down over 40% compared to last year. The market is drastically under-supplied. Based on simple economic principles of supply and demand, inventory would need to grow significantly for prices to drop.
- Buyers’ credit scores are very high. The average credit score for buyers last month, for example was 759. So, by definition, average buyers today have excellent credit which means there is low risk of them walking away from their mortgage and causing a foreclosure crisis.
- Buyers have high down payments. On average, buyers are putting 18% down on their purchases. This means that prices would need to fall by a considerable amount in order for the average buyer to be ‘upside down’ on their mortgage.
- Owners are equity rich. Well over a third of property owners along the Front Range have more than 50% equity in their homes. This means that a severe economic downturn causing a slew of distressed properties to hit the market is highly unlikely.
Bottom line, as Matthew Gardner reminded us, what we are experiencing in the economy today is a health crisis not a housing crisis.
If you would like a recording of the private webinar, we would be happy to send it to you. Just reach out and let us know.
We just completed a review of the September numbers in our market.
Here is the one number that is standing out to us- average price.
Prices are way up over last year. Here are the specific average price increases in each of our markets compared to September 2019:
Metro Denver = 13.2%
Larimer County = 16.9%
Weld County = 7.4%
This change in prices has of course generated questions from our clients.
To help our clients answer questions about prices and other real estate topics, we have set up a private online event with our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.
The event is set for Tuesday from 9:00 to 10:00.
Simply reach out to any Windermere broker to receive your registration link.
Matthew will be addressing these questions as well as many others:
What effect will the election have on the economy and on real estate?
How long can interest rates stay this low?
Can prices keep appreciating at their current pace?
This online event is for the clients and friends of Windermere. If you would like to register, please connect with your Windermere broker.
The National real estate market just hit a massive milestone.
Based on the numbers through August, we are now on pace to sell 6 million homes. This is the highest pace we have seen in 14 years.
The 6 million threshold is a big deal in the real estate brokerage world.
Each month, as they have for a long time, the National Association of Realtors tracks the sales and then calculates the annualized rate of residential closings.
For many, many years this number has bounced around 5.5 million. The fact that it just jumped to 6 million speaks to many factors especially the effect of today’s interest rates.
Temperatures may be cooling off but the Front Range real estate market is not.
Typically the market starts to slow down a bit in the Fall after a hot Spring and Summer.
Not this year.
The indicator we use to measure future closed sales is current pending sales.
Simply, we look at the number of properties under contract and scheduled to close versus the same time last year.
Current pending sales are way up along the Front Range when measured against 2019:
Metro Denver up 34.1%
Larimer County up 48.6%
Weld County up 50.2%
Based on these numbers, closed sales numbers over the next 60 days will be very strong.
The number of loans in forbearance just fell to their lowest level since mid-April.
This is good news for the real estate market.
Less and less people are seeking payment relief on their mortgages.
The number of loans currently in forbearance stands at 7.16%.
This news coincides with the U.S. Unemployment Rate falling to it’s lowest level in 5 months as more people are getting their jobs back.
The economy has added back roughly half of the 22.2 million jobs that were lost in March and April of this year.
Sales of new homes have jumped to their highest levels in 14 years.
The annualized rate of single-family new construction homes is now at 901,000 according to the new Census Bureau report.
This means that across the U.S., at the current pace of sales, there will be almost 1,000,000 new homes built and sold over the next 12 months.
This pace is 36% higher than one year ago and the highest it has been since the end of 2006.
Given the low inventory levels of previously-owned homes that most of the Country is experiencing, this uptick in new home activity is welcome news.
The Federal Housing Finance Authority just released their most recent quarterly report which tracks home price appreciation in the top 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S. plus appreciation in individual states.
Some significant findings from the report:
House prices have risen for 36 consecutive quarters, or since September 2011.
House prices rose in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020.
The top five areas for annual appreciation were:
1) Idaho 10.8%
2) Arizona 9.1%
3) Washington 8.6%
4) Utah 8.1%
5) New Mexico 7.7%.
Idaho has been the leading state for the last 7 quarters.
Colorado showed annual appreciation of 4.4%.
The areas showing the lowest annual appreciation were:
1) West Virginia 1.1%
2) North Dakota 1.1%
3) District of Columbia 1.4%
4) Illinois 2.5%
5) Alaska 2.6%.
House prices rose in 99 of the top 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. over the last four quarters.
Annual price increases were greatest in Honolulu, HI, where prices increased by 11.7%.
Prices were weakest in San Francisco, where they decreased by 0.3%.
At Windermere Real Estate we are taking Safer at Home and Social Distancing very seriously. Our people are following our Safe Showings protocol, staying connected to their clients, and providing help wherever needed.
Start it Up
As further evidence that the housing market is more than alive and well, new home starts have recently jumped across the U.S.
Building of residential properties is up 23.4% compared to last year and up 22.6% from last month.
Pre-pandemic demand for new homes was very high. Now, record-low interest rates are fueling the market to new highs.
Periodically we track a stat which we find to be quite interesting.
It answers this question – how many properties are selling for at least list price (asking price or higher)?
This stat tells us how active the market is and helps our buyers to realize that, in some cases, they will be in a competitive situation.
When we look at single-family home sales so far this month, this is what we find:
57% of properties in Larimer County sell for at least list price
62% of properties in Weld County sell for at least list price
So, in well over half of the transactions, buyers need to offer list price or higher to acquire the property.
The data gets even more interesting when this information is broken out by price range.
To no one’s surprise, the percentage increases for properties priced under $400,000:
81% in Larimer County
70% in Weld County
We find that for properties over $400,000 the percentages still tell a story of a very active market:
47% in Larimer County
56% in Weld County
Bottom line, in most locations and price ranges we see a strong sellers’ market where buyers need to be prepared to make a strong offer and to also compete.