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 , , , , ,

Are We Bubbly?

Because our Northern Colorado market has been so active over the last four years, clients often ask me if wIe think there is a housing bubble forming.

There are several key statistics which we track closely in order to answer that question.

Here is one fact that we find to be insightful…

One of the root causes of the last housing bubble was the glut of inventory, and specifically new home inventory. Quite simply, the market was being oversupplied with new homes. The rules of economics say when there is oversupply, prices must come down.

Are we in a housing bubble?

Today, there are far fewer new home starts compared to 2004 and 2005 when the last bubble was forming – despite there being a larger population.
According to our friends at Metrostudy who track the new home market, Northern Colorado has had 4,452 new home starts in the last 12 months.

That number is only 60% of what it was at the height of construction in early 2005.

It is also interesting to note that over the last 12 months there have been 4,473 new home closings which shows that demand is keeping up with supply.

So when you drive around Northern Colorado and notice all the new homes being built, know that construction activity is far less than what is was during the bubble and that demand is keeping up with supply.

In case you missed our annual real estate Forecast event, you can reach out to me to see the presentation slides or receive a video recap of the information. Just email me at phunter@windermere.com

Posted on January 26, 2018 at 3:54 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Fort Collins Real Estate, Investment, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Update On Market Absorption (Amount of Inventory)

Here we are halfway through the summer already! Time flies when you are having fun I guess!

I want to get you the update on the quarterly real estate market absorption rate that I analyze each quarter for Fort Collins. As a reminder, inventory or Absorption Rate is the amount of time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market today, if no more homes were to be listed. We have been hovering around 1.1 months to 1.3 months for over a year now (SUPER low inventory, a balanced market is 6 months of inventory according the National Association of REALTORS). But we are seeing a slight uptick to 1.58 months at the beginning of July. While that is still very low and certainly a seller’s market, we are seeing more homes hit the market and sit around for a week or two, which is providing great opportunities for the buyers I have been working with. It is a slightly less daunting market than it was in March.

If you are interested in learning more about how this could be an opportunity for you as a Buyer in the Northern Colorado area, please feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email! Enjoy your week!

 

Posted on July 26, 2017 at 2:51 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Fort Collins Real Estate, Investment, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

The New Gardner Report!

The Gardner Report  | CO Q1 2017

The following analysis of the Metro Denver and Northern Colorado real estate market 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 me.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW


Annual employment in Colorado grew by a respectable 2.3% in February, which equated to about 64,000 new jobs over the past 12 months. Within the metropolitan market areas included in this report, employment has been mixed, with Denver, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs reporting above-average growth. However, Greeley and Grand Junction saw a modest decline in employment.

In February, the unemployment rate in Colorado was 2.9%, down from 3.3% a year ago. The lowest reported unemployment rates were in Fort Collins and Boulder, at just 2.6%. The highest rate was in Grand Junction, but it was still a respectable 4.7%.

HOME SALES


  • There were 11,640 home sales during the first quarter of 2017, an annual increase of 2.2%.
  • Arapahoe County saw sales grow at the fastest rate over the past 12 months, with a 7.9% increase. There were also impressive increases in Douglas County. There were very modest sales declines in the relatively small Larimer and Weld Counties.
  • Listing activity remains well below historic averages, with the total number of homes for sale in the first quarter 10.7% below that seen a year ago.
  • Home sales are generally higher than seen a year ago, but inventory levels are well below where they need to be to satisfy would-be buyers.
Annual Change in Home Sales

HOME PRICES


  • With demand remaining strong, home prices continue to escalate. In the first quarter of this year, average prices rose by 8% when compared to a year ago. Average home prices across the region broke the $400,000 barrier at $402,273.
  • Home prices remain well above historic highs and continue to trend upward. While there are very modest slowdowns in price growth—possibly a function of rising interest rates—they should continue to appreciate at above-average rates throughout 2017.
  • Appreciation was strongest in Arapahoe and Weld Counties, where prices rose by 12.2% and 10.1% respectively.
  • The housing market remains strong and this will continue until we see a substantial increase in the number of homes for sale, which is unlikely in the near-term.
Colorado Home Sales Heat Map
Annual Change in Home Sale Prices

DAYS ON MARKET


  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped by one day when compared to the first quarter of 2016.
  • Homes in a majority of the counties took less than a month to sell.
  • During the first quarter, it took an average of 30 days to sell a home. This is down by one day compared to the same time last year.
  • Demand remains very strong across the region, which is evident by the remarkably short amount of time that it takes to sell a home.
Average Days on Market

CONCLUSIONS


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

In the first quarter of 2017, the needle remains well into seller’s territory. The recent increases in mortgage rates have not had any dampening effect on either demand or home prices, and I expect this will remain unchanged through the end of the year.

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER


Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.
Posted on May 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Investment, Real Estate, Seller Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,