Leading Indicator

We are watching close to see where the real estate market is headed. Anecdotally we can tell you that the vast majority of transactions that are under contract are still closing. We have seen very few transactions cancel because of employment issues or the wild swings of the stock market.

An interesting leading indicator was announced this week that sheds some light as to where the market is headed. Each week the Mortgage Bankers Association releases their index which tracks new mortgage applications.

They track both purchase applications and refinance applications. To no one’s surprise, the index was down this week but not as much as you may have guessed.

New purchase applications were down 11% compared to the same week this last year. Refinance activity fell more sharply, down 34%.

This is a statistic we will watch closely as time goes on.

Each week our Chief Economist produces a video with the latest on the national economy and the housing market. Reach out to us if you would like to see that video.

Posted on March 27, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Friday Fun Facts, Homes for Sale, Real Estate, Seller Tips | Tagged , , , , ,

Headwind Vs. Tailwind

Headwind vs. Tailwind

So far the tailwind of historically-low mortgage rates are prevailing over Wall Street and COVID-19 concerns.

Buyers are still active. Properties are still closing. Moving trucks are still showing up at people’s homes.

Open house traffic has declined, but we notice plenty of buyers looking for property. (one of our open houses last weekend had over 40 visitors)

For many, the interest rates are just too good to pass up.

We even see instances of multiple-offer situations for properties priced right in high-demand locations.

Rates today, compared to 4%, equate to not only a monthly savings for those refinancing but also equates to tens of thousands in additional purchase power.

For the average price of a home on the Front Range, the savings is $171 per month and the increased purchase power is $35,811.

Here’s what we expect to happen over the coming months. Listing inventory and transaction volume will both decline. We will no doubt see lower activity compared to a year ago.

But thoughts of the market “coming to a screeching halt” can’t be validated because of the historical performance of our market and because of the inherent fundamentals in place.

We will continue to track the numbers and communicate the facts so that you remain well-informed.

Posted on March 13, 2020 at 1:09 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Friday Fun Facts, Homes for Sale, Investment, Real Estate, Seller Tips | Tagged , , , ,

New Edition Of THE SCOOP!

Check out The Scoop all about the Northern Colorado real estate market below!

The Scoop 1st Quarter 2020

 

Posted on February 3, 2020 at 4:23 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Friday Fun Facts!

Posted on March 8, 2019 at 2:18 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Evans Real Estate, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Investment, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

The Misery Index


Last week at our Market Forecast events, Chief Economist Matthew Gardner shared, among many stats, his famous “Misery Index.”

A valuable statistic with a funny title.

The Misery Index simply measures inflation plus unemployment.

It’s an effective way to look at our Nation’s economy.

Today’s Index sits just below 6%. Back in October 2011, it was close to 13%.

The lowest it has been in the last 7 years is October 2015 when it was near 5%.

________________________________________

If you would like a copy of the entire Forecast presentation, go ahead and reach out to me.

I would be happy to put it in your hands.

Posted on January 28, 2019 at 3:34 am
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Evans Real Estate, Fort Collins Real Estate, Investment, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

The Scoop Is Here!

 

Check out our latest quarterly market report, The Scoop! by clicking below. If you have any questions about the data please shoot me an email or give me a call!

The Scoop 4th Quarter 2018

Posted on January 21, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Evans Real Estate, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Investment, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

2019 Economic and Housing Forecast Preview

2019 Economic and Housing Forecast 
By Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate 

What a year it has been for both for the U.S. economy and the national housing market. After several years of above-average economic and home price growth, 2018 marked the start of a slowdown in the residential real estate market. As the year comes to a close, it’s time for me to dust off my crystal ball to see what we can expect in 2019.

The U.S. Economy

Despite the turbulence that the ongoing trade wars with China are causing, I still expect the U.S. economy to have one more year of relatively solid growth before we likely enter a recession in 2020. Yes, it’s the dreaded “R” word, but before you panic, there are some things to bear in mind.

Firstly, any cyclical downturn will not be driven by housing. Although it is almost impossible to predict exactly what will be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back”, I believe it will likely be caused by one of the following three things: an ongoing trade war, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too quickly, or excessive corporate debt levels. That said, we still have another year of solid growth ahead of us, so I think it’s more important to focus on 2019 for now.

The U.S. Housing Market

Existing Home Sales
This paper is being written well before the year-end numbers come out, but I expect 2018 home sales will be about 3.5% lower than the prior year. Sales started to slow last spring as we breached affordability limits and more homes came on the market. In 2019, I anticipate that home sales will rebound modestly and rise by 1.9% to a little over 5.4 million units.

Existing Home Prices
We will likely end 2018 with a median home price of about $260,000 – up 5.4% from 2017. In 2019 I expect prices to continue rising, but at a slower rate as we move toward a more balanced housing market. I’m forecasting the median home price to increase by 4.4% as rising mortgage rates continue to act as a headwind to home price growth.

New Home Sales
In a somewhat similar manner to existing home sales, new home sales started to slow in the spring of 2018, but the overall trend has been positive since 2011. I expect that to continue in 2019 with sales increasing by 6.9% to 695,000 units – the highest level seen since 2007.

That being said, the level of new construction remains well below the long-term average. Builders continue to struggle with land, labor, and material costs, and this is an issue that is not likely to be solved in 2019. Furthermore, these constraints are forcing developers to primarily build higher-priced homes, which does little to meet the substantial demand by first-time buyers.

Mortgage Rates
In last year’s forecast I suggested that 5% interest rates would be a 2019 story, not a 2018 story. This prediction has proven accurate with the average 30-year conforming rates measured at 4.87% in November, and highly unlikely to breach the 5% barrier before the end of the year.

In 2019, I expect interest rates to continue trending higher, but we may see periods of modest contraction or levelling. We will likely end the year with the 30-year fixed rate at around 5.7%, which means that 6% interest rates are more apt to be a 2020 story.

I also believe that non-conforming (or jumbo) rates will remain remarkably competitive. Banks appear to be comfortable with the risk and ultimately, the return, that this product offers, so expect jumbo loan yields to track conforming loans quite closely.

Conclusions
There are still voices out there that seem to suggest the housing market is headed for calamity and that another housing bubble is forming, or in some cases, is already deflating.  In all the data that I review, I just don’t see this happening. Credit quality for new mortgage holders remains very high and the median down payment (as a percentage of home price) is at its highest level since 2004.

That is not to say that there aren’t several markets around the country that are overpriced, but just because a market is overvalued, does not mean that a bubble is in place. It simply means that forward price growth in these markets will be lower to allow income levels to rise sufficiently.

Finally, if there is a big story for 2019, I believe it will be the ongoing resurgence of first-time buyers. While these buyers face challenges regarding student debt and the ability to save for a down payment, they are definitely on the comeback and likely to purchase more homes next year than any other buyer demographic.

Posted on January 6, 2019 at 9:08 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Evans Real Estate, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Investment, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Friday Fun Facts

Waiting and Waiting

Anytime the market cools off we sometimes hear prospective buyers say “I think I’ll wait for the market to correct, then I’ll buy after prices come way down.”

The reality is this… History shows that this wouldn’t be a good strategy.

Our go-to source on price appreciation is the Federal Housing Finance Authority who produces a quarterly home price index.  They have been tracking Larimer County for 41 years.

Their numbers show:

  • Yearly prices have decreased only 6 times in history
  • The average amount of that decrease is only 1.7%

So, someone who is waiting for prices to drop:

  • Might be waiting a long time
  • Might be disappointed that prices didn’t drop by all that much

If you have any questions about any of this info, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email, have a great weekend!

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Investment, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

96.3 Miles Per Hour

96.3 Miles Per Hour

 

Pretend you have been driving on the Interstate at 100 miles per hour.

Also, pretend you have been doing that for a long time.

Now pretend you slow down to 96.3 miles per hour.

How would that feel?

Probably just a little slower?

96.3 miles per hour is a 3.7% decrease from 100. It may feel slower, but it’s still pretty fast.

How does this relate to real estate?

Well, the market has been moving fast for a long time.

It’s been going 100 miles per hour for at least two years (some would argue even longer).

We’ve recently seen a 3.7% change in terms of number of transactions that are occurring.

There were 3.7% fewer sales in September 2018 versus September 2017 in Fort Collins.

It feels slower because we’ve been driving so fast for so long. But, our market is still moving.

For example, prices are still up. So, remember, that it’s all relative.

Posted on November 12, 2018 at 2:06 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Investment, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , ,

New Home Starts

What’s Starting?

Here are some interesting stats from our friends at Metro Study who study new home activity along the Front Range.

  • New home starts are up 14% compared to last year – this is really good news and is helping to relieve the shortage of housing inventory
  • Every product type saw an increase in starts compared to last year (single family, townhome and condominium)
  • Condominiums saw the largest increase in starts by a long shot, up 112% over last year- this is excellent news for first time buyers and those looking for product in lower price ranges.

Any questions about this stuff? Give me a ring or shoot me an email and I can buy you a cup of coffee!

Posted on October 8, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Investment, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,