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.
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.
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.
The Case-Shiller Home Price Index tracks appreciation in the 20 largest real estate markets across the U.S.
Their most recent quarterly report was just released this week.
Metro Denver prices are up over last year by 3.89% which is just slightly higher than the average of the 20 markets.
It is interesting to see how the 20 locations have performed since the pre-Great Recession housing peak.
Turns out that Denver has done the best out of all the markets.
Since 2008, Denver home prices have appreciated 64.9%. Second-best is Dallas at 55.5% and Seattle is third at 41.2%.
Believe it or not, there are markets where average home prices have still not returned to their 2008 levels.
Las Vegas is 14.5% below 2008 and Chicago is 12.8% below.
These numbers are another indicator of the long-term health and performance of the Front Range market.
This year the Spring market is occurring in the Summer.
Typically the busiest months for real estate along the Front Range are April, May and June.
This year, because showing activity was restricted in the Spring months, we are seeing robust activity this Summer.
Here’s an indicator. Sales through July 2020 versus July 2019 are up:
12.6% in Metro Denver
13.7% in Northern Colorado
To see double-digit increases in sales despite was is occurring in the National economy, is nothing short of remarkable.
Mortgage interest rates have hit another record low this week.
Mortgage applications for purchases just hit an 11-year high.
Rates are at a level that many people could never have imagined.
Here’s something that is surprising to many people…
Rates are 1.5% lower than they were just two years ago.
Here’s what that means for buyers…
Pretend someone is looking at a $500,000 home and they will have a 20% down payment.
The difference in monthly payment is $320 between two years ago and today.
Obviously that is a significant amount of money.
Imagine what a person could do with $320 per month.
The fact that rates are at record lows is one of many reasons that the market is so strong right now and prices continue to appreciate at healthy levels.
The numbers that we find to be most interesting right now are all related to inventory.
Long story short, inventory is tight.
It was already tight pre-coronavirus and now it’s even tighter.
Here are the numbers.
Active properties for sale versus one year ago are down:
11% in Larimer County
20% in Weld County
26% in Metro Denver
This low inventory is one of several reasons that prices are generally still up across the Front Range.
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.