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 , , , , , , ,

Friday Fun Facts – Appreciation

Posted on September 21, 2018 at 1:54 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 Gardner Report

Colorado Real Estate Market Update

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Colorado continues to see very strong job growth, adding 72,800 non-agricultural jobs over the past 12 months—an impressive increase of 2.7%. Through the first five months of 2018, the state added an average of 7,300 new jobs per month. I expect this growth to continue through the remainder of the year, resulting in about 80,000 new jobs in 2018.

In May, the state unemployment rate was 2.8%. This is slightly above the 2.6% we saw a year ago but still represents a remarkably low level. Unemployment remains either stable or is dropping in all the markets contained in this report, with the lowest reported rates in Fort Collins and Boulder, where just 2.2% of the labor force was actively looking for work. The highest unemployment rate was in Grand Junction, which came in at 3.1%.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • In the second quarter of 2018, 17,769 homes sold—a drop of 2.4% compared to the second quarter of 2017.
  • Sales rose in 5 of the 11 counties contained in this report, with Gilpin County sales rising by an impressive 10.7% compared to second quarter of last year. There were also noticeable increases in Clear Creek and Weld Counties. Sales fell the most in Park County but, as this is a relatively small area, I see no great cause for concern at this time.
  • Slowing sales activity is to be expected given the low levels of available homes for sale in many of the counties contained in this report. That said, we did see some significant increases in listing activity in Denver and Larimer Counties. This should translate into increasing sales through the summer months.
  • The takeaway here is that sales growth is being hobbled by a general lack of homes for sale, and due to a drop in housing demand.

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • With strong economic growth and a persistent lack of inventory, prices continue to trend higher. The average home price in the region rose
    9.8% year-over-year to $479,943.
  • The smallest price gains in the region were in Park County, though the increase there was still a respectable 7%.
  • Appreciation was strongest in Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties, where prices rose by 28.9% and 26%, respectively. All other counties in this report saw gains above the long-term average.
  • Although there was some growth in listings, the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand persists, driving home prices higher.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home remained at the same level as a year ago.
  • The length of time it took to sell a home dropped in most markets contained in this report. Gilpin County saw a very significant jump in days on market, but this can be attributed to the fact that it is a very small area which makes it prone to severe swings.
  • In the second quarter of 2018, it took an average of 24 days to sell a home. Of note is Adams County, where it took an average of only 10 days to sell a home.
  • Housing demand remains very strong and all the markets in this report continue to be in dire need of additional inventory to satisfy demand.

 

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 second quarter of 2018, I have moved the needle very slightly towards buyers as a few counties actually saw inventories rise. However, while I expect to see listings increase in the coming months, for now, the housing market continues to heavily favor sellers.

 

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 more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

 

Posted on August 3, 2018 at 2:00 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 , , , ,

Friday Fun Facts

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Is There A Bubble?

Economists say there are three reasons why we aren’t in a housing bubble today.

The first reason they mention is the amount of new home construction compared to the 2006 housing bubble.

Today, along the Front Range, new home starts are down 38% compared to 2006. This is despite a much higher population than 12 years ago.

A major factor that caused the bubble was the glut of new construction inventory which doesn’t exist today.

Metrostudy, a leading new home research firm, says that Front Range builders need to have built 30,000 more new homes over the last 5 years to keep up with demand.

To see the whole story about our market along with other stats and trends, watch the recording of Tuesday’s Windermere Workshop right here.

If you want to be totally clear on all the stats, facts and trends in Colorado real estate so that you know what the future value of your home looks like, watch this video.

This is a complimentary service for our clients and friends.

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See all the latest facts, stats and trends of the Colorado market from the comfort of your own laptop.

Watch the Windermere Workshop video for a mid-year market update.

Posted on July 20, 2018 at 3:03 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 , , , ,

Friday Fun Facts! I-25 Edition

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Relief on The Way!

There is good news and bad news.

The good news is I-25 traffic relief is on the way. The bad news is we will have to live through three summers of construction before it’s done.

Did you know the 26 miles between Highway 14 in Fort Collins and Highway 66 in Longmont Interstate 25 serves more than 45,000 cars per day? Wow!

Part of that stretch of interstate will get a third lane starting this summer. Construction is set to begin next month that will add a third lane between Highway 14 and Highway 402.

The project is happening 14 years ahead of schedule thanks to additional funding from several sources including the Cities of Fort Collins and Loveland. The first step we will notice is construction on the I 25/Highway 34 intersection.

This is great news for our region that will bring much needed relief. We will all just need to be a little patient while the work is being done.

Grab a copy of my Investment Kit so you can see the simple steps to get started without stress or complication. Email me at phunter@windermere.comand I will send you a video which clarifies the process and my Investment Checklist so you can see what to do first.

Posted on May 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Fort Collins Real Estate, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The New Gardner Report

 

The following analysis of the Metro Denver & 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

It’s good news for the state of Colorado, which saw annual employment grow in all of the metropolitan markets included in this report. The state added 63,400 non-agricultural jobs over the past 12 months, an impressive growth rate of 2.4%. Colorado has been adding an average of 5,300 new jobs per month for the past year, and I anticipate that this growth rate will continue through the balance of 2018.

In February, the unemployment rate in Colorado was 3.0%—a level that has held steady for the past six months. Unemployment has dropped in all the markets contained in this report, with the lowest reported rates in Fort Collins and Denver, where 3.1% of the labor force was actively looking for work. The highest unemployment rate was in Grand Junction, which came in at 4.6%.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • In the first quarter of 2018, there were 11,173 home sales—a drop of 5.6% when compared to the first quarter of 2017.
  • With an increase of 5.3%, home sales rose the fastest in Boulder County, as compared to first quarter of last year. There was also a modest sales increase of 1.2% in Larimer County. Sales fell in all the other counties contained within this report.
  • Home sales continue to slow due to low inventory levels, which were down 5.7% compared to a year ago.
  • The takeaway here is that sales growth continues to stagnate due to the lack of homes for sale.

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • Strong economic growth, combined with limited inventory, continued to push prices higher. The average home price in the markets covered by this report was up by 11.7% year-over-year to $448,687.
  • Arapahoe County saw slower appreciation in home values, but the trend is still positiveand above its long-term average.
  • Appreciation was strongest in Boulder County, which saw prices rise 14.8%. Almost all other counties in this report experienced solid gains.
  • The ongoing imbalance between supply and demand persists and home prices continue to appreciate at above-average rates.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped by three days when compared to the first quarter of 2017.
  • Homes in all but two counties contained in this report took less than a month to sell. Adams County continues to stand out where it took an average of just 17 days to sell a home.
  • During the first quarter, it took an average of 27 days to sell a home. That rate is down 2 days from the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Housing demand remains strong and would-be buyers should expect to see stiff competition for well-positioned, well-priced homes.

 

 

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 2018, I have left the needle where it was in the fourth quarter of last year. Even as interest rates trend higher, it appears as if demand will continue to outweigh supply. As we head into the spring months, I had hoped to see an increase in the number of homes for sale, but so far that has not happened. As a result, the housing market continues to heavily favor sellers.

 

 

 

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 more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Posted on May 7, 2018 at 5:19 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 , , , , , , ,