Re Bubble

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Posted on October 9, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Blog, Buyer Tips, Friday Fun Facts, Homes for Sale, Real Estate, Seller Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Caught Up

We’ve been waiting for June to catch up. It finally happened (almost).

Back in April, real estate activity was significantly limited and the showing of property was restricted which caused the number of closed properties in May and early June to be much lower than last year.

Bottom line, fewer properties going under contract in April caused fewer closings 30 to 45 days later.

Closed properties in May were down compared to 2019 by 44% in Northern Colorado and 43% in Metro Denver.

Then activity jumped significantly in May. The number of properties going under contract was way up compared to last year.

We’ve been wondering when we would see this sales activity reflected in the number of closed properties.

Well, it finally happened (almost).

The number of closings so far in June compared to the same time period through June of 2019 is only down 1.8% in Northern Colorado and 1.6% in Metro Denver.

In both markets, there are only a handful of closings separating activity in June 2020 versus June 2019.

By the end of the month, when all the transactions are tallied up, we expect that June of this year will out pace June of last year in terms of number of transactions.

This is significant not only because of COVID-19, but also because of the reduced inventory compared to last year. Quite simply, there are fewer homes to buy.
All of this speaks to the health and resiliency of the Front Range market.

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.

Posted on June 26, 2020 at 1:35 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Homes for Sale, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Tight Inventory

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.

Posted on June 12, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Buyer Tips, Friday Fun Facts, Homes for Sale, Real Estate, Seller Tips | Tagged , , , , , ,

Why No Crash

This week we hosted our clients and friends for a special online event with our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.

Matthew talked about a variety of topics that are on people’s mind right now including home values.

Matthew sees no evidence that home values will crash and actually sees signs that they may rise this year nationally.

Here’s why he says this:
• Mortgage rates will remain under 3.5% for the rest of the year so there won’t be any interest-rate pressure on prices
• Inventory, which was already at record-lows, will drop even further keeping the supply levels far below normal
• New home construction will continue to be under-supplied and will be nothing like the over-supplied glut of inventory that we saw in 2008
• The vast majority of employees being laid off and furloughed are renters
• Home owners have a tremendous amount of equity in their homes right now compared to 2008 which will prevent an influx of short sales and foreclosures

If you would like to receive a recording of the webinar we would be happy to send it to you. Feel free to reach out and ask for the link.

Posted on April 24, 2020 at 1:23 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: Friday Fun Facts, Homes for Sale, Investment, Real Estate, Seller Tips | Tagged , , , , , ,

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 , , , , ,

Tax Time!

It’s Tax Time

You probably don’t need a reminder that this is tax season.

Not only because tax returns are due in two weeks but also because you will soon receive your property tax notification in the mail.

Every two years your County re-assesses the value of your property and then sends that new value to you.

When this happens, many of my clients:

  • Don’t agree with the new assessed value
  • Aren’t sure what to do
  • Are confused by the process
  • Want to save money on property taxes

Good news!  I have a webinar that will help you.  On the webinar we will show you:

  • How to read the information from the County
  • What it means for you
  • How to protest the valuation if you want
  • How to get an accurate estimate of your property’s value

You can listen to the webinar live or get the recording.  In any case, you can sign up at www.WindermereWorkshop.com  

The webinar is April 17th at 10:00.  If you can’t join live, go ahead and register so you can automatically receive the recording.

This is a complimentary online workshop for all of my clients.  I hope you can join!

Posted on April 2, 2019 at 1:08 pm
Paul Hunter | Category: About the area, Buyer Tips, Evans Real Estate, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Investment, Johnstown Real Estae, Loveland Real Estate, Real Estate, Seller Tips, Wellington Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

How’s 2019?

How’s 2019?

A lot of my clients are asking how 2019 is starting off.

Here’s one thing we notice…

There are more homes to choose from, which is great news for buyers.

In January alone 4,821 homes came on the market in Metro Denver.

That is a 14% increase compared to one year ago.

At our annual Market Forecast, we predicted a more balanced market in 2019, so far it looks like we are trending that way.

If you would like to see a short video with a recap of our annual Market Forecast presentation, click the image below.


Posted on February 11, 2019 at 4:26 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 , , , , ,

The Gardner Report

Check out the latest Gardner Report from Windermere’s Economist Matthew Gardner by clicking the picture below!

Posted on February 4, 2019 at 1:59 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 , , , , ,

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 , , , ,

Friday Fun Facts – Good Loan News!

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 2:39 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 , , , , , ,