Colorado Real Estate Market Update

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 your Windermere real estate agent. 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Colorado’s economy picked up, adding 64,900 new non-agricultural jobs over the past 12 months — a growth rate of 2.4%. Over the past three months, the state added an impressive 28,300 new jobs.

In August, the state unemployment rate was 2.8%, down from 3.4% a year ago. Unemployment rates in all the counties contained in this report were lower than a year ago. It is fair to say that all markets are now at full employment.

HOME SALES

  • In the third quarter of 2019, 17,562 homes sold. This is an increase of 5.1% compared to the third quarter of 2018 but 1.6% lower than the second quarter (which can be attributed to seasonality). Pending sales — a sign of future closings —rose 9.7%, suggesting that closings in the final quarter of 2019 are likely to show further improvement.
  • Seven counties contained in this report saw sales growth, while four saw sales activity drop. I am not concerned about this because all the markets that experienced slowing are relatively small and, therefore, subject to significant swings.
  • I was pleased to see an ongoing increase in the number of homes for sale (+16.9%), which means home buyers have more choice and feel less urgency.
  • Inventory levels are moving higher, and demand for housing appears to be quite strong. As I predicted last quarter, home sales rose in the third quarter compared to a year ago.

 

HOME PRICES

  • Home prices continue to trend higher, with the average home price in the region rising 3.8% year-over-year to $477,776.
  • Interest rates are at very competitive levels and are likely to remain below 4% for the balance of the year. As a result, prices will continue to rise but at a more modest pace.
  • Appreciation was again strongest in Park County, where prices rose 7.8%. We also saw strong growth in Weld County, which rose 7.4%. Home prices dropped in Clear Creek County, but, as mentioned earlier, this is a small market so I don’t believe this is indicative of an ongoing trend.
  • Affordability remains an issue in many Colorado markets and this will act as a modest headwind to ongoing price growth.

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the markets contained in this report rose seven days compared to the third quarter of 2018.
  • The amount of time it took to sell a home rose in all counties compared to the third quarter of 2018.
  • It took an average of 30 days to sell a home in the region — an increase of 1 day compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • The Colorado housing market is still performing well, and the modest increase in the length of time it took to sell a home is a function of greater choice in homes for sale and buyers taking a little longer to choose a home.

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 third quarter of 2019, I continue the trend I started last summer and have moved the needle a little more in favor of buyers. I continue to closely monitor listing activity 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 to be a move toward a more balanced market.

 

 

 

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER

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 November 5, 2019 at 11:54 am
John Taylor | Category: Economy, For Buyers, For Sellers, Housing Trends, market news | Tagged , , ,

Current Price Range in Northern Colorado

What is the most active price range in Northern Colorado? 

Take a guess…

  • $300,000 to $400,000
  • $400,000 to $500,000
  • $500,000 to $750,000
  • $750,000 and above

By far, the most active price range is $300,000 to $400,000 with 60% more closed transactions than the $400,000 to $500,000 range and 400% more than homes priced $750,000 and above.

However, this lower price range does not have the most inventory.  The price range with the greatest selection of homes is $500,000 to $750,000.

 

Posted on October 25, 2019 at 5:09 pm
John Taylor | Category: For Buyers, fun facts, Housing Trends, market news, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , ,

Rate Bounce

Rates hit near-historic lows this week and are now at 3.49% for a 30-year mortgage.

There have only been two other times in history when rates have been this low- April 2013 and October 2016.

It’s interesting to see what happened soon after bottoming out these last two times.

In April of 2013 rates hit 3.41%. By August 2013 they had jumped to 4.40%.

Rates bottomed again in October 2016 at 3.42%. Just two months later in December 2016 they were 4.32%.

Each time the increase was nearly 1% within just a few months.

So, if history proves itself as a guide, we can’t expect these rates to last for long.

 

 

Posted on September 18, 2019 at 1:14 pm
John Taylor | Category: Economy, For Buyers, fun facts, Housing Trends, market news, Northern Colorado Real Estate

How to Save for a House While You’re Renting

7 Simple Money-Saving Tips for Renters

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Get a roommate. One of the easiest ways to cut your rent in half and save some big bucks is by finding a roommate. Think half the rent cost, half the utility bills, internet and cable. That adds up to some serious savings that you can apply toward your down payment. Check out these seven tips for living with a roommate.

Pay off your credit card debt. This one might seem counterintuitive — after all, you’re trying to save money, right? But it’s important to remember that your credit score and debt-to-income ratio are pretty big factors that lenders consider when deciding whether you qualify for a loan. So, when it comes time to get a mortgage, you’ll be glad you tackled that outstanding debt ahead of time.

Rent to own. This is an option for those who are interested in a property, but still need to save up cash for a down payment or build their credit score. When you’re in a rent-to-own agreement, you typically pay a one-time, non-refundable fee called “option money”, which gives you the opportunity to purchase the house in the future. Usually this price ranges from 2 to 7 percent of the purchase price of the house — a price that you and the seller will agree upon.If you’re renting a house, check with your landlord that it’s okay to run a garage sale on the property.

Budget basics. Now that you’ve set a big financial goal, it’s important to figure out a budget and stick to it. A good rule of thumb to follow is the 50/30/20 rule, where you allocate a portion of your paycheck into three categories: 50 percent towards essentials, like food and housing; 30 percent towards lifestyle, like dinner out or other entertainment; and 20 percent towards financial priorities, such as debt, retirement and savings. Since you have your sights set on a new home, try moving 5 to 10 percent of your lifestyle budget into the savings category. It might be challenging, but you’ll reap the benefits when you see your home getting closer and closer!

Ditch the unnecessary. We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but we’ll say it again: consider cutting back on superfluous expenses. Sure, eating out and shopping are fun and entertaining indulgences, but they add up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, a year. For the time being, try spending less on non-essentials and you might be amazed at how much you’re saving. It’ll be worth every penny when you’re turning the key to your new home.

Set up shop. Believe it or not, a garage sale can put some serious savings in your pocket. Since you’re a renter, you might not have the space or be allowed to run a garage sale out of your abode, so ask family and friends if they have a garage to spare for a weekend.

Save your tax refund. Sure, it’s nice to get that refund check come tax season. A shopping spree, a new bedroom set, maybe a beach vacation — all fun things you can do with that “extra” income. Resist the urge to spend it on the impractical and instead stick it in your savings account.


https://www.amfam.com/resources/articles/money-matters/saving-for-a-house-as-a-renter

Posted on September 11, 2019 at 8:18 pm
John Taylor | Category: For Buyers, market news, Northern Colorado Real Estate

Friday Fun Fact – Nationally home prices have gone up!

Hot off the Press the new Federal Housing Finance Authority report!

The Federal Housing Finance Authority ranks 241 major metropolitan areas across the United States for yearly home price appreciation. The current report shows that, nationally, home prices have gone up 4.99% over the last 12 months. Colorado has 5 major metropolitan cities ranked in the 241 cities across the United States.

Here’s how the major cities rank:

        #22   Greeley = 7.94%
#27    Colorado Springs = 7.64%
#63    Fort Collins = 6.34%
#133  Denver = 4.83%
#188  Boulder = 3.41%

** Interesting fun fact: In the WORST economy of our lifetime (2008 recession), home appreciation in Fort Collins only went down 2.2%. Compare that to places like Las Vegas that went down by over 35%**
Posted on September 6, 2019 at 4:56 pm
John Taylor | Category: Economy, For Buyers, For Sellers, fun facts, Housing Trends, market news, Northern Colorado Real Estate

How much is your home worth in Northern Colorado?

If you’re thinking about selling your home, knowing how much it could be worth is a great place to start! Get a free estimate now!

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Posted on September 4, 2019 at 4:59 pm
John Taylor | Category: For Sellers, Housing Trends, Living, market news, Northern Colorado Real Estate

Friday Fun Fact – Home Prices Across the Nation

 

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Case-Shiller

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index is a well-known report in the real estate industry and a valuable way to gauge what is happening in various markets across the Nation.

The report tracks home price appreciation in the 20 largest markets in the country.

Their most recent report shows that, Nation-wide, home prices are up 2.1% year-over-year.  Last year prices were rising at 6.3%.  So, prices are still going up but not as fast as they were.

The city with the highest appreciation over the last 12 months is Phoenix with 5.8% growth followed closely by Las Vegas at 5.5%.

Denver came in at 3.4% which makes it tied for 8th place out of the 20 cities.

 

Posted on August 30, 2019 at 1:04 pm
John Taylor | Category: For Buyers, For Sellers, fun facts, Housing Trends, market news, Northern Colorado Real Estate

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Stay up-to-date on the latest happenings…

The Windermere Hub App gives you access to the latest and most important news and information about Windermere. No matter where you are, you can stay connected, informed, and keep your pulse on the latest at Windermere whether it be by reading updates about the company or checking out the latest social content.

                      

Posted on August 28, 2019 at 4:47 pm
John Taylor | Category: For Buyers, For Sellers, market news, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged

Friday Fun Fact – A Closing Window for Home Sellers

Most people know that the Spring and Summer are the most active months for real estate and that activity trails off into the Fall and Winter.

Here are the specific numbers behind this…

The number of homes sold along the Front Range in November tends to be between 15% and 29% lower than September.

That means the best window of time for current sellers to obtain a contract from a buyer and close by the end of the year will occur over the next 45 days.

For sellers who have homes on the market today, it is time to ensure that:

  • The home is priced right versus the competition
  • All of the marketing elements are in place
  • It is easy for a buyer to make an offer on the home
Posted on August 23, 2019 at 8:29 pm
John Taylor | Category: For Sellers, fun facts, Housing Trends, market news, Northern Colorado Real Estate

Mortgage Rate Forecast

Geopolitical uncertainty is causing mortgage rates to drop. Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, explains why this is and what you can expect to see mortgage rates do in the coming year.

 

Over the past few months we’ve seen a fairly significant drop in mortgage rates that has been essentially driven by geopolitical uncertainty – mainly caused by the trade war with China and ongoing discussions over tariffs with Mexico.

Now, mortgage rates are based on yields on 10-Year treasuries, and the interest rate on bonds tends to drop during times of economic uncertainty.  When this occurs, mortgage rates also drop.

My current forecast model predicts that average 30-year mortgage rates will end 2019 at around 4.4%, and by the end of 2020 I expect to see the average 30-year rate just modestly higher at 4.6%.

Posted on June 28, 2019 at 3:30 pm
John Taylor | Category: market news | Tagged , , ,