A History Lesson

One of the most common questions we hear from clients is “Where do you think interest rates are going?”

Virtually all of the experts we follow put rates above 5% going into next year and some see rates approaching 5.5% by the middle of 2019. What’s certain is that there are economic forces at work that are pushing rates higher.

So, how about a little history lesson? How do today’s 30- year mortgage rates compare to this same date in history going all the way back to 1990?

• Today = 4.85%
• 2017 = 3.94%
• 2015 = 3.82%
• 2010 = 4.27%
• 2005 = 5.98%
• 2000 = 7.84%
• 1995 = 7.75%
• 1990 = 10.22%

While today’s rates feel high only because they are higher than 2017, they are quite a bit lower than at many times in history.

Posted on October 21, 2018 at 5:59 pm
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Bubbly?

Because our Northern Colorado market has been so active over the last four years, clients often ask us if we think there is a housing bubble forming.

There are several key statistics which we track closely in order to answer that question.

Here is one fact that we find to be insightful…

One of the root causes of the last housing bubble was the glut of inventory, and specifically new home inventory. Quite simply, the market was being oversupplied with new homes. The rules of economics say when there is oversupply, prices must come down.

Are we in a housing bubble?

Today, there are far fewer new home starts compared to 2004 and 2005 when the last bubble was forming – despite there being a larger population.
According to our friends at Metrostudy who track the new home market, Northern Colorado has had 4,452 new home starts in the last 12 months.

That number is only 60% of what it was at the height of construction in early 2005.

It is also interesting to note that over the last 12 months there have been 4,473 new home closings which shows that demand is keeping up with supply.

So when you drive around Northern Colorado and notice all the new homes being built, know that construction activity is far less than what is was during the bubble and that demand is keeping up with supply.

In case you missed our annual real estate Forecast event, you can reach out to me to see the presentation slides or receive a video recap of the information. Just email me at rdupont@windermere.com

Posted on January 26, 2018 at 6:38 pm
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Short vs Long

There are short-term questions about real estate and there are long term questions about real estate.

Clients often have short-term questions like…

How much will prices go up next year? Should I sell my house this Fall or next Spring? Will interest rates go up next week?

We encourage our clients to evaluate those questions in the context of the long-term. There are decades of data on the Northern Colorado market which reveal certain patterns.

When we show our clients these patterns they feel confident and secure in the investment they have made into their home and their rental properties.

For example, the long-term appreciation rates based on up to 41 years of research are as follows:

  • Larimer County = 5.36%
  • Weld County = 4.25%
  • Metro Denver = 5.56%

So over the course of a year prices may go up a lot or go up a little, but in the long term they will stay true to these long term averages.

To see an update as to what is happening in the Northern Colorado market, contact me to receive our quarterly “Scoop” report.

Posted on October 27, 2017 at 4:32 pm
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Greeley’s Major Milestone

The Greeley market is about to hit a major milestone.

We project that in the first quarter of 2018, the average price for a single family home in Greeley will surpass $300,000.

Today the average price sits at $289,870.

Just a year ago it was $262,828.

Guess when Greeley broke the $200,000 barrier? It was only about 3 years ago in June 2014.

So what ‘s going on?

Double-digit price appreciation is being fueled by a healthy Northern Colorado economy, low interest rates and local affordability. Greeley prices can look really attractive compared to Fort Collins.

We don’t see anything on the horizon that will significantly change the trajectory of the Greeley market. It is a fundamentally a very strong place to own real estate.

For a detailed look at what ‘s happening across Colorado, request our quarterly market report called “The Gardner Report“, written by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.

Posted on September 15, 2017 at 7:38 pm
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Fall vs Spring

A question we start to hear from clients this time of year is “am I better off waiting until the Spring to sell my home?”

The perception is that Spring is the busy time for home sales and that a Seller would be better served waiting to sell their home.

The reality is the numbers show that your odds of selling your home in the fall (and even the Winter) are just as good as the Spring. The reason is that the competition from other sellers is much lower in the Fall and Winter.

Let’s see what the numbers say…

We did an analysis of the number of homes that sold last year in each month versus the homes for sale that month and then looked at the ratio. For example, if 500 homes were for sale and 250 of them sold, the ratio would be 50%.

Here are the ratios for certain months in our 3 major Northern Colorado markets:

Fort Collins

  • March = 38%
  • October = 38%
  • December = 55%

Loveland

  • March = 39%
  • October = 43%
  • December = 46%

Greeley

  • March = 48%
  • October = 49%
  • December = 82%

So the numbers tell us that there is no advantage of waiting until the Spring.

Also, all of our clients who are listing their home now see the advantage of dealing with the “known” versus the “unknown” when it comes to interest rates, demand levels and other market factors.

If you would like to see the odds of selling in your particular neighborhood and your particular price range, contact me today.

Posted on September 8, 2017 at 3:51 pm
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Should You Wait or Buy Now?

The housing market is remarkably tight across the U.S., and you may be wondering if you should wait for home prices to slow before making your move. Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, shares why waiting could end up costing you more money in the long run.

Should You Wait out the Housing Market?

The housing market is remarkably tight across the U.S., and you may be wondering if you should wait for home prices to slow before making your move. Windermere's Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, shares why waiting could end up costing you more money in the long run.

Posted by Windermere Real Estate on Friday, August 18, 2017

Posted on August 24, 2017 at 5:54 pm
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No two alike

Anyone who has more than one child is frequently amazed by the difference between the children. How is it that two kids from the same parents are so different from each other?

Same goes in our Northern Colorado market. We see a major difference between certain price ranges and certain locations right here in our little neck of the woods.

Clients are constantly reading about and hearing about the “hot” market. They make assumptions that every price range and every location in Larimer and Weld Counties are on fire. Not true!

Just like two kids from the same parents are different, two price ranges in the same place are very different.

To make this point, let’s look at months of inventory. This statistic simply measures how long it would take to sell the current inventory of homes at the current pace of sales.

Across all price ranges, months of inventory in Larimer County = 2.0. Meaning it would take two months to sell all the homes currently for sale. But this is misleading, because months of inventory…

So, the $1,000,000 seller who hears that the market is “hot” is actually faced with a year’s inventory currently on the market!

This is a very high-level look at the differences in our market. I am happy to give you a detailed look at your exact neighborhood in your exact price range. Let us know if we can help!

Posted on August 18, 2017 at 8:06 pm
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Gardner Report – Market Analysis

You can download the 4-page PDF here: Gardner Report PDF Download

The Gardner Report  | Metro Denver and Northern Colorado Q2 2017

The following analysis of the Metro Denver and 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


Colorado added 62,000 new jobs over the past 12 months, an increase of 2.4% over this time last year. All of the metropolitan markets included in this report saw annual employment growth, with substantial growth in Boulder (4.7%) and Fort Collins (+4.1%), and more modest growth in Grand Junction (0.3%).

In May, the unemployment rate in the state was 2.3%, matching the prior month and down 3.4% from a year ago. The lowest unemployment rate was in Fort Collins at just 2.0%. The highest rate was in Grand Junction, though it was still a relatively low 3.3%. It is reasonable to expect these markets will see above-average wage growth given the tight labor market.

HOME SALES ACTIVITY


  • There were 17,581 home sales during the first quarter of 2017, a solid annual increase of 3.9% over the first quarter of 2016.
  • Jefferson County saw sales grow at the fastest rate over the past 12 months, with a 9.4% increase. There was also an impressive increase in Douglas County (+6.3%).  More modest sales growth was seen in Denver and Weld Counties.
  • Even with the rise in sales, listing activity is still running at well below historic averages, with the total number of homes for sale in the second quarter 7.6% below a year ago.
  • Sales growth continues to trend higher, but inventory levels remain well below where they need to be to satisfy demand.
Annual Change in Home Sales

HOME PRICES


  • Due to solid demand, home prices continue to rise with average prices up by 8.5% year-over-year to an average across the region of $438,980.
  • Boulder County saw slower appreciation in home values, but the trend is still positive.
  • Appreciation was strongest in Denver and Weld Counties, where prices rose by 12.4% and 10.6% respectively.
  • Economic growth is driving job growth, which is driving housing demand. Given the relative shortage of homes for sale, expect to see home prices continue to appreciate at above-average rates at least through the rest of the year.
Metro Denver and Northern Colorado Heat Map
Annual Change in Home Sale Prices

DAYS ON MARKET


  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped by three days when compared to the second quarter of 2016.
  • Homes in all counties contained in this report took less than a month to sell. Adams County stood out as it took an average of only 11 days to sell a home.
  • During the second quarter, it took an average of just 17 days to sell a home. This is down by a substantial 13 days compared to the first quarter of this year.
  • The takeaway here is that demand remains robust as evidenced by the remarkably short amount of time that it is taking to sell a home.
Average Days on Market

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.After the second quarter of 2017, I have moved the needle even farther in favor of sellers. Mortgage rates remain very competitive and, with the specter of lending standards easing a little, demand will remain robust, which will be reflected in rising home values.

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER


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 13, 2017 at 6:17 pm
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A History Lesson

The national homeownership rate is a very interesting statistic to track. It is simply the percentage of households in the country which are owned by the occupant (versus rented).

Did you know that during the 30 years between 1965 and 1995 the homeownership rate stayed between 63% and 66%? 

Then everything changed as government policies were put in place to encourage a higher percentage of homeowners. During the housing bubble the rate approached 70%.

As the bubble burst, this percentage fell rapidly and eventually bottomed out at 62.9%. Today it sits at 63.7% which is right inside the range of where it was between 1965 and 1995. As we see it, it’s right where it needs to be.

The fact that the homeownership rate sits at “normal” levels is one of three reasons we don’t see a national housing bubble today.

The President of Windermere Colorado, Eric Thompson, created a short video for you which shows you all three reasons. To watch the video, CLICK HERE.

Posted on April 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm
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