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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Our Forecast

Last night was our annual Market Forecast event. Thank you to the 400 clients and friends who joined us at the Marriott.

Here are our predictions for where prices are going in 2018:soap-bubble-1959327_1920.jpg

  • Fort Collins 8%
  • Loveland 7%
  • Greeley 9%

Last year’s average price increases looked like this:

  • Fort Collins 7%
  • Loveland 8%
  • Greeley 11%

Low inventory will persist in many parts of the market during 2018. But, like we mentioned last night, there are many parts of the market where the market is in balance or even over-supplied with homes. All markets are local!

Our Cheif Economist, Matthew Gardner, shared several of his insights including his prediction for interest rates one year from now which is 4.4% (about 0.5% higher than today).

For buyers thinking about waiting until the market cools off, there is a tangible cost to that wait. If prices and interest rates go up as we predict, a one-year wait would equal over $200 per month for a $400,000 home.

In case you missed the event, you can read more about it here in the Loveland Reporter-Herald. They did a great recap of our presentation. CLICK HERE

Posted on January 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm
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What’s Up??

First things first, this is your last call to register for our Annual Forecast. If you want clarity on what is happening in the market, this is the event to attend. We will be live at 5:30 Thursday the 18th at the Marriott. RSVP to www.windermereforecast.com

Now, what’s going up? According to our Cheif Economist Matthew Gardner, interest rates. His prediction for 2018 is that rates will rise roughly 0.5% up to 4.4%.

That means a buyer’s purchasing power will go down by 5%. Even if prices didn’t increase at all, a buyer’s monthly payment would go up 5% because of a measly 1/2% increase in interest rate.

By Matthew’s own admission, rates have baffled forecasters for the last few years. Unusual forces have kept them artificially low for a sustained period of time. But even a small rate increase like Matthew predicts will have a big effect on potential buyers.

To hear our predictions for the 2018 market, join our live Market Forecast event on January 18th at the Marriott in Fort Collins. Back by popular demand is Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner who will give you valuable and interesting insights into the real estate market. Reserve your spot at www.windermereforecast.com

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm
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Get Real

A story ran this week which highlighted the number of people who have moved out of Colorado.

Let’s get real, there are still a large number of people moving to Colorado.

In fact, 223,000 moved to Colorado from another state last year according to the latest American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The net migration into our state (after subtracting out people who left) was 30,859 people.

In Northern Colorado the net migration looks like this:

  • Larimer County = 7,001 people
  • Weld County = 7,117 people

So what does that mean for housing? Knowing that, on average, 2.5 people live in each household, the number of new housing units required for these new residents looks like this:

  • Larimer County = 2,800 new housing units
  • Weld County = 2,847 new housing units
Posted on December 8, 2017 at 4:16 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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Inventory is UP!

For the past few years the hot topic in Northern Colorado real estate is inventory, or more specifically, lack of inventory.

Based on our current research, it looks like this trend is reversing.

Let’s look at the increase in inventory in our major markets versus a year ago…

  • Fort Collins up 28%
  • Loveland up 4%
  • Windsor up 37%
  • Greeley up 5%

This increase in is very good news for prospective buyers as now there are more homes to choose from.

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 22, 2017 at 4:50 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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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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Signs of Slowing?

An article in last week’s Denver Post about the Metro Denver market cooling off has prompted questions from our clients.

Is the same thing happening in Northern Colorado?

Are the Larimer and Weld County markets showing signs of slowing?

Here’s the deal…

The Denver Post article points to the difference in number of transactions between June and July of this year. It’s no surprise to us that July had fewer closings.

What’s true in Metro Denver is also true in Northern Colorado – June tends to have more closings than any other month during the year so of course July will be slower.

What we do notice when we look at the numbers is that the difference between June and July is significant.

In all major markets in Northern Colorado, the difference between June and July is the greatest it has ever been in the last four years.

For example, in Fort Collins, July had 18% fewer closings than June. Whereas last year the difference was 9%. In Greeley the difference this year was 16% while last year was only 5%.

A month over month difference does not necessarily indicate a long-term trend. However, there is a difference compared to last year which should be welcome news to buyers who have been waiting for a slow down.

We have just completed a comprehensive report for anyone thinking about selling their home.

The Insider’s Guide to Selling Your Home (without any stress or surprises) is now available for you.

It is hot off the press and you can request a copy by emailing rdupont@windermere.com

Contact me to get your copy immediately so you can see everything you need to know to sell your home in today’s market.

Posted on August 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm
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