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The latest quarterly report from our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner is now available.  Here is a quote from the report with his take on the Front Range economy:

What a difference a quarter makes! Following the massive job losses Colorado experienced starting in February—the state shed over 342,000 positions between February and April—the turnaround has been palpable.

Through August, Colorado has recovered 178,000 of the jobs lost due to COVID-19, adding 107,500 jobs over the past three months, an increase of 4.2%.

All regions saw a significant number of jobs returning. The most prominent was in the Denver metropolitan service area (MSA), where 78,800 jobs returned in the quarter.

Although employment in all markets is recovering, there is still a way to go to get back to pre-pandemic employment levels.

The recovery in jobs has naturally led the unemployment rate to drop: the state is now at a respectable 6.7%, down from a peak of 12.2%.

Regionally, all areas continue to see their unemployment rates contract. I would note that the Fort Collins and Boulder MSA unemployment rates are now below 6%.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, which is troubling, but rising rates have only slowed—not stopped—the economic recovery. Moreover, it has had no noticeable impact on the state’s housing market.

To receive a complimentary copy of the latest Gardner Report, simply reach out to me and I will send it to you right away.

 

Posted on October 30, 2020 at 7:11 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, Fun Facts, Gardner Report | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Stat of the Month

Wooden Bridge Through Autumn Woods

We just completed a review of the September numbers in our market.

Here is the one number that is standing out to us – average price.

Prices are way up over last year.  Here are the specific average price increases in each of our markets compared to September 2019:

  • Metro Denver = 13.2%
  • Larimer County = 16.9%
  • Weld County = 7.4%

This change in prices has of course generated questions from our clients.

To help our clients answer questions about prices and other real estate topics, we have set up a private online event with our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.

The event is set for Tuesday from 9:00 to 10:00.

Simply reach out to me to receive your registration link.

Matthew will be addressing these questions as well as many others:

  • What effect will the election have on the economy and on real estate?
  • How long can interest rates stay this low?
  • Can prices keep appreciating at their current pace?

This online event is for the clients and friends of Windermere.  If you would like to register, please contact me.

Posted on October 2, 2020 at 3:01 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, Colorado Housing, Economics 101 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Another Meltdown?

This week our Chief Economist took a deep dive into the numbers to examine the current health crisis versus the housing crisis of 2008.

The reason why?  People wonder if we are going to have another housing meltdown nationally and going to see foreclosures and short sales dramatically increase.

It turns out that the numbers show that today’s housing environment is quite different than 2007, right before the housing bubble burst.

Specifically, homeowners are in a vastly different situation with their mortgage compared to the pre-Great Recession’s housing meltdown.

In addition to much higher credit scores and much higher amounts of equity compared to 2007, the most significant difference today is in the amount of ARM mortgages.

Back in years leading up to the housing bubble, Adjustable Rate Mortgages were very prevalent.  In 2007 there were just under 13 million active adjustable rate loans, today there are just over 3 million.

The number of those ARMs that would reset within three years was 5 million in 2007 compared to only 320,000 today.

It’s those Adjustable Rate loans resetting to a higher monthly payment that caused such a big part of the housing crisis back in 2008 to 2010.

Back then not only was people’s employment impacted, but many were facing increased monthly mortgage payments.

That’s why there were so many foreclosures and short sales in 2008 to 2010.

That is not the case today and one of many reasons why we don’t foresee a housing meltdown.

Posted on May 1, 2020 at 9:14 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Economics 101, Fun Facts | Tagged , , ,

Inventory Drop

An impact we expected from COVID-19 to the housing market is reduced inventory.  That prediction is certainly proving to be true.

In March, the number of withdrawn properties from the MLS went up 68% in Larimer County and 38% in Weld when compared to March 2019.

Reduced inventory is one reason why we don’t expect a significant drop in home prices in 2020.  We don’t see a glut of housing supply dragging prices down.

So how are properties being sold now?  Virtually!  We are helping people view homes using virtual 3D Tours and live online walk-throughs.

Our business right now is certainly not business as usual and our industry has proven to be resourceful so we can still help people with urgent real estate needs.

At Windermere Real Estate we are taking Shelter in Place and Social Distancing very seriously. Our people are working from home, staying connected to their clients, and providing help wherever needed.

 

Posted on April 10, 2020 at 8:05 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Fun Facts, Market News | Tagged , , , , , ,

Colorado Real Estate Market Update

Posted in Colorado Real Estate Market Update by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate 

 

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 June 12, 2019 at 7:14 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Economics 101, For Buyers & Sellers, Gardner Report | Tagged , , , , , ,

Get Real

We’ve seen some headlines recently that suggest home prices along the Front Range have peaked and are starting to decline.

When we dig in and do the research, this is what we find…

Home prices are still going up, just not as fast as they have been.

We’ve known that the double-digit appreciation that we’ve seen for the last several years could not be sustained and we expected the pace of appreciation to slow down.

So far in 2019, this is the case.  Prices still going up, just not as fast.

It’s like running up stairs.  Eventually you will get tired and you will need to start walking (but you’re still going up).

Headlines that suggest that prices have peaked and are falling create unrealistic expectations for buyers and give sellers a skewed perspective on the market.

Here are the numbers…

Average Price:

  • Up 1.53% in Metro Denver
  • Up 6.1% in Larimer County
  • Up 5.1% in Weld County

Months of Inventory:

  • 5 Months in Metro Denver
  • 5 Months in Larimer County
  • 4 Months in Weld County
  • (Remember that 4-6 months of inventory represents a balanced market)

There has been an increase in Days on Market which means that homes are taking longer to sell.  But the increase is measured in days, not months.

Here are those numbers…

Days on Market:

  • Up 4 Days in Metro Denver
  • Up 11 Days in Larimer County
  • Up 3 Days in Weld County

So, be mindful of headlines that can be sensationalized and might suggest that the market is falling.

Bottom line, the market is going up, just not as fast as it was.

 

Posted on April 5, 2019 at 5:49 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Fort Collins Real Estate, Fun Facts, Market News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,