BlogFor BuyersFun Facts March 27, 2021

96 Weeks

Mortgage rates have been below 4% for 96 weeks in a row.

Today, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate sits at 3.17%.

This is 0.5% lower than January and exactly 1.0% lower than March 2020.

Rates recently ended a 31-week streak of being under 3%.

Over the last 5 years, rates have averaged 3.8%.

Most experts believe that rates will continue to creep higher as the year goes on.

BlogFun Facts February 12, 2021

Yes is the Answer

It turns out that ‘yes’ is the answer to the most common questions we hear right now about the market…

Do you think more properties will come on the market this Spring?  Yes, the normal pattern in our market is for new listings to be 40% to 70% higher in April versus January.  The peak month for new listings is typically June.

Do you think buyer demand will grow even more as time goes on?  Yes, for two main reasons.  Buyer activity, just like listing activity, increases significantly in the Spring and Summer.  Plus, we expect the economy to open up even more as the COVID vaccine gets rolled out over the course of the year.

Do you think interest rates will go up?  Yes, all of the trusted forecasters and economists expect rates to be slightly higher by the end of the year.  Our own Chief Economist sees rates at 3.07% by year-end.

Do you think prices will keep rising?  Yes, because of the simple economic forces of supply and demand.  Supply is at historic lows.  The number of properties for sale today is roughly 80% below the average.  Demand is being fueled not only by the low-interest rates, but also a rebounding local job market that is poised to rebound even more.  Plus, the new work-from-home dynamic positions the Front Range as a sought after place to live.

BlogEconomics 101For Buyers & SellersFun Facts January 15, 2021

Rate Heading

Where are interest rates headed?

This question was one of many which were addressed during our annual Market Forecast yesterday.

Our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, provided insight on rates, prices, inventory and many other fascinating topics.

Matthew’s prediction is for rates to creep up to 3.07% by the end of 2021.  They are currently at 2.79%.

The image below shows how his prediction compares with predictions of his economist colleagues.

If you would like a recording of the presentation, simply reach out to me or reply to this email.

Graph

BlogFor BuyersFun FactsLuxury Real Estate October 16, 2020

Million Plussing

Luxury

The luxury market is very active right now.  Buyers in the high-end are taking advantage of low interest rates and the equity they have built in their prior homes.

Closings of million-plus single family homes are up significantly along the Front Range.

When compared to this same time last year, sales of properties in this price range are up:

  • 87% in Metro Denver
  • 150% in Larimer County
  • 67% in Weld County

Windermere Real Estate in Colorado recently hosted a private online event for our clients with our very own Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.  I would be happy to send you the recording if you would like.

 

BlogFun Facts September 27, 2020

6 Million

Based on the numbers through August, we are now on pace to sell 6 million homes.  This is the highest pace we have seen in 14 years.

The 6 million threshold is a big deal in the real estate brokerage world.

Each month, as they have for a long time, the National Association of Realtors tracks the sales and then calculates the annualized rate of residential closings.

For many, many years this number has bounced around 5.5 million.  The fact that it just jumped to 6 million speaks to many factors especially the effect of today’s interest rates.

running

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.

 

Economics 101Mortgage January 24, 2020

Rate Forecast

Here is our interest rate Forecast for the next year.

Our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, predicts that rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage will stay between 3.8% and 3.9% for 2020.

He doesn’t see rates going above 4.0% until at least the first quarter of 2021.

This is obviously great news for buyers as their payments will stay much lower as compared to having a rate at the long-term average of 7.5%.

If you would like to see the slides from Matthew Gardner’s Forecast presentation, I would be happy to get those in your hands.  Just let me know if I can help!

 

BlogEconomics 101Mortgage September 14, 2019

How’s the Market

If you are curious to know the current stats, trends, and dynamics in our market, this online workshop is for you!

See exactly what is happening in our real estate market today so you are clear about where it is going.

The questions we will answer for you:

– Are prices still going up?
– Is there a housing bubble?
– Will interest rates ever go up?
– Is now a good time to buy or sell?
– Where are all these people coming from?

Please reach out to me today if you have any additional questions or wish to receive a complimentary home pricing analysis. rdupont@windermere.com or 970.401.0123.

BlogFun Facts August 9, 2019

On Sale

With interest rates so low, one could argue that money is essentially on sale.

It’s actually half off.

30-year mortgage rates hit 3.75% which is exactly half of their long term average.

Rates have averaged 7.5% over the last 40 years so today buyers are getting half of that rate.

The “sale” on mortgage rates creates a significant savings in monthly payment because of the 1%/10% rule.

For every 1% change in interest rate, the monthly payment will change roughly 10%.

So when rates go up to 4.75%, a buyer’s payment will be 10% higher.

For example, the principal and interest payment on a $400,000 home with a 20% down payment at today’s rates is $1,482.

If rates were 1% higher, the payments jump up to $1,669.

 

BlogFun Facts April 19, 2019

Chugging Along

The real estate market keeps chugging along.

Here’s news from the Mortgage Banker’s Association…

Last week, applications to purchase a home hit their highest level since April 2010. This is clearly a sign that the spring selling season is starting off in full swing.

You may remember that the reason why April 2010 was so active is because of the Home Buyer Tax Credit that was in effect. In order to get a special income tax incentive, buyers had to go under contract in April 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.

Today, purchase applications are at their highest level in 9 years and are up 14% over last year. Interest rates are roughly 0.5% lower than 6 months ago and roughly 3.0% below their long-term average.

Let the Spring Selling Season begin!

BlogFor BuyersFor Buyers & SellersFor SellersMortgage March 20, 2019

Are You Better Off Paying Your Mortgage Earlier or Investing Your Money?

Photo Credit: Rawpixel via Unsplash

Few topics cause more division among economists than the age-old debate of whether you’re better off paying off your mortgage earlier, or investing that money instead. And there’s a good reason why that debate continues; both sides make compelling arguments.

For many people, their mortgage is the largest expense they will ever incur in their lives. So if given the chance, it only makes logical sense you would want to pay it off as quickly as possible. On the other hand, a mortgage is also the cheapest money you will ever borrow, and it’s generally considered good debt. Any extra money you obtain could be definitely be put to good use elsewhere.

The reality is, however, a little less cut and clear. For some homeowners, paying off their mortgage earlier is the right answer. While for others, it would be far more advantageous to invest their money.

Advantages of paying off your mortgage earlier

  • You’ll pay less interest: Each time you make a mortgage payment, a portion is dedicated towards interest, and another towards principal (we’ll ignore other costs for now). Interest is calculated monthly by taking your remaining balance, the length of your amortization period, and the interest rate agreed upon with your lending institution.

If you have a $300,000 mortgage, at a 4% fixed rate over 30 years, your monthly payment would be around $1,432.25. By the time you finish paying off your mortgage, you would have paid a total of $515,609, of which $215,609 were interest.

If you wanted to lower the total amount you pay on interest, you don’t need to make a large lump sum to make a difference. If you were to increase your monthly mortgage payment to $1,632.25 (a $200 a month increase), you would be saving $50,298 in interest, and you’ll pay off your mortgage 6 years and 3 months earlier.

Though this is an oversimplified example, it shows how even a small increase in monthly payments makes a big difference in the long run.

  • Every additional dollar towards your principal has a guaranteed return on investment: Every additional payment you make towards your mortgage has a direct effect in lowering the amount you pay in interest. In fact, each additional payment is, in fact, an investment. And unlike stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles, you are guaranteed to have a return on your investment.
  • Enforced discipline: It takes real commitment to invest your money wisely each month instead of spending it elsewhere.

Your monthly mortgage payments are a form of enforced discipline since you know you can’t afford to miss them. It’s far easier to set a higher monthly payment towards your mortgage and stick to it than making regular investments on your own.

Besides, once your home is completely paid off, you can dedicate a larger portion of your income towards investments, your children or grandchildren’s education, or simply cut down on your working hours.

Advantages of investing your money

  • A greater return on your investment: The biggest reason why you should invest your money instead comes down to a simple, green truth: there’s more money to be made in investments.

Suppose that instead of dedicating an additional $200 towards your monthly mortgage payment, you decide to invest it in a conservative index fund which tracks S&P 500’s index. You start your investment today with $200 and add an additional $200 each month for the next 30 years. By the end of the term, if the index fund had a modest yield of 5% per year, you will have earned $91,739 in interest, and the total value of your investment would be $163,939.

If you think that 5% per year is a little too optimistic, all we have to do is see the S&P 500 performance between December 2002 and December 2012, which averaged an annual yield of 7.10%.

  • A greater level of diversification: Real estate has historically been one of the safest vehicles of investment available, but it’s still subject to market forces and changes in government policies. The forces that affect the stock and bonds markets are not always the same that affect real estate, because the former are subject to their issuer’s economic performance, while property values could change due to local events.

By putting your extra money towards investments, you are diversifying your investment portfolio and spreading out your risk. If you are relying exclusively on the value of your home, you are in essence putting all your eggs in one basket.

  • Greater liquidity: Homes are a great investment, but it takes time to sell a home even in the best of circumstances. So if you need emergency funds now, it’s a lot easier to sell stocks and bonds than a home.

 

Misael Lizarraga is a real estate writer with a passion for teaching real estate concepts to first time buyers and investors. He runs realestatecontentguy.com and is a contributing writer for several leading real estate blogs in North America.