The Gardner Report | Colorado Edition

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Natalie Davis | Category: Colorado Homes, Economic Update, Fort Collins, Fort Collins Real Estate, Greeley, Greeley Real Estate, Home Buying, Larimer County, Loveland, Loveland Real Estate, Luxury Real Estate, Matthew Gardner Report, METRO DENVER, Natalie Davis Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real Estate, REALTOR, Selling a Home, Weld County, Windsor Real Estate

Colorado Real Estate Market Update

Written by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate

 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Annual employment in Colorado grew by a respectable 2.3% in February, which equated to about 64,000 new jobs over the past 12 months. Within the metropolitan market areas included in this report, employment has been mixed, with Denver, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs reporting above-average growth. However, Greeley and Grand Junction saw a modest decline in employment.

In February, the unemployment rate in Colorado was 2.9%, down from 3.3% a year ago. The lowest reported unemployment rates were in Fort Collins and Boulder, at just 2.6%. The highest rate was in Grand Junction, but it was still a respectable 4.7%.

HOME SALES

  • There were 11,640 home sales during  the first quarter of 2017, an annual increase of 2.2%.
  • Arapahoe County saw sales grow at the fastest rate over the past 12 months, with a 7.9% increase. There were also impressive increases in Douglas County. There were very modest sales declines in the relatively small Larimer and Weld Counties.
  • Listing activity remains well below historic averages, with the total number of homes for sale in the first quarter 10.7% below that seen a year ago.
  • Home sales are generally higher than seen a year ago, but inventory levels are well below where they need to be to satisfy would-be buyers.

HOME PRICES   

  • With demand remaining strong, home prices continue to escalate. In the first quarter of this year, average prices rose by 8% when compared to a year ago. Average home prices across the region broke the $400,000 barrier at $402,273.
  • Home prices remain well above historic highs and continue to trend upward. While there are very modest slowdowns in price growth—possibly a function of rising interest rates—they should continue to appreciate at above-average rates throughout 2017.
  • Appreciation was strongest in Arapahoe and Weld Counties, where prices rose by 12.2% and 10.1% respectively.
  • The housing market remains strong and this will continue until we see a substantial increase in the number of homes for sale, which is unlikely in the near-term.

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped by one day when compared to the first quarter of 2016.
  • Homes in a majority of the counties took less than a month to sell.
  • During the first quarter, it took an average of 30 days to sell a home. This is down by one day compared to the same time last year.
  • Demand remains very strong across the region, which is evident by the remarkably short amount time that it takes to sell a home.

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. In the first quarter of 2017, the needle remains well into seller’s territory. The recent increases in mortgage rates have not had any dampening effect on either demand or home prices, and I expect this will remain unchanged through the end of the year.

 

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 over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Posted on May 11, 2017 at 4:41 pm
Natalie Davis | Category: Uncategorized

Fort Collins Real Estate vs. Boulder Real Estate

Facts about the Northern Colorado Real Estate Market

Weekly Fun Facts

The Next Boulder?

Fort Collins Real Estate vs. Boulder Real Estate | The hottest question we get in Northern Colorado is this “do you think Fort Collins is the next Boulder?”

Let’s look closely at that question and start with what is similar. They are both beautiful college towns nestled against the foothills. They both have affordability issues which push real estate buyers to satellite communities (what is happening is Wellington is not unlike what happened in Louisville).

Yet there are differences at a fundamental level that will forever keep these two places very different from each other. For example the average Household Income in Boulder is 60% higher than Fort Collins. Here is another big deal, Boulder is only half the size of Fort Collins (25 square miles versus 57 square miles). And get this, the City of Boulder owns 71 square miles of open space in and around the City.

Essentially Boulder is a small island surrounded by an ocean of open space inhabited by very high income-earners. That is why the average price of a single family home in Boulder is now over $1 million.

We put together a short video which shows you more detail about this hot question. You can watch it here:

Posted on February 24, 2017 at 9:35 am
Natalie Davis | Category: Boulder, Colorado Homes, CSU, CU Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, Home Buying, Larimer County, Loveland, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling a Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CSU Stadium Impact on Real Estate

Facts about the Northern Colorado Real Estate Market

Weekly Fun Facts

Stadium Impact?

Today we are looking at one of the hot topics in Northern Colorado. Is the new CSU football stadium impacting real estate values in the surrounding neighborhoods?

The answer, based on the research we’ve done so far, is… yes!

Here are the details…

We looked at the residential properties in the 1-mile radius surrounding the new stadium. We pulled the sales over the last three years in that area. Then we compared that area to the market as a whole.

Let’s talk about prices first. Residential prices inside the City Limits of Fort Collins went up 11% last year and 12% the year before that. Within the stadium’s 1-mile radius, prices only went up 1% last year, but 14% the year before that. It seems that recent construction has impacted prices.

Now what about number of sales? Residential transactions have gone down 5% per year each of the last two years. Near the stadium, the decrease has been even larger at 7 to 8% per year.

It does seem that the stadium has had an impact. We will continue to keep our eye on this trend!

One footnote is that last year had more condominium sales than the year before which has an impact on average price.

 

Posted on February 17, 2017 at 1:21 pm
Natalie Davis | Category: Uncategorized

5 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Save for a Down Payment

 

Home Sweet Home doormat at a home's entry

5 Ways You Didn't Know You Could Save for a Down Payment

One of the biggest misconceptions of home buying? The 20% down payment. Here’s how to buy with a lot less down. Read

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

© Copyright 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

 

5 Ways You Didn't Know You Could
Save for a Down Payment

By: Erik Sherman

Published: October 26, 2015

One of the biggest misconceptions of home buying? The 20% down payment. Here's how to buy with a lot less down.

 

Buying your first home conjures up all kinds of warm and fuzzy emotions: pride, joy, contentment. But before you get to the good stuff, you've got to cobble together a down payment, a daunting sum if you follow the textbook advice to squirrel away 20% of a home's cost.

Here are five creative ways to build your down-payment nest egg faster than you may have ever imagined.

1. Crowdsource Your Dream Home

You may have heard of people using sites like Kickstarter to fund creative projects like short films and concert tours. Well, who says you can't crowdsource your first home? Forget the traditional registry, the fine china, and the 16-speed blender. Use sites like Feather the Nest and Hatch My House to raise your down payment. Hatch My House says it's helped Americans raise more than $2 million for down payments.

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2. Ask the Seller to Help (Really!)

When sellers want to a get a deal done quickly, they might be willing to assist buyers with the closing costs. Fewer closing costs = more money you can apply toward your deposit.

"They're called seller concessions," says Ray Rodriguez, regional mortgage sales manager for the New York metro area at TD Bank. Talk with your real estate agent. She might help you negotiate for something like 2% of the overall sales price in concessions to help with the closing costs.

There are limits on concessions depending on the type of mortgage you get. For FHA mortgages, the cap is 6% of the sale price. For Fannie Mae-guaranteed loans, the caps vary between 3% and 9%, depending on the ratio between how much you put down and the amount you finance. Individual banks have varying caps on concessions.

No matter where they net out, concessions must be part of the purchase contract.

Related: New Law Protects You from Surprise Closing Costs

3. Look into Government Options

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, offers a number of homeownership programs, including assistance with down payment and closing costs. These are typically available for people who meet particular income or location requirements. HUD has a list of links by state that direct you to the appropriate page for information about your state.

HUD offers help based on profession as well. If you're a law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, or EMT, you may be eligible under its Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program for a 50% discount on a house's HUD-appraised value in "revitalization areas." Those areas are designated by Congress for  homeownership opportunities. And if you qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage under this program, the down payment is only $100; you can even finance the closing costs.

For veterans, the VA will guarantee part of a home loan through commercial lenders. Often, there's no down payment or private mortgage insurance required, and the program helps borrowers secure a competitive interest rate.

Some cities also offer homeownership help. "The city of Hartford has the HouseHartford Program that gives down payment assistance and closing cost assistance," says Matthew Carbray, a certified financial planner with Ridgeline Financial Partners and Carbray Staunton Financial Planners in Avon, Conn. The program partners with lenders, real estate attorneys, and homebuyer counseling agencies and has helped 1,200 low-income families.

4. Check with Your Employer

Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) programs help connect low- to moderate-income workers with down payment assistance through their employer. In Pennsylvania, if you work for a participating EAH employer, you can apply for a loan of up to $8,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance. The loan is interest-free and borrowers have 10 years to pay it back.

Washington University in St. Louis offers forgivable loans to qualified employees who want to purchase housing in specific city neighborhoods. University employees receive the lesser of 5% of the purchase price or $6,000 toward down payment or closing costs.

Ask the human resources or benefits personnel at your employer if the company is part of an EAH program.

5. Take Advantage of Special Lender Programs

Finally, many lenders offer programs to help people buy a home with a small down payment. "I would say that the biggest misconception [of homebuying] is that you need 20% for the down payment of a house," says Rodriguez. "There are a lot of programs out there that need a total of 3% or 3.5% down."

FHA mortgages, for example, can require as little as 3.5%. But bear in mind that there are both upfront and monthly mortgage insurance payments. "The mortgage insurance could add another $300 to your monthly mortgage payment," Rodriguez says.

Some lender programs go even further. TD Bank, for example, offers a 3% down payment with no mortgage insurance program, and other banks may have similar offerings. "Check with your regional bank," Rodriguez says. "Maybe they have their own first-time buyer program."

Not so daunting after all, is it? There's actually a lot of help available to many first-time buyers who want to achieve their homeownership dreams. All you need to do is a little research — and start peeking at those home listings!

Posted on August 17, 2016 at 4:25 pm
Natalie Davis | Category: Uncategorized

Weekly Fun Facts

Weekly Fun Facts

Weekly Fun Facts


007

Just for fun let's take a walk down memory lane and look at 2007 average prices in Northern Colorado.

  • Fort Collins = $238,000
  • Loveland = $229,900
  • Greeley = $151,500

What are they today and how much have they increased?

  • Fort Collins = $348,000 (46% higher)
  • Loveland = $345,000 (50% higher)
  • Greeley = $248,000 (64% higher)

 

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 11:02 am
Natalie Davis | Category: Colorado Homes, Home Buying, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling a Home

Northern Colorado’s Luxury Market

Let's have some fun with 5 Fascinating Facts about the Luxury Market in Northern Colorado (homes priced over $700,000):Colorado Luxury Report

  • Luxury homes represent 19% of all available inventory
  • Luxury homes represent 3% of all closed sales
  • The luxury market has 11 months of inventory
  • The average sales to list price for a luxury home is 97%
  • The average days on market for a luxury home is 132 days

Hot off the press is our brand new Luxury Market Report. It's 12 pages of fun facts, charts, graphs and insights into the $700,000-plus market in Northern Colorado. This is a must-have resource.

Simply email nataliedavis@windermere.com and we will get one in your hands right away.

Posted on June 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm
Natalie Davis | Category: Colorado Homes, Home Buying, Luxury Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Selling a Home, Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) | Tagged , , , , , ,

 Happier Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floors


Hardwood floors make for a beautiful, stunning addition to your home. However, they can bring new cleaning and maintenance challenges that aren’t present with carpet. Here are some tips for simple, efficient, and thorough hardwood floor cleaning.

Make the job easier Place mats on either side of your exterior doors and always remove your shoes before entering your home—and make sure your guests do the same. Protect the floors by placing felt (or similar) protectors on the feet of your furniture, and use area rugs to designate play areas for the kids. This will reduce extra dirt, dust, and floor scratches.

Weekly cleaning Sweeping with a standard broom will remove some dirt and dust, but not as much as a mop, wipe, or broom that’s been treated with a dusting agent such as a Swiffer. You could also invest in a vacuum that is designed for hardwood floors. Just be sure that the vacuum won’t leave scratches!

Deeper cleaning Regular sweeping will remove most dirt and dust, but occasionally you’ll need to give the floors a deeper cleaning to remove the dirt and grime that builds up in your floors’ seams. Use a wood-cleaning soap to thoroughly mop your floors, but make sure the mop isn’t sopping wet—you don’t want to leave standing water.

Spots and scuffs Most of the marks that occasionally show up on your floors, such as scuffs from rubber soles on boots and shoes—can be wiped away with a rag or very fine steel wool.

Posted on February 22, 2016 at 8:37 am
Natalie Davis | Category: Home Maintenance, Selling a Home | Tagged , ,

Five maintenance resolutions for your home

Real Estate Home Repair & Maintenance 

We may be a little removed from New Year’s Day, but it’s not too late to make some new resolutions for your home.

  1. Start a home repair slush fund: Things in your home are going to break and need to fixed. It’s just a fact that comes with home ownership. Rather than letting expensive repairs take you by surprise, start planning for them. Set aside some money each month that you can eventually draw from when an appliance breaks or unexpected.
  2. Inspect your fireplace: Even if you have a gas fireplace, you should still inspect the valves and ceramic logs yearly to ensure that everything is operating safely and correctly. If you have wood fireplace, hire a certified chimney sweep to do the job.
  3. Maintain your garage door: Garage doors are big and heavy, and that puts a lot of stress on the hinges and tracks that are use to open and close the door several times a day. A regularly scheduled $50 inspection could save you hundreds or thousands in the long run.
  4. Tune up your furnace: Regular furnace inspections will help identify minor problems before they turn into major ones. Also, set reminders to replace your furnace filter.
  5. Clean your coils: The No. 1 refrigerator maintenance task should be cleaning the condenser coils. They can get clogged with hair and dust, reducing your fridge’s efficiency. Have you cleaned yours lately? You can hire a professional to do it, but it’s also an easy do-it-yourself job.
Posted on February 18, 2016 at 4:32 pm
Natalie Davis | Category: Home Maintenance, Selling a Home | Tagged , , , , , ,

REALTOR.com Home Buying Process

REALTOR.com offers the Home-Buying Process in plain English with Elizabeth Banks
 

The Search

 

The Offer

Posted on October 5, 2015 at 7:39 pm
Natalie Davis | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,