BuyingFort Collins Real EstateSellingWindermere Real Estate January 26, 2021

Bubble Talk

A hot topic of conversation these days is the prospect of another real estate bubble.  People wonder if prices can continue at their current pace and some fear a repeat of 2008.

 

Because we get asked about this topic so often from our clients, we thought it would make sense to ask our in-house expert, Matthew Gardner.

 

Matthew is our Chief Economist and was our Keynote Speaker at the Windermere Annual Market Forecast.

 

During the Forecast presentation, he discussed the bubble concerns and laid out his reasons why he sees no potential of prices bursting along the Front Range.

 

Quite the opposite actually, he sees that prices will continue to go up, but just not as fast as they have been.

 

His reasons for no bubble bursting are as follows:

  • Record-low inventory – prices cannot crash without a glut of supply on the market
  • Highly-qualified buyers – lending guidelines are more stringent today than they have been in our lifetime
  • Growing jobs – job growth in Colorado is projected to far outpace the national average this coming year

So, we project a healthy real estate market in 2021.

To see a replay of the Forecast presentation, simply reach out to us, we would be happy to send you the recording.

BuyingHousing TrendsNorthern Colorado Real EstateSellingWindermere Real Estate October 30, 2020

Re Bubble

Bubble

The activity in the Front Range market is causing us to hear the bubble question again.

People are curious to know, based on recent growth in price appreciation, if we are in a housing bubble.

This question seems to crop up when prices go up.

While we do not believe that the current double-digit price appreciation is sustainable, we firmly believe we will not see prices crash or see any kind of a bubble bursting.

Here’s why we think that…

This past Tuesday we hosted a private online event for our clients which featured our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.

Matthew is well-known and well-respected in the industry.  He is often quoted in leading real estate publications.

He sees four reasons why there is no real estate bubble that is about to pop in Colorado.

  1. Inventory is (incredibly) low.  The number of homes for sale is down over 40% compared to last year.  The market is drastically under-supplied.  Based on simple economic principles of supply and demand, inventory would need to grow significantly for prices to drop.
  2. Buyers’ credit scores are very high.  The average credit score for buyers last month, for example was 759.  So, by definition, average buyers today have excellent credit which means there is low risk of them walking away from their mortgage and causing a foreclosure crisis.
  3. Buyers have high down payments.  On average, buyers are putting 18% down on their purchases.  This means that prices would need to fall by a considerable amount in order for the average buyer to be ‘upside down’ on their mortgage.
  4. Owners are equity rich.  Well over a third of property owners along the Front Range have more than 50% equity in their homes.  This means that a severe economic downturn causing a slew of distressed properties to hit the market is highly unlikely.

Bottom line, as Matthew Gardner reminded us, what we are experiencing in the economy today is a health crisis not a housing crisis.

If you would like a recording of the private webinar we would be happy to send it to you.  Just reach out and let us know.

BuyingHousing TrendsNorthern Colorado Real EstateSellingWindermere Real Estate June 5, 2020

Prices Still Up

Prices Still Up

It seems that COVID-19 did not cause prices to decrease and certainly didn’t cause them to crash.

Average prices are up compared to last year:

·         2.8% in Larimer County

·         5.4% in Weld County

·         3.3% in Metro Denver

Low supply, sustained demand, and incredibly low interest rates are all fueling the price growth.

 

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.
Northern Colorado Real EstateWindermere Real Estate April 6, 2020

Leading Indicator

We are watching close to see where the real estate market is headed. Anecdotally we can tell you that the vast majority of transactions that are under contract are still closing. We have seen very few transactions cancel because of employment issues or the wild swings of the stock market.

An interesting leading indicator was announced this week that sheds some light as to where the market is headed. Each week the Mortgage Bankers Association releases their index which tracks new mortgage applications.

They track both purchase applications and refinance applications. To no one’s surprise, the index was down this week but not as much as you may have guessed.

New purchase applications were down 11% compared to the same week this last year. Refinance activity fell more sharply, down 34%.

This is a statistic we will watch closely as time goes on.

Continue reading 

BuyingFort Collins Real EstateHousing TrendsNorthern Colorado Real EstateSellingWindermere Real Estate March 25, 2020

Bubble Burst

Every so often we will hear a concern that another housing bubble is forming.

To help answer that question it’s valuable to look at the reasons that caused the last one.

There were three main drivers of the bubble that burst in 2008:

  1. Easy Credit – loans were very easy to attain
  2. Over-Leverage – people were using their homes at ATM’s
  3. Over-Supply – too many new homes were being built

Now, let’s compare that to today:

  1. Stricter Credit – the average home buyer today has a FICO score of 755
  2. High Equity – collectively, U.S. homeowners have $19 Trillion of equity in their homes and collective mortgage debt has not increased for 13 years
  3. Under-Supply – today we are building only two-thirds of the new homes being built in 2004 yet the population is much higher

Given this healthy information, we don’t see another housing bubble forming today.

If you would like to see a video recap of our annual Market Forecast you can watch that HERE.

LivingNorthern Colorado Real EstateWindermere Real Estate March 13, 2020

A History Lesson

With the stock market on a wild ride and the Dow Jones dropping nearly 1,000 points yesterday, it makes some people wonder if the local real estate market might also crash or at least “correct.”

A little history lesson is in order.

Over the last 40 years, the real estate market along the Front Range has averaged 5.5% appreciation per year.

The highest appreciation in one year was 15.9% in 1994.

The lowest ever was -4.0% in 1982.

The last time Wall Street was in turmoil and the stock market was plummeting was 2008.  This was, for many reasons, the worst economy of our lifetime.

That year real estate along the Front Range dropped 2.2%.

Meanwhile that year the Dow Jones fell 33.8%.

Bottom line, our market has no history of crashing or even experiencing a major correction.

Why is that?

The answer is fundamentals.

Our local economy has inherent fundamentals that insulate it from big downturns.

We have an incredibly diverse economy which is not reliant upon a single industry.  We have all the way from health care, to technology, agriculture, oil and gas, major universities, and financial services (just to name a few).

We are a global destination with a major international airport.

Oh, and the quality of life here isn’t too shabby.

Prices of real estate, just like prices of anything, come down to basic economic principles of supply and demand.

Because of our diverse economy and desirable quality of life, there has been strong, consistent demand for housing along the Front Range.

While there may be little bumps along the way, over the long term our market has proven that it performs.

BuyingWindermere Real Estate February 25, 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, we would be happy to get those in your hands.  Just let us know if we can help!

BuyingFort Collins Real EstateHomes for SaleHousing TrendsNorthern Colorado Real EstateSellingTimnath Real EstateWindermere Real Estate February 21, 2020

Affordability

Housing affordability is a hot topic especially after the strong price appreciation that has occurred in our market over the last 7 years.

Here’s some interesting research on affordability…

Each quarter the National Association of Home Builders measures affordability in hundreds of markets across the Country.

Their method is to count the number of homes in a market that could be purchased with that particular market’s median income.

For example, San Francisco is the least-affordable market where only 8.4% of the homes could be purchased with their median income.

The most-affordable is Monroe, Michigan where 95.3% of the homes could be purchased with their median income.

Guess where all of the 10 least-affordable markets are.  California!

Guess where almost all of the 10 most-affordable markets are.  The rust belt (cities in Michigan, Ohio, upstate New York, etc.)

The U.S. average is 63.6%.

Metro Denver comes in at 55.3% and Northern Colorado at 54.5%.

So, roughly half of the homes in our market could be purchased with our local median income.

Fort Collins Real EstateNorthern Colorado Real EstateWindermere Real Estate February 18, 2020

Supply and Demand

Northern Colorado gave us a real-life economics lesson in January 2020.Compared to one year ago…

  • Inventory was down 10% (Supply)
  • Homes under contract went up 31% (Demand)
  • Prices were up 5% (Result)

 

If you would like to see a video recap of our annual Market Forecast you can watch that HERE.

BuyingFort Collins Real EstateNorthern Colorado Real EstateSellingWindermere Real Estate January 17, 2020

Millennial Buyers

Millennials often get a bad rap.  One of the myths about Millennials is that they don’t own homes and will be renters forever.

Not true!  Especially on the Front Range of Colorado.

Based on research by our very own Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, Millennials make up a significant percentage of all home buyers in Metro Denver and Colorado.

In Metro Denver, 50% of all buyers last year were in the Millennial demographic.

In Northern Colorado, the number is 41%.

It turns out that Millennials, as they move into their mid to late 30’s, see the value of home ownership and are at the point in their lives where it makes sense to own instead of rent.