Colorado Real Estate News

Colorado Housing Market Scorches Before Summer Heat Sets In

Written by Gretchen Rosenberg, President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate

Metro Denver ended March 2021 with just 1,654 active listings on the market and an average sale price of $663,749. That’s for a metropolitan area of approximately 3 million residents.

The Fort Collins market was down in new listings 16.4% YOY from Feb 2020 to Feb 2021 (therefore pre-COVID shut down.) Median days on market in Denver is … 4! Those are the days listing brokers need to sift through 35+ offers and create spreadsheets for sellers to evaluate.

When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are left struggling to find homes to purchase. Competition among purchasers is fierce and some bidding wars are legendary. Sometimes buyers only have 15 minutes in a house and then need to decide whether to purchase the biggest investment of their lifetimes.

Thus, home prices are rising rapidly, and sellers are negotiating hard to meet their ideal terms. Buyers are faced with impossible choices like waiving home inspections and putting more money down to guarantee a sale even if an appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price. 

Where Are the Sellers?

Homebuilders can’t build fast enough and they’re experiencing severe constraints on their supply chains, which increases prices and slows construction. Many resale homeowners are fearful, and that fear is motivating them to stay put. Last year it was fear of COVID. This year it’s the fear of not finding a suitable replacement home, the fear of entering a bidding war.

We must figure out ways to encourage homeowners to become sellers or many buyers will come off the field. The potential of rising rates in future months will certainly chill demand somewhat. What if there was a way to increase homeowners’ desire to sell, therefore improving supply? Would a government tax credit help? Could a waiver of capital gains tax exempting those with more than $250,000/$500,000 in proceeds help spur the supply side? Now is the time for our industry and our policy-makers to get creative in solving for the massive supply/demand imbalance.

All along the Front Range of Colorado, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with reevaluation have prompted many people to think differently about where they live. Our housing supply is not keeping up with the extraordinary demand. It’s a tremendously advantageous time to be a seller if you’re game.

Colorado Real Estate News

4 Reasons Why the Election Won’t Dampen the Housing Market

Today, Americans will decide our President for the next four years. If you haven’t already, make sure you get out and vote today! While this decision will have a major impact on many aspects of life in this country, the residential real estate market will not be one of them.

Analysts will try to measure the impact feasible changes in regulations might have on housing, the effect of a possible first-time buyer program, and any number of other situations based on who wins. The Colorado housing market, however, will remain strong for four reasons:

1. Demand Is Strong Among Millennials

The nation’s largest generation began entering the housing market last year as they reached the age to marry and have children – two key drivers of homeownership. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported:

“Millennials, long viewed as perennial home renters who were reluctant or unable to buy, are now emerging as a driving force in the U.S. housing market’s recent recovery.”

2. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low 

All-time low interest rates are also driving demand across all generations. Strong demand created by this rate drop has countered other economic disruptions (e.g., pandemic, recession, record unemployment).

In addition, Freddie Mac just forecasted mortgage rates to remain low through next year:

“One of the main drivers of the strong housing recovery is historically low mortgage interest rates…Given weakness in the broader economy, the Federal Reserve’s signal that its policy rate will remain low until inflation picks up, and no signs of inflation, we forecast mortgage rates to remain flat over the next year. From the third quarter of 2020 through the end of 2021, we forecast mortgage rates to remain unchanged at 3%.”

3. Prices Continue To Appreciate

The continued lack of supply of existing homes for sale coupled with the surge in buyer demand has experts forecasting strong price appreciation over the next twelve months.

4. History Says So

Though it’s true that the market slows slightly in November when it’s a Presidential election year, the pace returns quickly. Here’s an explanation as to why from the Homebuilding Industry Report by BTIG:

“This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty. This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”

Ali Wolf, Chief Economist for Meyers Research, also notes:

“History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year as long as the economy stays on track.”

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt this is one of the most contentious presidential elections in our nation’s history. The outcome will have a major impact on many sectors of the economy. However, as Matthew Speakman, an economist at Zillow, explained last week:

“While the path of the overall economy is likely to be most directly dictated by coronavirus-related and political developments in the coming months, recent trends suggest that the housing market – which has basically withstood every pandemic-related challenge to this point – will continue its strong momentum in the months to come.

If you are ready to buy or sell in Colorado, contact a Kentwood Real Estate broker to help you, and answer all your questions.

Colorado Real Estate News

Homebuyers drive up prices as Denver inventory hits all-time low

The current housing market in the Denver area remains a competitive seller’s market. As inventory continues to diminish, homebuyers find themselves competing against one another.

See the link below to read more about the Denver housing market and demand for homes. Kentwood real estate broker Jill Schafer discusses her thoughts on the market, and market insights.

Click here to read the BusinessDen article.