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.

Each week our Chief Economist produces a video with the latest on the national economy and the housing market. Reach out to us if you would like to see that video.

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Economist’s Perspective

Our Chief Economist made a video for all of our clients where he shares his perspective on COVID-19’s impact on housing.  You can watch it by clicking the image below:

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Economist’s Perspective

Our Chief Economist made a video for all of our clients where he shares his perspective on COVID-19’s impact on housing.  You can watch it by clicking the image below:

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Headwind vs. Tailwind

So far the tailwind of historically-low mortgage rates are prevailing over Wall Street and COVID-19 concerns.

Buyers are still active.  Properties are still closing.  Moving trucks are still showing up at people’s homes.

Open house traffic has declined, but we notice plenty of buyers looking for property.  (one of our open houses last weekend had over 40 visitors)

For many, the interest rates are just too good to pass up.

We even see instances of multiple-offer situations for properties priced right in high-demand locations.

Rates today, compared to 4%, equate to not only a monthly savings for those refinancing but also equates to tens of thousands in additional purchase power.

For the average price of a home on the Front Range, the savings is $171 per month and the increased purchase power is $35,811.

Here’s what we expect to happen over the coming months.  Listing inventory and transaction volume will both decline.  We will no doubt see lower activity compared to a year ago.

But thoughts of the market “coming to a screeching halt” can’t be validated because of the historical performance of our market and because of the inherent fundamentals in place.

We will continue to track the numbers and communicate the facts so that you remain well-informed.

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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.

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Terrific Two-Story Home in Loveland!

Fantastic 4-bedroom home in south Loveland‘s popular Millennium neighborhood at 3043 Magnetic Drive! Featuring a beautiful main floor 5-pc master suite, your new home boasts a vaulted entryway and sprawling kitchen with wood floors, granite countertops, lots of storage and a pantry. Large family rooms and main floor office. Massive upper-level loft with separate flex room and three additional bedrooms. Oversized two-car garage. Great back yard with extended patio and classy pergola. Unfinished basement for future expansion. Close to the neighborhood pool and all the services this great community affords. Wonderful home at a great value! Contact Jon Holsten at (970) 237-2752 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.

http://windermerenoco.com/listing/106548166

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Lovely Stats

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some Northern Colorado stats we think you will love:

  • Prices are up 3.5% compared to last year
  • Inventory is up 10% which means there is more selection for buyers
  • We just had the most active January in terms of closings in over 10 years
  • Well over 13,000 residential properties representing $5.4 Billion of volume has sold in the last 12 months

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

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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.

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Is it time to downsize?

Choosing less space often has to do with a desire to live a life that’s simpler. Whether you’re retiring, want an eco-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle or your children have moved away, downsizing might be the best option for you. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to consider before making the move and questions to begin asking yourself now.

 

Advantages

  • Increased cash flow.
    • Spend less on your mortgage payment and you are likely to have more money left over for other needs or desires.
  • More time.
    • Cut down on time spent on household chores such as cleaning and vacuuming which will leave you with more hours in the day to do something more enjoyable.
  • Lower utility bills.
    • Costs less to heat and air condition a small home.
    • Less square footage decreases the amount of energy expended.
    • Reducing energy is better for the environment and it helps keep your home green.
  • Reduced consumption.
    • You would likely buy less since you won’t necessarily have the room for it.
  • Minimized stress.
    • Homeowners who have successfully downsized often feel happier because they are no longer overwhelmed by the demands of a larger home.
    • Less responsibility, less housework to do, increased cash flow and flexibility equals reduced stress.

 

Disadvantages

  • Fewer belongings.
    • Moving into a smaller space would mean you would need to give away or donate furniture, books, kitchen supplies, etc.
  • No room for guests.
    • Hosting holiday dinners might be out of the question for a smaller home.
  • Space restrictions.
    • Less space means you could feel cramped.
  • Lifestyle changes.
    • For long-term homeowners, downsizing means changing a lifestyle.

 

What to consider before downsizing

These questions are important to ask yourself because, for some people, downsizing may not be the best option for them.

  1. Does size matter to me?
    1. Think about how much your identity is wrapped in your house.
    2. Is it important for you to have a guest room or a second bathroom?
  2. Will I miss some important things about a more spacious home?
    1. Will moving into a smaller home feel like a step backward?
  3. How will other life events affect my living in a smaller home?
    1. Consider possible scenarios you may not expect such as adult children moving back home or if you plan to add a child.

 

The Cost to You

  1. How much will it cost to replace the furniture?
    1. When you move into a smaller home this means you might have to downsize your furniture to make room.
  2. How much will it cost to get rid of the stuff I don’t need or won’t fit?
    1. It’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to sell or give away the things you don’t need.
    2. Consider things like family heirlooms. What are you going to do with all your antiques or treasures that your smaller home may not be able to accommodate?
  3. How much will I get when I sell my current home, and will it help cover the cost of buying my new home?

 

If you know downsizing is the right option for you, you’re probably asking yourself, “Should I sell first and then buy or buy first and then sell?”. When you’re ready to discuss your options, talk to an experienced Real Estate Agent. 

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Matthew Gardner – Will There Be A Recession in 2020?

Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, answers the most pressing question on everyone’s minds: Will there be a recession in 2020? Here’s what he expects to see.

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