You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2011.

Maybe it’s just a late spring. That’s one possible explanation for what’s happening in the Colorado housing market. Normally, the real estate market picks up in March, April and May and then takes a breather over the summer for vacations, graduations, weddings and other activities. But this year it seems like that’s being reversed.

After a modest spring, the local housing market has been heating up this summer with strong sales in June and even into July in many areas. Sales activity has been especially robust in the higher end markets.  But even the mid-level market was surprisingly active (more on that below).

An interesting trend emerged from last month’s sales figures: in June, most Colorado markets had a higher number of million-dollar home sales, in some cases the highest since 2008. Some recall that was just weeks before the collapse of Lehman Brothers which sent the financial markets into a tailspin and pushed the economy into the “Great Recession.” Now, three full years later, there’s a much brighter picture for the local housing market.

The high-end of the market is not the only segment doing well. The entry level and mid-level markets have shown solid signs of improvement as summer rolls along.

The only thing holding back the lower end of the Colorado market in many cases has been a lack of inventory. Inventory remains elusive in many markets. Because of the shortage of good, well-priced homes, multiple offers are picking up in many
communities. In nearly every one of our regional markets, there are multiple offers for a well-priced, well-located, and nicely staged home in the entry price level for that market.

Clearly, Colorado’s relatively strong economy, is playing a key role in the housing market.

This all is not to suggest the housing market is completely out of the woods. Real estate is very much a local business. And while many Colorado markets are on the mend, others are still softer than they were a few years ago. And there still is an
overhang of distressed properties that will continue to come on the market as bank owned REO sales in the months ahead.

While the nation’s fragile economy is quite serious, and most recently the stalled talks to come to terms with our national debt limit, the Colorado real estate activity that continues to move forward is one thing to be thankful for.  Coloradans are fortunate to live and work where they do.  The limited housing stock, diverse job base, incredible universities, and great weather are all factors that help homebuyers focus on these terrific home values and low mortgage rates.

Below is a market-by-market report from local offices:

Boulder—Showing numbers have dropped by 33% over the past two week period and the under contracts and pending contract categories have experienced a similar drop.  This is the slow down that takes place every year with families beginning their summer vacations and taking advantage of the extended time off created by the fourth of July holiday weekend.

Colorado Springs—Sales have increased and agents still have a lot of buyers that they are working with. Listings have decreased but a big part of that has to do with sales and the July 4th holiday.  Showings have been steady during the week but very slow on weekends.

Denver Central—It seems that over the recent 4th of July weekend, everyone took the weekend off.  Listings have slowed down the last two weeks. It seems that families are taking vacations & time off. Under contracts are still holding steady which is good.  It appears that the $500,000 has slowed down a bit, but the under $200,000 which show well and are in good condition are
doing well.

Evergreen—Listing inventory has increased with a total of 27 new listings for June, totaling over $13,000,000 and including 11 luxury properties. Showing activity has increased by 50% this last June compared with 300 showings in May.  Selling activity has improved with a total of 16 listings totaling almost $6,500,000 going under contract including four luxury properties. Sixteen buyers have also gone under contract with a total volume of $5,000,000.

Larimer County—June sales for the office will likely fall short of last year’s run-up to the end of the Homebuyer Tax Credit but the open contracts for July demonstrate resilience for our mid-summer sales season. July may end up as Larimer County’s peak sales month as was the norm prior to 2007.  Showings remained at seasonal highs right up until the Independence Day holiday weekend where the numbers fell off dramatically.  Activity is likely to rally back quickly as buyers start thinking about getting into their new home before the start of school in mid-August. The summer heat is upon us & the afternoon monsoon rain pattern has
begun in earnest.  Everything is green & beautiful & for homes that aren’t already on the market – now would be a great time as inventory levels remain substantially below the last several year’s numbers.  Activity has broadened in to the higher price ranges of the three hundreds where earlier in the season sales have been dominated by the under $300,000 price point.  Vacancy rates within the residential rental market remain at stunningly low rates & it appears as though lease rates are inching up with demand outstripping supply. This trend appears likely to remain in place for the next several years.

Parker—Listing inventory has been decreasing which should be theoretically good for home values. However, contracts on our office listings are pouring in and buyers seem to have come out of the closet. The Parker Office has experienced almost a doubling of incoming offers! Are buyers finally getting the message that it is truly an excellent time to purchase a home or invest in property? An agent out of the Parker office that lists property for various banks shared a recent statistic: for every 1 foreclosure listing on the market today, there are 50 in bank inventory. This has the potential to halt any increase in home values and is a great reason for potential sellers to get their property on the market today and avoid that type of competition. The ability to predict the future would come in very handy right about now!

Southeast Metro—Welcome to July! What a June it has been – there has been much better activity as we roll into summer.  With decreasing inventory, there are multiple offers on properties & buyers not getting the homes that they really wanted.  If buyers are
trying to put in a low offer & try to see what the seller will actually sell for, they are losing out.  Buyers must come in as strong as possible on their initial offers.  Sellers would be well advised to get their homes on the market NOW & take advantage of all the motivated buyers out there.  If sellers price their homes correctly, considering condition, location & market statistics for the
neighborhood , they will be very pleased with the results.  In the upper end, there is an increase in buyer activity & homes are moving in this sector also.  Price is so important & sellers would be well advised to choose their agent & the agent’s brokerage with a keen eye to what that agent & the brokerage provide to get the job done.  In this full service world, this choice will
make a huge difference in a successful sale, in a timely manner.  Here’s to a successful summer!

Southwest Metro—Even with the 4th of July weekend, showings were still very good.  There was a tremendous number of
listings over the last two weeks as well as contracts to purchase homes.  Open houses have been very busy as well as floor calls.  There is a good amount of activity in the price ranges between $300,000 to $450,000.  Agents are seeing clients ready to move up to larger homes & are feeling good about the economy & ready to list and buy.  Sellers and Buyers are no longer waiting and are ready, willing and able to move forward.  There is very good and positive activity in the office as well as with clients.

Denver West—The Denver West office is in the summer real estate market frenzy.  Listings that are in show condition & priced for the market are receiving multiple offers.  Many of these homes are priced in the $250,000 to $400,000 price range.  Buyers
have quickly learned that if they love a home, they need to act relatively fast in regards to making an offer.  In addition, they need to make a realistic offer or they risk losing the home to a multiple offer situation.  There have been some situations where listings have gone under contract & have back-up offers as well.  In this situation, the buyers in first place need to be realistic in regards to their inspection notice requests.

Connifer—Listing activity has stabilized with eight new listings for the month of June.  Showing activity has increased 77%
with 165 showings in June compared to only 93 for May.  Six listings went under contract and five buyers went under contract. The majority of showing activity in the HWY 285 corridor is in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.

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