How’s 2019?

A lot of our clients are asking how 2019 is starting off.

Here’s one thing we notice…

There are more homes to choose from, which is great news for buyers.

In January alone 4,821 homes came on the market in Metro Denver.

That is a 14% increase compared to one year ago.

At our annual Market Forecast, we predicted a more balanced market in 2019, so far it looks like we are trending that way.

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Below is the recap of our Denver Annual Market Forecast!

Posted on February 12, 2019 at 12:48 am
Kyle Basnar | Category: For Buyers, Fort Collins Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real estate, Northern Colorado Realtor | Tagged , , , , , ,

Our Forecast

This past Wednesday and Thursday evenings we had the pleasure of hosting our annual Market Forecast events in Denver and Fort Collins.

Thank you to the 700 people who attended. We appreciate your support!

In case you missed the events, here are some highlights including our forecast for price appreciation in 2019:
• In 2018 Prices went up:
o 8% in Fort Collins
o 8% in Loveland
o 8.5% in Greeley
o 8% in Metro Denver

Inventory is (finally) showing signs of increasing:
o Up 25% in Northern Colorado
o Up 45% in Metro Denver

• There are distinct differences in months of inventory across different price ranges = opportunity for the move up buyer.

• There are several reasons why we don’t see a housing bubble forming:
o New home starts along the Front Range are roughly 60% of pre-bubble highs 14 years ago.
o Americans have more equity in their homes than ever, $6 Trillion!
o The average FICO score of home buyers is significantly higher than the long-term average.
o The home ownership rate is back to the long-term average.

• Our 2019 Price Appreciation Forecast:
o 6% in Fort Collins
o 6% in Loveland
o 7% in Greeley
o 6% in Metro Denver

If you would like a copy of the presentation, go ahead and reach out to us. We would be happy to put it in your hands!

Posted on January 21, 2019 at 5:52 pm
Kyle Basnar | Category: First Time Home Buyer, Fort Collins Real Estate, Market News, Northern Colorado Real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

66% Off!

This just in…

For the month of April, the average price of a home in the city of Boulder was $1,247,000. This is according to the latest from our IRES MLS system.

If you want to own a home about an hour down the road in another really nice college town and get a 66% discount, you may want to check out Fort Collins 🙂

Yes, despite the recent uptick in prices here locally, we are still a bargain compared to Boulder. Here are median single-family prices for our markets and their relative price to Boulder:

  • Fort Collins = $414,237 (66.8% off)
  • Loveland = $360,150 (71.1% off)
  • Greeley = $290,000 (76.7% off)
  • Windsor = $306,450 (75.4% off)

Grab a copy of our Investment Kit so you can see the simple steps to get started without stress or complication. Email us at colorado@windermere.com and we will send you a video which clarifies the process and our Investment Checklist so you can see what to do first.

Posted on May 11, 2018 at 4:37 pm
Kyle Basnar | Category: Northern Colorado Real estate, Northern Colorado Realtor | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Final Four

At the end of this weekend College Basketball’s Final 4 will be established. It might make you wonder, what the top 4 and bottom 4 real estate markets across the country?

Here they are, ranked by the last 12 months of appreciation according to fhfa.gov:

Top 4:

  1. Tacoma, WA 14.6%
  2. Seattle, WA 14.3%
  3. Port St. Lucie, FL 13.7%
  4. Las Vegas, NV 13.6%

Bottom 4:

  1. Atlantic City, NJ -3.14%
  2. Peoria, IL -3.0%
  3. Huntington, WV -2.6%
  4. Jackson, MS -1.2%
Posted on March 23, 2018 at 10:53 pm
Kyle Basnar | Category: Fort Collins Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

10,000 Short

Northern Colorado isn’t the only place with limited inventory.

Metro Denver is short by 10,000 listings.

The average number of homes for sale for this time of year in the Denver area, going all the way back to 1985, is 14,309.

Right now there are 4,084 residential properties on the market. This is a difference of 10,225 listings compared to the long-term average.

The peak was 2008 when there were 25,037 listings. The lowest year was last year with 3,878 (a drop of 21,159 in 9 years?!).

The good news for buyers is that inventory is up 5% compared to last year. Another piece of good news is that the Spring tends to produce the highest amount of inventory for buyers to pick from.

Posted on March 10, 2018 at 3:40 am
Kyle Basnar | Category: Fort Collins Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real estate, Northern Colorado Realtor | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Colorado Real Estate Market Update

Posted in Colorado Real Estate Market Update by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate

 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Colorado added 45,300 non-agricultural jobs over the past 12 months, a growth rate of 1.7%. Although that is a respectable number, employment growth has been trending lower in 2017 as the state reaches full employment. Within the metropolitan market areas included in this report, there was annual employment growth in all areas other than Grand Junction, where employment was modestly lower. There was solid growth in Greeley and Fort Collins, where annual job growth was measured at 4% and 2.7%, respectively.

In November, the unemployment rate in the state was a remarkably low 2.9%, down from 3% a year ago. The lowest reported unemployment rates were seen in Fort Collins and Boulder, where only 2.5% of the labor force was actively looking for work. The highest unemployment rate (3.7%) was in Grand Junction.

The state economy has been performing very well, which is why the wage growth over the past year has averaged a very solid 3.3%. I expect the labor market to remain tight and this will lead to wages rising at above-average rates through 2018.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • In the fourth quarter of 2017, there were 14,534 home sales—a drop of 2.0% compared to a year ago.
  • Sales again rose the fastest in Boulder County, which saw sales grow 17.9% versus the third quarter of 2016. There were also reasonable increases in Weld and Larimer Counties. Sales fell in all other counties contained within this report because there is such a shortage of available homes for sale.
  • As I discussed in my third quarter report, sales slowed due to the lack of homes for sale. The average number of homes for sale in the markets in this report is down by 8.2% from the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • The takeaway is that sales growth has moderated due to the lack of homes for sale.

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • With continued competition for the limited number of available homes, prices continued their upward trend. Average prices were up 9.8% year-over-year to a regional average of $431,403, which was slightly higher than the third quarter of 2017.
  • There was slower appreciation in home values in Boulder County, but the trend is still positive.
  • Appreciation was strongest in Weld County, which saw prices rise 14.3%. There were also solid gains in almost all other counties considered in this report.
  • The ongoing imbalance between supply and demand persists, which means we can expect home prices to continue appreciating at above-average rates for the foreseeable future.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home rose by two days when compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Homes in all but three counties contained in this report took less than a month to sell. Adams County continues to stand out, where it took an average of just 21 days for homes to sell.
  • It took an average of 29 days to sell a home last quarter. This is up nine days over the third quarter of 2017.
  • Housing demand remains strong in Colorado and this will continue with well-positioned, well-priced homes continuing to sell very quickly.

 

 

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.

For the fourth quarter of 2017, I have chosen to leave the needle where it was in the previous quarter. Listings remain scarce, but this did not deter buyers who are still active in the market. As much as I want to see more balance between supply and demand, I believe the market will remain supply-constrained as we move toward the spring, which will continue to heavily favor sellers.

Posted on February 1, 2018 at 10:06 pm
Kyle Basnar | Category: Fort Collins Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real estate, Northern Colorado Realtor | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

How to Reduce Noise in an Open-Plan Design

Open-plan living spaces have many advantages for family life and entertaining, and they increase the opportunity to bring lots of natural light into your home. But they can end up being quite noisy. You may be surprised, however, at how easy it is to reduce sound travel with a few key additions to your furnishings. There are also structural changes you can make if you’re after a more robust fix.

Related: 8 Architectural Tricks to Enhance an Open-Plan Space

1. Dress your windows.

Large areas of glass, such as big windows and glass doors, act as bouncing-off points for sound to travel in an open-plan room. Introducing curtains will help deaden the noise. A sheer fabric works especially well, as it won’t totally block the light or views.

For maximum muffling, curtains work better than blinds, simply because there’s so much more fabric involved.

Reduce Noise 1: Environ Communities Ltd, original photo on Houzz

2. Introduce rugs.

Another way to deaden sound is to cover hard floors with rugs. Here, the use of a rug in the living space both minimizes noise and helps define the seating area, making the room feel more intimate.

When it comes to rugs, the thicker the pile, the better the soundproofing, so a cut-pile rug will tend to work better than a flat-weave design.

Reduce Noise 2: HelsingHouse Fastighetsmaklare, original photo on Houzz

3. Break it up.  If you can, try to break up your open-plan space to create zones. This will also help contain the noise. Here, the fireplace in a freestanding wall maintains a visual connection with the space beyond while breaking up the room to create a more defined living area.

If you want to incorporate a feature like this, bear in mind that you’ll need to position the fireplace so you can create a flue, which will need to go through the ceiling or an external wall.

Reduce Noise 3: Stuart Sampley Architect, original photo on Houzz

4. Add a storage wall. The wood-paneled wall in the middle of this large room works beautifully to separate the kitchen from the living area. This kind of feature can be a freestanding structure or a custom piece of furniture, making it a relatively easy and cost-effective solution to break up the space, since you won’t require any structural elements.

Reduce Noise 4: DTDA pty ltd, original photo on Houzz

5. Fit a feature screen. If you can’t bring yourself to divide the space with something permanent, a nice alternative is to introduce a screen as a buffer between zones. It won’t be as effective as a solid structure, but it will help diffuse the noise slightly. The louvered screen seen here allows a glimpse of the living space beyond.

Reduce Noise 5: Studio Revolution, original photo on Houzz

6. Panel your walls. Large, flat, hard surfaces can amplify sound, so adding texture will help reduce this effect. Lining one of your walls with wood not only creates an interesting feature, it does the sound-dampening job. It’s as simple as using flooring material on the walls instead. For a more traditional look, painted wood paneling works equally well.

Often, walls aren’t completely flat, so you’ll first need to add wood battens to the surface onto which you’ll attach your paneling. A good flooring contractor or woodworker can do this, or if you’re pretty confident at DIY, you could tackle it yourself.

Reduce Noise 6: Honka UK Ltd, original photo on Houzz

7. Bring texture to your ceiling. Just like walls, a large expanse of ceiling will encourage the spread of sound, so try adding a textured surface there too. In this example, the ceiling and walls have been paneled with wood boards painted white.

8. Fashion fabric panels. If wood isn’t your style, consider covering one of your walls with some form of acoustic material. These padded fabric panels are highly effective at deadening sound. You can also buy off-the-shelf acoustic panel systems, which can be fixed to your walls and are easy to install.

9. Go soft underfoot. Hard floor surfaces, such as tile, are less than ideal when it comes to controlling noise, so consider something like linoleum instead, which is a durable and practical finish in a kitchen. It’s also soft underfoot, meaning it will absorb the clunk and clatter of cooking.

By Denise O’Connor, Houzz

Posted on December 4, 2017 at 10:00 am
Fort Collins | Posted in Housing Trends | Tagged , ,

Should I Move or Remodel?

There are a number of things that can trigger the decision to remodel or move to a new home. Perhaps you have outgrown your current space, you might be tired of struggling with ancient plumbing or wiring systems, or maybe your home just feels out of date. The question is: Should you stay or should you go? Choosing whether to remodel or move involves looking at a number of factors. Here are some things to consider when making your decision.

Five reasons to move:

1. Your current location just isn’t working.

Unruly neighbors, a miserable commute, or a less-than-desirable school district—these are factors you cannot change. If your current location is detracting from your overall quality of life, it’s time to consider moving. If you’re just ready for a change, that’s a good reason, too. Some people are simply tired of their old homes and want to move on.

2. Your home is already one of the nicest in the neighborhood.

Regardless of the improvements you might make, location largely limits the amount of money you can get for your home when you sell. A general rule of thumb for remodeling is to make sure that you don’t over-improve your home for the neighborhood. If your property is already the most valuable house on the block, additional upgrades usually won’t pay off in return on investment at selling time.

3. There is a good chance you will move soon anyway.

If your likelihood of moving in the next two years is high, remodeling probably isn’t your best choice. There’s no reason to go through the hassle and expense of remodeling and not be able to enjoy it. It may be better to move now to get the house you want.

4. You need to make too many improvements to meet your needs.

This is particularly an issue with growing families. What was cozy for a young couple may be totally inadequate when you add small children. Increasing the space to make your home workable may cost more than moving to another house. In addition, lot size, building codes, and neighborhood covenants may restrict what you can do. Once you’ve outlined the remodeling upgrades that you’d like, a real estate agent can help you determine what kind of home you could buy for the same investment.

5. You don’t like remodeling.

Remodeling is disruptive. It may be the inconvenience of losing the use of a bathroom for a week, or it can mean moving out altogether for a couple of months. Remodeling also requires making a lot of decisions. You have to be able to visualize new walls and floor plans, decide how large you want windows to be, and where to situate doors. Then there is choosing from hundreds of flooring, counter-top, and fixture options. Some people love this. If you’re not one of them, it is probably easier to buy a house that has the features you want already in place.

Five reasons to remodel:

1. You love your neighborhood.

You can walk to the park, you have lots of close friends nearby, and the guy at the espresso stand knows you by name. There are features of a neighborhood, whether it’s tree-lined streets or annual community celebrations, that you just can’t re-create somewhere else. If you love where you live, that’s a good reason to stay.

2. You like your current home’s floor plan.

The general layout of your home either works for you or it doesn’t. If you enjoy the configuration and overall feeling of your current home, there’s a good chance it can be turned into a dream home. The combination of special features you really value, such as morning sun or a special view, may be hard to replicate in a new home.

3. You’ve got a great yard.

Yards in older neighborhoods often have features you cannot find in newer developments, including large lots, mature trees, and established landscaping. Even if you find a new home with a large lot, it takes considerable time and expense to create a fully landscaped yard.

4. You can get exactly the home you want.

Remodeling allows you to create a home tailored exactly to your lifestyle. You have control over the look and feel of everything, from the color of the walls to the finish on the cabinets. Consider also that most people who buy a new home spend up to 30 percent of the value of their new house fixing it up the way they want.

5. It may make better financial sense.

In some cases, remodeling might be cheaper than selling. A contractor can give you an estimate of what it would cost to make the improvements you’re considering. A real estate agent can give you prices of comparable homes with those same features. But remember that while remodeling projects add to the value of your home, most don’t fully recover their costs when you sell.

Remodel or move checklist:

Here are some questions to ask when deciding whether to move or remodel.

1.      How much money can you afford to spend?

2.      How long do you plan to live in your current home?

3.      How do you feel about your current location?

4.      Do you like the general floor plan of your current house?

5.      Will the remodeling you’re considering offer a good return on investment?

6.      Can you get more house for the money in another location that you like?

7.      Are you willing to live in your house during a remodeling project?

8.      If not, do you have the resources to live elsewhere while you’re remodeling?

If you have questions about whether remodeling or selling is a wise investment, or are looking for an agent in your area, we have professionals that can help you. Contact us here.

Posted on December 4, 2017 at 9:56 pm
Kyle Basnar | Category: Fort Collins Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real estate, Northern Colorado Realtor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Fort Collins the Next Boulder?

image

The Next Boulder?

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 happenning 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 November 14, 2017 at 12:09 am
Kyle Basnar | Category: Fort Collins Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real estate, Northern Colorado Realtor | Tagged , , , , , ,

Greeley’s Major Milestone has been hit

The Greeley market is about to hit a major milestone.

We project that in the first quarter of 2018, the average price for a single family home in Greeley will surpass $300,000.

Today the average price sits at $289,870.

Just a year ago it was $262,828.

Guess when Greeley broke the $200,000 barrier? It was only about 3 years ago in June 2014.

So what ‘s going on?

Double-digit price appreciation is being fueled by a healthy Northern Colorado economy, low interest rates and local affordability. Greeley prices can look really attractive compared to Fort Collins.

We don’t see anything on the horizon that will significantly change the trajectory of the Greeley market. It is a fundamentally a very strong place to own real estate.

For a detailed look at what ‘s happening across Colorado, request our quarterly market report called “The Gardner Report“, written by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. You can download it HERE.

Posted on September 26, 2017 at 1:32 pm
Kyle Basnar | Category: Evans Real Estate, Fort Collins Real Estate, Greeley Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real estate, Northern Colorado Realtor | Tagged , ,

Housing Supply Will Not Improve, Find Out Why

 

 

There are two common concerns about the housing market that one hears from both consumers and real estate professionals alike. First, they question whether or not we are on the brink of another housing bubble, and second, they want to know why there aren’t more homes for sale.

I don’t plan on addressing the concern regarding a housing bubble in this article except to say that we are not currently in “bubble” territory, although affordability does concern me immensely. Today I would like to concentrate on the second question about the lack of homes for sale.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, there were 1.96 million homes for sale in the United States in May 2017. When adjusted for seasonality, this falls to just below 1.9 million which is essentially the same level we saw back in 2000.

Now consider that the country has added over 21 million new households during that same time period, and you can see why this is so troubling. It is worth noting that many of these new households did move into rental properties, but this still leaves the U.S. with a substantial housing shortfall, which explains why demand for homes is so high.

With the shortage of homes for sale, you would normally expect builders to meet this pent-up demand with new construction housing but, unfortunately, this has not been the case. In fact, new single-family housing starts are running at about 800,000 (annualized), and I believe we need starts to come in at over 1 million to satisfy demand – especially as older Millennials start to create households of their own and begin thinking about buying instead of renting.

We therefore have a quandary. Trust in the housing market has clearly returned, but there are not enough homes to meet the demand of buyers, and when a buyer does find a home, they are met with very stiff competition, which is driving prices increasingly higher.

So why are we in this position and how do we get out of it?

In reality, there is no single reason for the situation we are in today. Rather it is a number of factors that, when combined, suggest to me that the market will not return to equilibrium any time soon.

The first reason for the shortfall is purely demographic. As “Boomers” age, they are not following the trends of previous generations. Many are staying in the workforce far longer than their predecessors, and, as they are postponing retirement, they do not feel compelled to downsize. In fact, almost two-thirds of Boomers plan to age in place and not move even after retirement. Without this anticipated supply of homes from downsizing Boomers, there aren’t enough homes for move-up buyers, which in turn limits the supply of homes for first-time buyers.

Secondly, as a nation we just aren’t moving as often as we used to. When I analyze mobility, it is clear that people no longer have to relocate as frequently to find a job that matches their skill set. There has been a tangible drop in geographic specificity of occupations. Where we used to move to find work, this is no longer as prevalent, which means we are moving with less frequency.

Thirdly, as mentioned earlier, builders aren’t building as many homes as they could. This is essentially due to three factors: land supply/regulation, labor, and materials. The costs related to building a home have risen rapidly since the Great Recession, and this is holding many builders back from building to their potential. Furthermore, in order to justify the additional costs, many of the homes that are being built are larger and more expensive, and this is no help for the first-time buyer who simply can’t afford a new construction price tag.

Fourthly, while the general consensus is that home prices have recovered from the major correction that was seen following the recession, this is actually not the case in some markets. In fact, there are 32 U.S. metro areas where home prices are still more than 15 percent below the pre-recession peak. As equity levels remain low, or non-existent, in these markets, many would-be sellers are waiting until they have sufficient equity in their homes before putting them on the market.

And there is still one more issue that is certain to become a major factor over the next few years: interest rates.

Imagine, if you will, the country a few years from now when interest rates have normalized to levels somewhere around 6 percent. Now consider potential home sellers who are happily locked in at a mortgage rate of about 4 percent who are considering their options. Will they sell and lose the historically low rate that they currently have? Remember that for every 1 percent increase in rates, buyers can afford 10 percent less house. If they don’t HAVE to sell, their thoughts may lead to remodeling rather than moving. I think that this is a very reasonable hypothesis which could lead us to see low inventory levels for a lot longer than many think.

With little assistance from the new home market, I believe we will suffer from low inventory levels until well into 2018.

Our best hope for a more balanced market lies with builders, so hopefully they’ll be allowed to do what they do best – build more homes.

Posted on September 6, 2017 at 5:28 pm
Kyle Basnar | Category: Blog, Fort Collins Real Estate, Northern Colorado Realtor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,