Friday, October 29, 2010

Boulder-Denver Economy, OUR Nation and YOUR Real Estate - Part II

Any good real estate agent or relocation professional should stay on top of their local economic news as well as the news at the national level, and at Colorado Landmark, Realtors that's just what we try to do every week.  As I said in my previous post, last week I had the privelege of attending the Rocky Mountain Relocation Council's Fall Conference held at the Arvada Center.  My previous post was about national economic news conveyed to us by an economist from Wells Fargo Bank.

The second speaker of the morning was Cheryl Meyn from Denver's The Genesis Group.  Cheryl has an extensive background in Denver area real estate and spoke to us about economy in Colorado and specifically the 7-County Denver Metro Area.  Here are a few highlights from her presentation:
  • Real estate overall:  If you look at the statistics, theoretically the Denver area real estate market bottomed out last year in 2009. 
  • Unemployment:  Hovering around 8%, Colorado's unemployment rate is one of the lower rates in the nation.  We are experiencing a lessening of job losses which is giving the area economy some stability, but unfortunately not much in the way of job growth yet.  We have lost a net 45,000 jobs in this recession (at one point it was as high as 52,000) and it could take 3 years to recover from that.  Our area unemployment rate is not expected to go under 7% until late 2011.
  • Mortgages and foreclosures:  18-20% of Coloradans are underwater on their mortgages, compared to 25-30% nationally, however foreclosure activity for 2010 is 10% below 2009 levels.  70% of all of the area's foreclosure activity is in Adams, Arapahoe and Denver counties.
  • Housing inventory:  We have 3 years inventory of properties over $1M.  Local home builders have shown incredible restraint and we have little to no new construction inventory which has helped our resale market significantly
  • Home Prices:  We have actually experienced a 3.6% increase in price activity in the last year.
  • Housing Demand:  Pent up demand in our area is growing as we are seeing our population and # of households grow.  From 2005-2010 it was predicted that we would see a growth in households of 75,459 but the actual figure is 80,909.  From 2010 to 2015 we will see 80,952 additional households in our area.  Owner occupancy has declined from 66.7% in 2005 to 60.9% today and we have the lowest vacancy rates since 1994. 
So, what's in Colorado's future?  Housing will stay flat in 2010 and might improve somewhat in 2011.  Resales, which were down 8% in 2010 will see a rebound in 2011.  There are signs of improvement on the foreclosure front, and in-migration continues to be strong, with people still moving to Colorado.   All you have to do is check in with the national news media once in a while to hear various Colorado communities earning accolades for one thing or another, so it's no wonder people want to relocate here!

For Boulder County, the employment numbers are quite optimistic.  The most current numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (for August 2010) put the Boulder Metropolitan area's unemployment at 6.4%.  Broomfield County recorded a 7.1% unemployment level for August 2010, so closer to the state level of 8.0% recorded for September 2010.

On the other hand, foreclosure activity is definitely catching up with our area.  According to RealtyTrac foreclosure filings in Boulder County were up in Sept 2010 with 234 filings, the highest number in 12 months.  The highest numbers were in Louisville (75) and Longmont (67).  Month-over-month price appreciation levelled out at 0.0%.  Only 29 foreclosure properties actually SOLD in Sept 2010 though.  Foreclosure activity is expected to rise, while the # of pre-foreclosure properties rose significantly last month from the single digits to over 60 properties.  The majority of the foreclosures are in the $100-300k range.  The foreclosures in our area don't necessarily translate to huge price savings for buyers -  10% in most of the county, with 20% in Longmont.

Broomfield County saw 52 new foreclosures in Sept 2010 and actiity is also expected to rise there.  Only 10 foreclosure properties actually SOLD in Sept 2010 though.  As in Boulder County, month-over-month price appreciation levelled out at 0.0%.  The majority of the foreclosures are also in the $100-300k range.

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation, Business Development and Finance
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Boulder-Denver Economy, OUR Nation and YOUR Real Estate - Part I

Any good real estate agent or relocation professional should stay on top of national economic news as well as news at their local area, and at Colorado Landmark, Realtors that's just what we try to do every week.  Last week I had the privelege of attending the Rocky Mountain Relocation Council's Fall Conference held at the Arvada Center

The first guest speaker was Dr. Scott Anderson PhD, Senior Economist at Wells Fargo Bank, based in Minneapolis.  His words about the state of our nation's economy and what that means for real estate on a national level didn't exactly bring smiles and fist-pumping enthusiasm to the room of about 75 real estate, mortgage, and mobility professionals.  A few brief highlights from his speech:
  • The housing market will continue to underwhelm in the foreseeable future
  • We are enduring one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression
  • Overall loss of wealth during this 2.5 year period is $17 trillion, representing 20 years worth of savings
  • 14% of mortgage holders are not making their payments
  • The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is predicting national declines of 5% in housing prices
  • The pipeline of foreclosure properties is still filling
  • We currently have the highest federal deficit since World War II
  • A national sales tax could be coming, as well as cut backs in Social Security
And that was the good news ... just kidding!  There really WAS some good news, but the question is, is that news good enough to sustain our economy going forward?  That remains to be seen.  Some positive notes from his speech:
  • Corporate profits always lead job growth ... and they are now above pre-recession levels
  • In Q2 2010 business spending grew 25%, which is not sustainable, but some measure of double-digit growth IS
  • 1.5-2.5% growth in the national economy is predicted for 2011; when this number goes over 3% it will be enough to have a meaningful impact unemployment
Stay tuned - later today or tomorrow we'll post some notes from the other conference speaker, Cheryl Meyn from Denver's The Genesis Group who gave detailed economic info on our 7-county Denver Metro Area.

Pam Metzger Director of Relocation, Business Development and Finance
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Colorado Landmark Associate and Client Featured on HGTV tonight!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors associate Michelle Clifford and her client are the featured story on tonight's HGTV episode of My First Place!  If you are in the Boulder/Denver area tune in at 6:30pm to Comcast channel 39 or Dish Network channel 112.

In tonight's episode ... Michelle's client Ginny is set on buying her first place in only one Boulder neighborhood, but will her budget get her an updated older first place that's and problem-free? She discovers that with older homes often come bigger problems, which may leave Ginny with more than she bargained for. How much will Ginny compromise to get her first place within her favorite Boulder area zip code?

Michelle Clifford has been a sales associate with Colorado Landmark since 2006.  Her dedication to her clients can be seen in every transaction. She epitomizes professionalism and diligence. Her attention to detail ensures her clients receive the quality of service expected of a Colorado Landmark, Realtors broker.  Michelle's recent acquisition of the designations GRI, ePro, and RECS ensure that she is staying on the forefront of the changing real estate market.  Way to go Michelle!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - Sept 26-Oct 9, 2010

Wow, all kinds of crazy real estate and mortgage news out there!  Are you confused?  If so we don't blame you but there are two good places to turn for answers.  On a national level, one of the best real estate experts who is masterful at consolidating all of the national media and statistics is Steve Harney and Keeping Current Matters.  Check out their blog or KCM Crew Facebook page for lots of great analysis.  On a local level, if you are reading this blog then you are in the right place!  At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we are committed to knowing the local market and giving our clients and friends the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.  Find it here, or on our Colorado Landmark Facebook page as well!
To that end, about every other week Colorado Landmark provides detailed information on the real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties from the past two weeks - this is a change up as previously we were only reporting 1 week at a time. Hopefully our analysis will help reveal what properties are selling, at what prices, how long they are are taking to sell, and other relevant information about what's going on in OUR local area of Boulder County and Broomfield County.
For the two week period from September 26 through October 9, 2010 here are the numbers:
•142 properties sold
•Price range of properties sold during this period: $41,000 - $1,995,000
•Median price: $298,000
•Average price: $369,133
•$0-199k = 33 sold this period
•$200-299K = 38 sold
•$300-399k = 30 sold
•$400-499k = 13 sold
•$500-599k = 11 sold
•$600-699k = 4 sold
•$700-799k = 4 sold
•$800-899k = 3 sold
•$900-999k = 1 sold
•$1.0-1.9M = 15 sold
•$2.0M+ = 0 sold

Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:











Information obtained from MLS and public record.
This week's statistics tell us several things:
  • New construction is being priced to sell.  Three of the five properties in this group with the shortest days on market (DOM) are new construction.  Builders know they are facing the fall-winter real estate doldrums and have priced some things to sell.  Hard to believe that condos in downtown Boulder at $877 and $915 per square foot are "priced to sell", I know ... but 2-3 years ago these prices would have been well up over $1000 per square foot.  There are deals to be had with builders now, although the word "deal" is certainly relative!
  • The glaringly obvious continues to be ... glaringly obvious.  Overpricing your home is a devastating financial mistake.  The three properties above with the highest days on market are also properties with very drastic price reductions.  The bank-owned property on Mooring sold for 34% of it's original owner list price.  Yes, you read that right - 34%!!!  When the bank got hold of it and priced it where it should have been from the beginning, it still only sold for 75% of the list price.  That's the stigma of a bank-owned for you right there.
  • People are still shopping in the $1M+ price range!  That is the price range where the biggest deals can be found right  now, and buyers on solid financial footing are taking notice and they are shopping.  I expect this price range might just hold steady through the fall-winter.
Here's your takeaway for the week - stay informed.  Whether or not you are in the market to buy or sell right now, your employment or financial situation could change unexpectedly, for better or worse, on a moment's notice.  Know where you are with your home in today's market, and you will be able to make an informed decision if your situation changes.  Read up on the national and local real estate news, talk to a local real estate professional about your short and long term goals, and be ready to act if an opportunity or challenge pops up.

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors