Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from Colorado Landmark, Realtors!

Wishing everyone a very safe and happy new year.

We truly appreciate our clients for trusting us with their business during what has in many ways been a very difficult year in real estate. Whatever your needs are in 2011, we are here to help.

Looking forward to continued success with you in 2011!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - Dec 1 - 15, 2010 - Location, Location, Location

Our Colorado economy is still struggling but there are signs of improvement. The Denver Post reported this week on job growth in Colorado.  "The primary indicator for any state of economic recovery is job growth, and for the first time in three years, we have experienced three straight months of job growth here in Colorado," Governer Ritter said.  That's good news for housing, but we haven't seen that translate to much sales activity in the last month.  Not surprising though given the time of year, the holidays being traditionally slow for home sales in our area.  The true test will be to see if activity picks up in the February-March-April time frame.

Approximately every other week Colorado Landmark provides detailed information on the real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties from the past two weeks. 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 - Boulder County and Broomfield County.

For the two week period from December 1 through December 15, 2010 here are the numbers:

•132 properties sold
•Price range of properties sold during this period: $72,000 - $2,290,000
•Median price: $320,500
•Average price: $389,800

•$0-199k = 31 sold this period
•$200-299K = 28 sold
•$300-399k = 25 sold
•$400-499k = 24 sold
•$500-599k = 11 sold
•$600-699k = 2 sold
•$700-799k = 3 sold
•$800-899k = 1 sold
•$900-999k = 1 sold
•$1.0-1.9M = 5 sold
•$2.0M+ = 1 sold

Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:

Information obtained from MLS and public record.

This period's Top Ten numbers reinforce a very cliche real estate phrase - "Location, Location, Location"!

When markets are bad, especially at the high end, the attributes of location and condition become even more important to the successful sale of a property, and should be carefully analyzed when it comes to pricing a property for the market. 

Properties in highly desireable locations will hold their value in a down market more so than in other areas.  Two examples of this are the properties on Marine and Highland in this week's list above, both with terrific downtown Boulder locations. This is not to say that the other areas listed, like White Hawk Ranch, the close-in mountains, and Lafayette are undesireable, far from it; they are just less so to some buyers than others. The home on Marine St. was priced appropriately and went under contract in a mere 32 days and garnered 99% of the asking price.  The property on Highland Ave. took quite a bit longer to sell - 595 days to contract - but the sellers netted 83.3% of their original asking price, which in this market is not bad for any property priced over $2 million. 

Additionally, these two homes have the highest price per square foot at $492/sq ft for Marine and $592/sq ft for Highland, when compared to other homes on the list.  Several of the other homes have argueably more luxury features, larger lots, and are considerably more spacious yet yielded much lower $/sq ft.  Consider the home on Bitterroot Circle for example - same selling price as Marine, but at $227/sq ft.  The luxury home out in White Hawk Ranch sold for a mere $310/sq ft. 
(using finished square feet above grade for comparison purposes) 

The takeaways here for me are the following:
  • If you know you will be somewhere for the long haul, then buy what you want, where you want.  But if there is a chance your plans could change in 5 years or less, consider the location of your next purchase much more carefully with an eye on desireability, walkability and popularity.
  • Also, if you have a home priced over $600,000 you can expect the market to continue to be quite slow for a while.  Homes under this threshhold are still selling quite well though!
Happy Holidays everyone! 

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

Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't Eliminate the Mortgage Interest Deduction, Employ Basic Supply-Demand Principles!

With Shiela Mudd Roberts permission we are including here content from her blog post today about the current momentum in our legislature to eliminate the deduction for mortgage interest for homeowners.  Shiela has some great insights ... read on below or link to her blog for this article and other great local real estate information.

"I have to admit, I heard blimps of this in the news over the past few months but it is so absurd that I didn’t think it would really happen. But then I saw a headline that read “National Association of Realtor’s Defend Mortgage Interest Deduction”. Well, absurd as it is, the current administration is trying to take the change right out of our pockets and, thankfully, NAR has already reacted.

The way it currently works is that if you have a mortgage, you very likely have interest that you pay on said mortgage. Look at your statement, especially for the first say 15-20 years most of your monthly payment is interest. This interest paid is then deducted against your earned income come tax time. If you have rental property or second homes, same thing. What is being proposed is that this annual amount, totaling thousands of dollars, is no longer going to apply for a tax deduction. Things are unclear whether the proposal will protect your primary residence or not. Regardless, just like for home owners, mortgage interest deductions combined with depreciation, is a huge incentive for investors to own rental property.

Instead of taking this away from everyone, limit supply. And let me be clear, if you own your property free and clear (no mortgage) this still effects you because this proposal will affect the housing market overall. Buyers lose incentive along with current home owners and prices will drop, plain and simple. I would think a more logical way to approach this is to limit supply, specifically: new building. Sure the big builders won’t like it, but it has been high time for them to find a new gig anyway. In turn, local governments should put a moratorium on new developments. I mean, really, do we need more track homes? Just look at Boulder. There is a housing cap meaning that the supply is limited. It is no accident that the City of Boulder has consistently held it’s housing values. And, in some price points, continued to appreciate in this National “Housing Crisis.” To hit this home even more, compare Boulder to Longmont (also in Boulder County). Longmont has allowed building virtually on all sides of its city borders. At the same time Longmont’s inventory is higher with decreasing sales prices over the past few years when compared to Boulder.*

What can you do? Contact your local representative to tell them that this is not okay:

*Based on IRES, LLC data"

Shiela Mudd Roberts
Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(720) 628-8454