A Day When Americans Can Return To Work

A Day When Americans Can Return to Work [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights

  • Taking a moment to reflect upon what we’ve heard from historical leaders can teach us a lot about getting through the many challenges we face today.
  • We’re all eager for the day when every American can safely return to work. That day is coming. Timing is everything. Patience is essential.
  • Our courage, strength, and unparalleled resilience will get us there.

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/05/08/a-day-when-americans-can-return-to-work-infographic/


Posted on May 11, 2020 at 7:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Grateful, Grateful Realtor, Gratitude, Loveland Real Estate Agent, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

What the Numbers Say

April represents the first time we can look at the impact of COVID-19 on a full month of real estate activity.

To no one’s surprise, activity in April in terms of closings and new contracts did slow significantly.

Much of this slowing was caused by in person showings not being allowed for most of the month.

(showings are now allowed again by following Safe Showings protocols)

Here’s what the numbers say…

Closed transactions were down compared to April 2019

  • 26% in Northern Colorado (Larimer & Weld)
  • 27% in Metro Denver

New written purchase agreements were down compared to April 2020

  • 48% in Northern Colorado
  • 44% in Metro Denver

So, while activity did slow, there was nothing resembling a “screeching halt” that took place.

While the way property is shown has certainly changed, the market is still very active and we expect activity to increase even more with showings now being allowed again.

At Windermere Real Estate we are taking Safer at Home and Social Distancing very seriously.  Our people are following our Safe Showings protocol, staying connected to their clients, and providing help wherever needed.


Posted on May 9, 2020 at 7:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Ecomony, Housing Market, Loveland Real Estate Agent, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Real Estate Market | Tagged , , , ,

US Homeownership Rate Rises to Highest Point in 8 Years

U.S. Homeownership Rate Rises to Highest Point in 8 Years

For nearly two months, most of us have been following strict stay-at-home orders from our state and local governments. It is a whole new way of life that has put our daily lives on pause. On the other hand, many of us have also found a sense of comfort by slowing down and spending time at home, highlighting the feeling of security that comes with having a much-needed safe place for our families to live.

The latest results of the Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS) provided by the U.S. Census Bureau shows how Americans place immense value in homeownership, and it is continuing to grow in the United States. The results indicate that the homeownership rate increased to 65.3% for the first quarter of 2020, a number that has been rising since 2016 and is the highest we’ve seen in eight years (see graph below):U.S. Homeownership Rate Rises to Highest Point in 8 Years | Keeping Current MattersWhy is the rate increasing? The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) explained:

“Strong owner household formation with around 2.7 million homeowners added in the first quarter has driven up the homeownership rate, especially under the decreasing mortgage interest rates and strong new home sales and existing home sales in the first two months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy.”

The NAHB also emphasizes the year-over-year increase in each generational group:

“The homeownership rates among all age groups increased in the first quarter 2020. Households under 35, mostly first-time homebuyers, registered the largest gains, with the homeownership rate up 1.9 percentage points from a year ago. Households ages 35-44 experienced a 1.2 percentage points gain, followed by the 55-64 age group (a 0.9 percentage point increase), the 45-54 age group (a 0.8 percentage point gain), and the 65+ group age (up by 0.2 percentage point).” (See chart below):

U.S. Homeownership Rate Rises to Highest Point in 8 Years | Keeping Current MattersHomeownership is an important part of the American dream, especially in moments like this when many are feeling incredibly grateful for the home they have to shelter in place with their families. COVID-19 may be slowing our lives down, but it is showing us the emotional value of homeownership too.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering buying a home this year, contact a local real estate professional to set a plan that will help you get one step closer to achieving your dream.

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/05/04/u-s-homeownership-rate-rises-to-highest-point-in-8-years/


Posted on May 8, 2020 at 6:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Buying a Home, Home Ownership, Housing Market, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Another Meltdown?

This week our Chief Economist took a deep dive into the numbers to examine the current health crisis versus the housing crisis of 2008.

The reason why?  People wonder if we are going to have another housing meltdown nationally and going to see foreclosures and short sales dramatically increase.

It turns out that the numbers show that today’s housing environment is quite different than 2007, right before the housing bubble burst.

Specifically, homeowners are in a vastly different situation with their mortgage compared to the pre-Great Recession’s housing meltdown.

In addition to much higher credit scores and much higher amounts of equity compared to 2007, the most significant difference today is in the amount of ARM mortgages.

Back in years leading up to the housing bubble, Adjustable Rate Mortgages were very prevalent.  In 2007 there were just under 13 million active adjustable rate loans, today there are just over 3 million.

The number of those ARMs that would reset within three years was 5 million in 2007 compared to only 320,000 today.

It’s those Adjustable Rate loans resetting to a higher monthly payment that caused such a big part of the housing crisis back in 2008 to 2010.

Back then not only was people’s employment impacted, but many were facing increased monthly mortgage payments.

That’s why there were so many foreclosures and short sales in 2008 to 2010.

That is not the case today and one of many reasons why we don’t foresee a housing meltdown.

 


Posted on May 6, 2020 at 7:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Housing Market, Loveland Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Real Estate Market | Tagged , , ,

Colorado Real Estate Market Update

The following analysis of the Metro Denver & Northern Colorado real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

A MESSAGE FROM MATTHEW GARDNER

Needless to say, any discussion about the U.S. economy, state economy, or housing markets in the first quarter of this year is almost meaningless given events surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

Although you will see below data regarding housing activity in the region, many markets came close to halting transactions in March and many remain in some level of paralysis. As such, drawing conclusions from the data is almost a futile effort. I would say, though, it is my belief that the national and state housing markets were in good shape before the virus hit and will be in good shape again, once we come out on the other side. In a similar fashion, I anticipate the national and regional economies will start to thaw, and that many of the jobs lost will return with relative speed. Of course, all of these statements are wholly dependent on the country seeing a peak in new infections in the relatively near future. I stand by my contention that the housing market will survive the current economic crisis and it is likely we will resume a more normalized pattern of home sales in the second half of the year.

 

HOME SALES

  • In the first quarter of 2020, 9,189 homes sold. This is an increase of 9.5% compared to the first quarter of 2019. ​
  • Ten counties contained in this report saw sales grow, one remained static, and one saw fewer transactions. Sales rose most in the small Park County area. There was a small drop in sales in El Paso County.
  • The average number of homes for sale in the quarter was down 12.9% from the same period in 2019.
  • Inventory levels have not improved and, given the fallout from COVID-19, it is hard to put a date on when we will see a resumption of normal activity in the housing market. Though sales are sure to return, we may well see a gradual increase in listings rather than a surge.

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • Home prices continue to trend higher, with the average home price in the region rising 6.7% year-over-year to $477,495.
  • Interest rates remain at very competitive levels and are certain to remain well below 4% for the balance of the year. This can allow prices to continue to rise but much will be dependent on the fallout of COVID-19.
  • Appreciation was again strongest in Clear Creek County, where prices rose a remarkable 27.1%. This market is small though and subject to wild swings, so this jump is not surprising. We also saw strong growth in Park County, which rose 21.8%. Home prices rose by double digits in an additional three counties.
  • Affordability remains an issue in many Colorado markets, which could act as a modest headwind to ongoing price growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the markets contained in this report rose by only one day compared to the first quarter of 2019.
  • It took an average of 46 days to sell a home in the region.
  • The amount of time it took to sell a home dropped in six counties and rose in six counties compared to the first quarter of 2019.
  • The Colorado housing market was performing well before the onset of the pandemic and is likely to resume reasonable performance once we resume normal operations. That said, it will be interesting to see if home sellers or buyers are the first to reengage.

 

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

Given the current economic environment, I have decided to freeze the needle in place until we see
a restart in the economy. Once we have resumed “normal” economic activity, there will be a period of adjustment with regard to housing. Therefore, it is appropriate to wait until later in the year to offer my opinions about any quantitative impact the pandemic will have on the housing market.

 

 

 

 

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.


Posted on April 30, 2020 at 11:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Housing Market, Larimer County Real Estate, Loveland Real Estate, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Ecomony Recover

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights

  • Expert insights are painting a bright future for housing when the economy bounces back – and it will.
  • We may be facing challenging economic times today, but the housing market is poised to help the economy recover, not drag it down.
  • Connect with your trusted real estate advisor today, to make sure you’re informed and ready when it’s time to make your move.

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/04/03/the-housing-market-is-positioned-to-help-the-economy-recover-infographic/


Posted on April 13, 2020 at 7:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Home Buying, Housing Market, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Real Estate Market | Tagged , , ,

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an economic slowdown.
  • The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
  • All things considered, an economic slowdown does not equal a housing crisis, and this will not be a repeat of 2008.

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/03/20/a-recession-does-not-equal-a-housing-crisis/


Posted on April 9, 2020 at 7:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Home Prices, Housing Market, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Real Estate Market | Tagged , ,

Real Estate Is Souring, But Not Like 2008

Real Estate Is Soaring, But Not Like 2008

Unlike last year, the residential real estate market kicked off 2020 with a bang! In their latest Monthly Mortgage MonitorBlack Knight proclaimed:

“The housing market is heating entering 2020 and recent rate declines could continue that trend, a sharp contrast to the strong cooling that was seen at this same time last year.”

Zillow revealed they’re also seeing a robust beginning to the year. Jeff Tucker, Zillow Economist, said:

“Our first look at 2020 data suggests that we could see the most competitive home shopping season in years, as buyers are already competing over…homes for sale.”

Buying demand is very strong. The latest Showing Index from ShowingTime reported a 20.2% year-over-year increase in purchaser traffic across the country, the sixth consecutive month of nationwide growth, and the largest increase in the history of the index.

The even better news is that buyers are not just looking. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that closed sales increased 9.6% from a year ago.

This increase in overall activity has caused Zelman & Associates to increase their projection for home price appreciation in 2020 from 3.7% to 4.7%.

Are we headed for another housing crash like we had last decade?

Whenever price appreciation begins to accelerate, the fear of the last housing boom and bust creeps into the minds of the American population. The pain felt during the last housing crash scarred us deeply, and understandably so. The crash led us into the Great Recession of 2008.

If we take a closer look, however, we can see the current situation is nothing like it was in the last decade. As an example, let’s look at price appreciation for the six years prior to the last boom (2006) and compare it to the last six years:Real Estate Is Soaring, But Not Like 2008 | Keeping Current MattersThere’s a stark difference between these two periods of time. Normal appreciation is 3.6%, so while current appreciation is higher than the historic norm, it’s certainly not accelerating beyond control as it did leading up to the housing crash.

Today, the strength of the housing market is actually helping prevent a setback in the overall economy. In a recent post, Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist for First American explained:

“While the housing crisis is still fresh on the minds of many, and was the catalyst of the Great Recession, the U.S. housing market has weathered all other recessions since 1980. With the exception of the Great Recession, house price appreciation hardly skipped a beat and year-over-year existing-home sales growth barely declined in all the other previous recessions in the last 40 years…In 2020, we argue the housing market is more likely poised to help stave off recession than fall victim to it.”

Bottom Line

The year has started off very nicely for the residential housing market. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, now may be the time to meet with a real estate professional to discuss your options.

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/03/04/real-estate-is-soaring-but-not-like-2008/


Posted on March 29, 2020 at 7:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Buying a Home, Housing Market, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Real Estate Agent | Tagged , , , ,

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.


Posted on March 28, 2020 at 7:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Housing Market, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Real Estate Market | Tagged , , , ,

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year

If you’re looking to buy a home in 2020, have you thought about putting your tax refund toward a down payment? Homeownership may be one step closer than you think if you spend your dollars wisely this year.

Based on data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,962 when filing their taxes this year.

The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state:How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year | Keeping Current MattersAccording to programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, many first-time buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. Truth be told, a 20% down payment is not always required to buy a home, even though that’s a common misconception about homebuying. Veterans Affairs Loans allow many veterans to purchase a home with 0% down.

How can my tax refund help?

If you’re a first-time buyer, your tax refund may cover more of a down payment than you ever thought possible.

If you take into account the median home sale price by state, the map below shows the percentage of a 3% down payment that’s covered by the average tax refund:How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year | Keeping Current MattersThe darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership in one of these programs. Maybe this is the year to plan ahead and put your tax refund toward a down payment on a home.

Bottom Line

Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task, but the more you know about what’s required, the more prepared you’ll be to make the best decision for you and your family. This tax season, your refund could be your key to homeownership.

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/03/02/how-your-tax-refund-can-move-you-toward-homeownership-this-year/


Posted on March 25, 2020 at 7:00 am
Tammy Fisher | Posted in Buying a Home, Homeownership, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,