Posts

2Q16 Showing Traffic - TShaffer [4151395]-page-001 (1)

Wonder why your home didn’t sell in a weekend? Here’s a bit of info on the summer real estate market. If you take a look at the graph you’ll see that showing traffic in 2Q 2016 is down quite a bit from the First Quarter of the year. This is no surprise, it’s been the seasonal trend for the last four years. Coming off of a super-heated real estate market this spring, the usual summer “slowdown” feels more dramatic than a political convention. If you’re “lingering” on the market for a whopping two weeks remember that listings don’t always sell in a weekend and not all of them get twenty offers, especially those priced over $350,000. Summer in Denver is not only the real estate selling season, it’s vacation time too! With so much to do in our lovely state, we get up, get out and go more often and our stressed out home buyers need a break. Showings tend to pick up again after the Fourth of July for those looking to make a move and settle in before school starts in late August. That’s the conventional wisdom coming from an unconventional gal.
What I have seen year-after-year is a strong autumn season for real estate sales when the summer buyers have either completed or delayed their purchase and those who want to serve Thanksgiving in a new home come out to play. Same goes for the end of the year when myth tells us it’s a bad time to list a house for sale. My experience has been that winter buyers are fewer, yes, but they are more serious and with our continued lack of inventory many will see the cooler months as a less competitive time to purchase a home. Look for more soon in my next Real Estate Market Update.

I hear the question “Is it still a good time to buy a house in Denver?” quite often, as potential home buyers wonder whether they’ve missed the market. My answer is that yes, it’s still a good time to buy a house in Denver, though it’s going to take resilience, and let me tell you why. Even though the dream of getting a screaming deal on a foreclosure got on the bus and left the depot, the strength of today’s market and home affordability show that buying a house in Denver is still a great idea.

It looked for a moment that the Denver Real Estate Market was slowing down toward the end of the summer and into fall, but what I’m seeing now, we still have a very strong market! Showing activity is high meaning that buyers are out there looking, and inventory as of January 1 was still very, very low at one month of inventory  [meaning if no other homes came on the market it would only take a month to sell them ALL].

Buyers will need to be prepared to pull the trigger in this tight market; pre-qualified, well qualified and ready to present a strong offer to win in the ever-so-common bidding wars.  This can mean a number of things I’d be glad to go over with you specifically. Many Buyers will conduct a home inspection solely for informational purposes without asking the Seller to repair or credit for inspection items. This relieves the Seller of the anxiety of a major or costly issue coming up and being asked to pay for it, and though the Buyer may feel similar anxiety over having to assume a house “AS-IS” they can, if done properly, still terminate the contract should the home prove unsatisfactory. Reasonable buyers, sellers and their agents would rather work out a fair negotiation than lose a good contract, even with this stipulation. Another strategy I’ve seen applied is for the buyer to offer to make up some or all of any difference between the contract purchase price and the appraised value of the home should it come in low. As bidding wars force prices up, last month’s comps may not provide the appraiser with enough information to value at contract price, or the home might have exceeded current market value. The market is moving so fast, many buyers would rather kick in some extra cash than go back out looking once they’ve found and been accepted on a home they love. Of course, you’ll have to have the cash to do this so a bit of planning might be in order if you decide to employ this.

The good news for you Buyers is that real estate still offers great wealth building potential. Using standard assumptions (5% annual appreciation), a home purchased today for $250,000 with a 10% down payment and a 4.5% interest rate can produce about $200,000 in equity in a decade! Those of you who are renting may want to think seriously about investing in yourselves.  Even if you don’t have a full 10% for the down, there’s still $$$ to be made.

There are two myths in real estate that are not holding up in today’s Denver market. One is that real estate runs in seven year cycles; statistics show the last up-swing lasted for seventeen, plenty of time to build equity.  The second myth is that condos are the last to rise in value and the first to tank. Right now we are seeing condominium values appreciating similarly to single homes. Overall home affordability remains attractive when you factor in interest rates, home prices and average rents (up 40% over the past five years). A very good time to buy, but before you do I advise investing in some good running shoes.

Denver Housing Market September statistisDenver housing market moves from a hot summer to a cooler autumn as seasons change. We see this every year, temperatures rise in spring and with them a flurry of buyers hurry to buy, sell, move and settle in before school starts up again. After August, as the heat subsides, there’s the correspondent cooling of the housing market as recent Metrolist numbers confirm. It’s cyclical and as predictable as the weather, meaning not at all. Here in Colorado, specifically in the Denver housing market, we’ve seen February price spikes, flat sales in June and the current bubble-pop-bounce-back of the past 18 months with increasing market stability. Settle in with your pumpkin spice latte, click on Metrolist link and see how they show and tell it best.
If you need further information on the Denver housing market, real estate values in your neighborhood, or the value of your home, I’d be more than happy to help.

According to the latest monthly Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Denver-area home-resale prices rose an average 9.1 percent in March from a year earlier. Prices were up 1.4 percent from February, reaching an all-time high. One reason for this, as you may well know, is that our inventory is still incredibly low. Last spring, when the market suddenly turned, we thought this was a fluke but a year out, this seems to be the new norm. Click here to read more in the Denver Business Journal.
What does this mean for you? SELL! I have clients who made a move up during the leaner years and if they were able to hold on to their first property and buy their second, that’s what I’ve encouraged them to do. Rental income and market appreciation made this a wise move for many and now that equity is allowing them to sell at a tidy profit. I’m all for real estate investing and for having a buy and hold strategy in your portfolio, but you need to ask yourself if that is the best use of your money right now. Sometimes an investment has peaked and/or life has changed drastically, providing other options or shall we say ‘rearranging priorities’?
Buyers and sellers are often hesitant to sell for fear of finding a replacement home and though the market is swift like a snowmelt stream, I’ve yet to move one of my clients into a hotel or a shelter. All things are negotiable.
So if you’re looking, or thinking about looking., selling or wondering if selling is your best option, I’d love to sit down and have a conversation with you.

psycihicDenver real estate market is strong and hot like a cup of coffee. After years of waiting for home prices to rise, the Denver real estate market is elevated. So why are buyers and sellers so hesitant to make their move? Let’s blame it on the media. Screaming headlines make money when the sky is falling.
For those of you who are considering buying or selling a property, understanding the big picture is critical. So let’s take a look at where in the real estate cycle the Denver market stands.
You may think this tremendous seller’s market and super tight inventory is something new, something that’s going to come to a head and suddenly erupt overnight. Not true. We are FOUR YEARS PAST THE BOTTOM of our last real estate cycle. This is a logical continuation of a market that is reacting strongly to the overselling we saw between 2007 and 2009, and finally bottomed out in 2009. It’s doing exactly what real estate market cycles do, go up and go down over long periods of time. Remember, over the past 40 years residential real estate appreciation has averaged 6 percent per year and there is no reason to think that is going to change over the next 40 years.
If you think of market cycles in the short-term, spiking and crashing over short periods of time it’s easy to see the sweet meteor of death hurling toward your swing set, but a quick look at the last market cycle shows clearly this is not how real estate works. Real estate cycles over the past 40 years, tend to move in much broader periods, 7-10 years typically. This is why predicting short-term market movements can be very difficult, whereas assuming the market will move in 7-10 cycles is a bit more realistic.
The past four years of the upswing has been largely a sellers’ market. Plummeting inventory, rising prices, nervous buyers often involved in multiple offers, and happy sellers often getting the price they wanted. Buyers can be very nervous, reading news articles, watching TV reports, and figuring the market is teetering on the brink of a crash and being afraid to buy. Rents are skyrocketing, up 8 percent this year alone and renters may confuse the short-term media screeds about this tremendous market with the long-term patterns of market cycles, thinking that the minute they buy a home the market is going to crash.
woman-with-crystal-ball
I don’t see this. And unlike my clients who may buy or sell a home ever 5-10 years, I work in real estate every day. No one can predict the real estate market with 100% accuracy. I can’t, the Federal Reserve can’t, the banks with all the money can’t, no one can. But, understanding how market cycles work, and recognizing how low our current inventory is, I can say with confidence I do not see any impending weakness in the market over the next couple of years. We are four years into what will probably be a typical 7-10 year cycle of low inventory and rising prices. I can’t tell you what the Dow Jones will finish at next Monday. I can’t tell you if the Rockies will win their fifth game of the season. I can’t tell you what the weather will be on June 15th, but I can say with confidence that real estate tends to move over predictable long-term trends, and this market cycle has a long way to go.

amazing soulsAdmit it. This thought has crossed your mind, hasn’t it? You’ve probably even made a mental note to ask me, or worse… unsubscribe. So what makes me send you this monthly missive? The reasons are few, but they’re mighty.
1. Yes, I am in the business of helping people buy and sell homes and I’d like for you to think of me should that thought also cross your mind. Pretty crafty, huh?
2. To keep you up to date with the Denver real estate market, how it’s doing and where it’s headed. Like this little ditty from USA Today.
2. I believe that life is richer when experienced in community, and that a community is empowered by engagement.
3. I believe that real estate is all about story. Every home, every buyer, every seller, comes with a tale to tell, a story to reveal.
4. I have a knack for meeting interesting people who do really cool things and I want to share them with you.
And here comes the mighty…
5. Every month when I send out my newsy little newsletter, chock full o’ tips about home values and market trends, writing of the wonders of a swanky little art space, or the best place to take a burlesque dance class on a Sunday morning, you call me. You reach out via comment, Facebook, phone or email to let me know what you thought, ask me a question, or (best of all) set up some face-time. And I like that. A lot.

Building and deepening relationships, creating dialogue, drinking coffee… whatever I can do to help you put a little bump in your daily grind.

Every little thing is a big thing these days. Working our way out of the greatest economic downturn in recent history, combined with election year histrionics tend to create some confusing headlines. It’s like seeing a fire ant on the sidewalk, taking a magnifying glass to it and finding you’ve blown the damn thing up!
CNNMoney ran an article late June featuring the ant and the magnifying glass, but buried the picnic basket. If you read only

Home sales slowed slightly in May, as the housing market continues on its bumpy road to recovery.Sales of existing homes in May slipped 1.5% versus the month prior, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday…

well that sounds kinda bad. Until you read the next line “to an annualized rate of 4.55 million.”
And now the picnic basket the ant is presumably heading toward.

The May sales figures are still a big improvement versus last year, up 9.6% compared with the annualized sales rate of 4.15 million in May of 2011, the NAR said. The median existing home price in the U.S. rose 7.9% over the same period, according to the report.

Now I’d like to lay out the checkered table cloth… (bold type mine)

Analysts say that demand among potential homebuyers remains solid, with many having put off purchases during the downturn in the past few years. Home prices remain affordable and mortgage rates are at record lows, but limited access to credit and high down payment requirements are holding back sales.

The last part about the credit scores and down payments? It’s true that lenders and underwriters being more diligent, as they should be, but there are also a wide variety of mortgage products and down payment programs available. The dramatic ending, “holding back sales” may be doing just that.

Read the article in its entirety and tell me what you think.