Listing Averages

While a lot of attention has been paid to increasing sales prices along the Front Range, it is also interesting to look at the average price of properties currently listed for sale.

Did you know, for instance, that the average list price of all the properties currently for sale in Metro Denver is $887,000. Meanwhile, the average closed sales price is $613,000.

In Larimer County it is $793,000 versus an average closed sales price of $601,000.

In Weld County it is $669,000 versus $488,000.

What is causing this? The high number of high-end properties currently for sale pulling up the average.

You might be surprised to hear the number of $1,000,000-plus listings active listings in our market looks like this:

  • Metro Denver = 527
  • Larimer County = 75
  • Weld County = 44

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2 to 3

Along the Front Range we have gone from two weeks of inventory to three weeks.

For much of the Spring, there was only two weeks of inventory on the market in most areas. Meaning, it would only take 14 days to sell all of the homes currently for sale.

Now, because the pace of sales has slightly slowed down and there is a bit more inventory, there is roughly three weeks.

We can actually measure inventory in number of days based on the pace of sales in July so far:

  • Metro Denver = 23 Days
  • Larimer County = 22 Days
  • Weld County = 22 Days

This is obviously good news for buyers as they have better selection and slightly less competition.

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The Impact of Staging Your Home

For more than 20 years, the benefits of staging a home have been well documented. Numerous studies show that staging helps sell a home faster and for a higher price. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 88 percent of home buyers start their search online, forming impressions within three seconds of viewing a listing. When a home is well staged, it photographs well and makes the kind of the first impression that encourages buyers to take the next step.

Studies also indicate that buyers decide if they’re interested within the first 30 seconds of entering a home. Not only does home staging help to remove potential red flags that can turn buyers off, but it also helps them begin to imagine living there. Homes that are professionally staged look more “move-in ready” and that makes them far more appealing to potential buyers.

According to the Village Voice, staged homes sell in one-third less time than non-staged homes. Staged homes can also command higher prices than non-staged homes. Data compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development indicate that staged homes sell for approximately 17 percent more than non-staged homes.

A measurable difference in time and money

In a study conducted by the Real Estate Staging Association in 2007, a group of vacant homes that had remained unsold for an average of 131 days were taken off the market, staged, and relisted. The newly staged properties sold, on average, in just 42 days, – which is approximately 68 percent less time on the market.

The study was repeated in 2011, in a more challenging market, and the numbers were even more dramatic. Vacant homes that were previously on the market for an average of 156 days as unstaged properties, when listed again as staged properties, sold after an average of 42 days—an average of 73 percent less time on the market.

Small investments, big potential returns

Staging is a powerful advantage when selling your home, but that’s not the only reason to do it. Staging uncovers problems that need to be addressed, repairs that need to be made, and upgrades that should be undertaken. For a relatively small investment of time and money, you can reap big returns. Staged properties are more inviting, and that inspires the kind of peace-of-mind that gets buyers to sign on the dotted line. In the age of social media, a well-staged home is a home that stands out, gets shared, and sticks in people’s minds.

What’s more, the investment in staging can bring a higher price. According to the National Association of REALTORS, the average staging investment is between one percent and three percent of the home’s asking price, and typically generates a return of eight to ten percent.

In short, less time on the market and higher selling prices make the small cost of staging your home a wise investment.

Interested in learning more? Contact your real estate agent for information about the value of staging and referrals for professional home stagers.

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Inventory Uptick

We are noticing a trend that is very good news for buyers.

Inventory has been increasing over the last month which means that buyers now have more properties to consider.

Just in the last week, the number of homes for sale has increased:

13% in Larimer County

12% in Weld County

11% in Metro Denver

If you are a buyer who has been waiting for home properties to look at, now is the time!

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High Average

If you watch the weekly statistics that we produce and post on social media, a number that might be jumping off the screen at you is the average price.

Specifically, it is the percentage increase in average price versus last year that is striking.

We are commonly asked ‘how could average prices increase 20% to 30% in one year?’

It is important to note prices haven’t appreciated up to 30%, it’s only the average price that has increased by that amount.

A key reason why average prices have increased by such a significant amount is that there are many more luxury properties selling this year versus last year.

Sales of properties priced over $1,000,000 have seen a substantial increase compared to 2020.

Look at these numbers which show the year over year increase in closed transactions for real estate priced over $1 million:

  • Larimer County = 159%
  • Weld County = 247%
  • Metro Denver = 137%

So, transactions of luxury properties have much more than doubled compared to 2020 which is pulling up the average sales price in a significant way.

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Words Matter

A common phrase that is being used right now to describe the market is ‘no inventory.’

‘There’s no inventory’ is said frequently among those inside and outside of the real estate industry.

The problem with this phrase is that it is untrue.

There is inventory.  Meaning, there are a significant number of new listings hitting the market.

However, there is low standing inventory.  Meaning, the listings that do hit the market don’t stick around for very long before they are purchased.

Standing inventory, which is the number of active properties on the market, is down roughly 70% along the Front Range.

However, the number of new listings coming on the market is essentially:

  • Double compared to December 2020
  • Only 20% to 25% less than this time of year in 2017, 2018, and 2019

So, there is inventory available, it just sells quickly because demand is historically high right now.

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Calculated Risk

The economic research blog called “Calculated Risk” just completed a fascinating study on home prices.

Specifically, they looked at the correlation between home price growth and inventory.

They used price data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and inventory data from the National Association of Realtors.

No surprise, they found that the lower the inventory the higher the home price growth. Also no surprise, as inventory goes up, price growth slows down.

This all correlates with simple economic rules of supply and demand.

The interesting part of their research is this: at a certain level of inventory, prices have the potential to go down.

That level, according to their research, is six months of inventory.

That means, prices don’t have a chance of decreasing in a market until there is at least 6 months of inventory available for sale.

To put that in perspective, today there is two weeks of inventory on the market along the Front Range.

So, there would need to be 12 times the amount of homes for sale on the market for prices to even have a chance to go down.

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Tax Confusion

Did you know the value of your property according to the County Assessor is not the value of your property today?

Property owners up and down the Front Range recently received a postcard from their local County Assessor’s office with their new valuation.

Colorado properties are reappraised every two years on odd years.  The updated valuations determine how much property tax is paid.

Each County has their own unique processes and models for valuation, however…

All Counties must only consider comparable properties that sold between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2020.

The value on your postcard is what your County thinks your property was worth almost a year ago.

As you are likely aware, the market today is significantly different than it was 11 months ago.  It’s actually quite different than it was 11 weeks ago!

The postcards with the new valuations tend to prompt very reasonable questions like:

  • What do I do if I don’t agree with the Assessor?
  • What is my property really worth?

We are happy to help you with either of these questions.

Our team is well-versed in the tax protest process, can help you research comparable properties and can also show you what your home is worth today. Just reach out to us if we can help you. The deadline to protest your value is June 1st.

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Want a house in Fort Collins? Grab $500,000, get in line and join the housing Hunger Games

“Buying a house in Fort Collins these days can feel like a combat sport. Maybe more like the

‘Hunger Games.’ Or Charlie Brown and the football — every time you get close to the ball,

Lucy whisks it away…”

 

Pat Ferrier at the Fort Collins Coloradoan breaks down the housing market in Northern Colorado with the help real estate professionals across the front range. Click the link below to read on!

 

Fort Collins real estate_ Average home price near $500K in market

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Q1 2021 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 your Windermere Real Estate agent.

REGIONAL ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Following the decline in employment last winter, Colorado has started to add jobs back into its economy. The latest data shows that the state has now recovered more than 219,000 of the 376,000+ jobs that were lost due to COVID-19. This is certainly positive, but there is a long way to go to get back to pre-pandemic employment levels. Denver and Fort Collins continue to have the greatest improvement in employment, but all markets show job levels well below pre-pandemic levels. With total employment levels rising, the unemployment rate stands at 6.6%, down from the pandemic peak of 12.1%. Regionally, unemployment levels range from a low of 5.6% in Fort Collins and Boulder to a high of 6.7% in Greeley. COVID-19 infection rates have started to increase again, and this has the potential to negatively impact the job market. I am hopeful that the state will not be forced to pull back reopening, but this is certainly not assured.

COLORADO HOME SALES

❱ 2021 started off on a bit of a sour note, with total sales down 1.2% compared to the same period in 2020. Sales were 29.2% lower than in the final quarter of 2020 as 8,645 homes sold.

❱ Sales were higher in four of the counties contained in this report, were essentially flat in one, and dropped in seven. It was pleasing to see significant sales growth in the large counties of Denver and Adams.

❱ Another positive was that pending sales, which are an indicator of future closings, were 4.8% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 5% higher than a year ago.

❱ The disappointing number of home sales overall can primarily be attributed to the woeful lack of inventory. Listings in the quarter were down more than 61% year over year and were 40.6% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2020.

 

COLORADO HOME PRICES

❱ Prices continue to appreciate at a very rapid pace, with the average sale price up 16.5% year over year, to an average of $556,100. Home prices were also 4.4% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2020.

❱ Buyers appear to be out in force, and this demand—in concert with very low levels of inventory—continues to heat the market.

❱ Prices rose over last year across all markets covered by this report, with the exception of the very small Gilpin County. All other counties saw sizeable gains and the trend of double-digit price growth continued unabated.

❱ Affordability levels are becoming a greater concern as prices rise at a far faster pace than wages. Even though mortgage rates have started to rise, they haven’t yet reached the level needed to take some of the heat out of the market.

 

DAYS ON MARKET

❱ The average time it took to sell a home in the markets contained in this report dropped 20 days compared to the first quarter of 2020.

❱ The amount of time it took to sell a home dropped in every county contained in this report compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

❱ It took an average of 25 days to sell a home in the region, down one day from the fourth quarter of 2020.

❱ The Colorado housing market remains very tight, as demonstrated by the fact that it took less than a month for homes to sell in all but two counties.

 

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.

The relatively low level of home sales is not a surprise given how few choices there are for buyers. Sellers are certainly benefitting from strong demand, as demonstrated by the significant price growth. I maintain my belief that there will be an increase in inventory as we move through the year, but it is highly unlikely that we will see a balanced market in 2021.

Given these factors, I am moving the needle a little more in favor of sellers, as demand is likely to continue to exceed supply.

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.

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