President of Windermere Real Estate Colorado, Eric Thompson, was interviewed by Windermere Real Estate’s chief economist Matthew Gardner on Colorado’s housing market. The interview offered an in-depth analysis of current data released on housing topics.
Matthew gave insight into the resilience of the state’s housing market in an economy mired by the coronavirus. Matthew works as chief economist for Windermere analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level.
Key topics covered on findings specific to Colorado are as follows:
- Inventory will make the greatest market impact – “Expect to see a bigger building boom because of the lack of resale inventory,” Gardner predicts.
- Northern Colorado inventory decreased by 47% (compared to 2019)
- 1.4 million current listings rank as the lowest amount recorded since 1999
- Average building prices have increased by 17% due to a shortage of lumber and growing supply chain issues as a result of the wildfire’s environmental impact across the state
- Contributing to inventory concerns, current interest rates are at a historical low – “Essentially, we won’t see interest rates of 4% or greater until at least 2022,” reports Gardner. “Anywhere from six to eight years down the road when owners might want to sell, they may decide to stay in their home if interest rates increase because they now have an incredibly low-interest rate, causing a greater shortage in listings as a result.”
- Buyer preferences post-pandemic will play a pivotal role in sales – “Industry statistics and consumer trends show that properties with designated space to work from home will take priority in the potential buyer decision-making process,” says Gardner. “This factor may also prove beneficial to the market as circumstances might motivate opportunities to move given needs to be close to the office could become obsolete.”
- Economic evaluations prove promising – “We are in the midst of a monumental health crisis, but not a housing crisis,” notes Gardner. “While Colorado saw a tremendous loss of approximately 180,000 jobs, more than 90,000 have already been recovered due to Colorado’s diverse economy offering an abundance of employment sources.”
- Sale closings have increased by 36%, and pending sale contracts have also increased by 39%
- In Fort Collins, 59% of homes (both attached and detached) on the market under contract have grown by 19% (compared to 40.5% in 2019)
- Restaurant reservations are down 40% (versus 2019) due to the limited 50% capacity requirements for safe social distancing
- Public Transit is down about 40% but continues to see growth as people return to the workplace
- Mortgage structures remain stable, with credit quality high at a 750 average for approval, and Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMS) seen in only 3% of all homeowner agreements
- 80% of people have at least 20% equity in their homes, forecasting no foreclosure boom, particularly in Larimer County, where 36.7% of homeowners have more than 50% equity, and in Denver, where 40% also report more than 50% equity
Matthew brings with him over 30 years of professional experience in the U.S. and the U.K. in addition to sitting 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 Runstand Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he lectures in real estate economics.
“At Windemere, we’re extremely fortunate to have the invaluable guidance and insight from Matthew (Gardner),”
said Eric Thompson, Windermere Colorado President. “With this high-level of economic expertise available, we can provide greater clarity on housing market topics through in-depth research to both our valued team of realtors and consumer base so they can feel confident about their real estate decisions,”