The Front Range may have lost out on Amazon’s HQ2, but that doesn’t mean their company won’t affect our economy.
Denver was in the running for Amazon’s massive new second headquarters that supposedly would bring 50,000 new high-paying jobs and $5 Billion of investment.
In the end Amazon chose to split the headquarters among two East-Coast cities and many in Colorado breathed a sigh of relief.
But they are will continue to be an economic force in our state.
Over the past two years, Amazon has greatly expanded its footprint in Metro Denver, opening up a sorting center in Aurora, fulfillment centers in Aurora and Thornton, a Prime Now center in Denver and a new delivery center in Centennial.
They will soon have 3,000 workers here and that number is expected to grow significantly.
Pretend you have been driving on the Interstate at 100 miles per hour.
Also, pretend you have been doing that for a long time.
Now pretend you slow down to 83 miles per hour.
How would that feel?
It would probably feel slow, right?
83 miles per hour is a 17% decrease from 100. It may feel slow, but it’s still pretty fast.
How does this relate to real estate?
Well, the market has been moving fast for a long time.
It’s been going 100 miles per hour for at least two years (some would argue even longer).
We’ve recently seen a 17% change in terms of number of transactions that are occurring.
There were 17% fewer sales in October 2018 versus October 2017 in Metro Denver.
It feels slow because we’ve been driving so fast for so long. But, our market is still moving.
For example, prices are still up. So, remember, that it’s all relative.
Here are some interesting stats from our friends at Metro Study who study new home activity along the Front Range.
• New home starts are up 14% compared to last year – this is really good news and is helping to relieve the shortage of housing inventory
• Every product type saw an increase in starts compared to last year (single family, town-home and condominium)
• Condominiums saw the largest increase in starts by a long shot, up 112% over last year- this is excellent news for first time buyers and those looking for product in lower price ranges.
It’s true, certain parts of our market are cooling off. We are seeing fewer multiple offers, fewer bidding wars, and fewer inspection concessions.
However, homes that are priced right and in great condition are selling, and in many cases, selling quickly.
As buyers feel the market cool a bit, it may cause them to want to wait. They sometimes feel like it’s a better choice to ‘wait and see what happens.’
The reality is, there is a real cost to waiting given two specific facts.
1. Interest rates will continue to rise
2. Prices will continue to rise
Interest rates are a little more than 0.5% higher than a year ago and experts predict them to be another 0.5% higher by this time next year.
Prices have been appreciating at roughly 10% per year for the last four years. Based on the numbers, we see that appreciation could be 5% per year for the next two years.
So, let’s look at a house priced at $450,000 today. If prices go up “only” 5% for the next 12 months, that home will cost $22,500 more in a year.
And, if rates go up another half percent, the monthly payment will be $206 higher. That’s an 11% increase!
In an environment of rising prices and rising rates, there is a real cost to “wait and see.”
What if we told you there is a real estate market that has seen a 300% increase in sales volume in only 5 years?
What if we told you that market was right in our back yard?
The market is Wellington and what is happening there is extraordinary.
Because price increases in Fort Collins have eliminated virtually all options for the sub $300,000 buyer, Wellington has become a very popular place to buy a home.
In June of 2012, the average price there was $185,000. Today it is $300,500!
In 2012 there were 222 residential sales in Wellington. This year is on pace to eclipse 500.
Yes, Wellington has exploded and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon!
Fun fact about Wellington:
The Town of Wellington was an oil, coal and agricultural hub throughout the 1800s and became a stopping location for wagon trains, travelers, and military movement between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Fort Collins, Colorado. The town was founded in 1902, incorporated in 1905 and named after C.L. Wellington, an employee of the Colorado and Southern Railroad.
Around the same time the population began to grow in Wellington, woolly mammoth remains were discovered by a construction crew while digging foundations for new homes. The remains were carefully excavated by a University of Colorado team while residents watched with excitement. Unfortunately, after being taken back to the University for further examination, the tusks were dropped and shattered on a floor. In recognition and remembrance of this event, the subdivision where they were found named a street Mammoth Circle.
Wellington maintained a population around 500 throughout the 20th century and grew to about 1,000 until the early 2000s. Today, Wellington is home to a population of nearly 8,300 residents.
Fun Facts & Image Source: www.townofwellington.com