Sales of new homes have jumped to their highest levels in 14 years.
The annualized rate of single-family new construction homes is now at 901,000 according to the new Census Bureau report.
This means that across the U.S., at the current pace of sales, there will be almost 1,000,000 new homes built and sold over the next 12 months.
This pace is 36% higher than one year ago and the highest it has been since the end of 2006.
Given the low inventory levels of previously-owned homes that most of the Country is experiencing, this uptick in new home activity is welcome news.
This week we hosted our clients and friends for a special online event with our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.
Matthew talked about a variety of topics that are on people’s mind right now including home values.
Matthew sees no evidence that home values will crash and actually sees signs that they may rise this year nationally.
Here’s why he says this:
- Mortgage rates will remain under 3.5% for the rest of the year so there won’t be any interest-rate pressure on prices
- Inventory, which was already at record-lows, will drop even further keeping the supply levels far below normal
- New home construction will continue to be under-supplied and will be nothing like the over-supplied glut of inventory that we saw in 2008
- The vast majority of employees being laid off and furloughed are renters
- Homeowners have a tremendous amount of equity in their homes right now compared to 2008 which will prevent an influx of short sales and foreclosures
If you would like to receive a recording of the webinar we would be happy to send it to you. Feel free to reach out and ask for the link.
We are often asked, “Which is the better buy, a newer or older home?” Our answer: It all depends on your needs and personal preferences. We decided to put together a list of the six biggest differences between newer and older homes:
Surprisingly, one of the biggest factors in choosing a new home isn’t the property itself, but rather the surrounding neighborhood. While new homes occasionally spring up in established communities, most are built in new developments. The settings are quite different, each with their own unique benefits.
Older neighborhoods often feature tree-lined streets; larger property lots; a wide array of architectural styles; easy walking access to mass transportation, restaurants and local shops; and more established relationships among neighbors.
New developments are better known for wider streets and quiet cul-de-sacs; controlled development; fewer above ground utilities; more parks; and often newer public facilities (schools, libraries, pools, etc.). There are typically more children in newer communities, as well.
Consider your daily work commute, too. While not always true, older neighborhoods tend to be closer to major employment centers, mass transportation and multiple car routes (neighborhood arterials, highways and freeways).
Design and layout
If you like Victorian, Craftsman or Cape Cod style homes, it used to be that you would have to buy an older home from the appropriate era. But with new-home builders now offering modern takes on those classic designs, that’s no longer the case. There are even modern log homes available.
Have you given much thought to your floor plans? If you have your heart set on a family room, an entertainment kitchen, a home office and walk-in closets, you’ll likely want to buy a newer home—or plan to do some heavy remodeling of an older home. Unless they’ve already been remodeled, most older homes feature more basic layouts.
If you have a specific home-décor style in mind, you’ll want to take that into consideration, as well. Professional designers say it’s best if the style and era of your furnishings match the style and era of your house. But if you are willing to adapt, then the options are wide open.
Materials and craftsmanship
Homes built before material and labor costs spiked in the late 1950s have a reputation for higher-grade lumber and old-world craftsmanship (hardwood floors, old-growth timber supports, ornate siding, artistic molding, etc.).
However, newer homes have the benefit of modern materials and more advanced building codes (copper or polyurethane plumbing, better insulation, double-pane windows, modern electrical wiring, earthquake/ windstorm supports, etc.).
The condition of a home for sale is always a top consideration for any buyer. However, age is a factor here, as well. For example, if the exterior of a newer home needs repainting, it’s a relatively easy task to determine the cost. But if it’s a home built before the 1970s, you have to also consider the fact that the underlying paint is most likely lead based, and that the wood siding may have rot or other structural issues that need to be addressed before it can be recoated.
On the flip side, the mechanicals in older homes (lights, heating systems, sump pump, etc.) tend to be better built and last longer.
One of the great things about older homes is that they usually come with mature tress and bushes already in place. Buyers of new homes may have to wait years for ornamental trees, fruit trees, roses, ferns, cacti and other long-term vegetation to fill in a yard, create shade, provide privacy, and develop into an inviting outdoor space. However, maybe you’re one of the many homeowners who prefer the wide-open, low-maintenance benefits of a lightly planted yard.
Like it or not, most of us are extremely dependent on our cars for daily transportation. And here again, you’ll find a big difference between newer and older homes. Newer homes almost always feature ample off-street parking: usually a two-care garage and a wide driveway. An older home, depending on just how old it is, may not offer a garage—and if it does, there’s often only enough space for one car. For people who don’t feel comfortable leaving their car on the street, this alone can be a determining factor.
Finalizing your decision
While the differences between older and newer homes are striking, there’s certainly no right or wrong answer. It is a matter of personal taste, and what is available in your desired area. To quickly determine which direction your taste trends, use the information above to make a list of your most desired features, then categorize those according to the type of house in which they’re most likely to be found. The results can often be telling.
If you have questions about newer versus older homes, or are looking for an agent in your area we have professionals that can help you. Contact us here.
A high-level look at the Northern Colorado region shows that the number of residential sales is down 5.4% in Larimer County and up 4.7% in Weld County. This is simply comparing the number of closings from June 2018 to June 2019 versus June 2017 to June 2018.
The high-level look doesn’t tell the whole story. It get’s more interesting when we look at individual Northern Colorado cities and towns:
• Fort Collins = -8.8%
• Loveland = -5.7%
• Greeley = +11.7%
• Windsor = +16%
• Wellington = -16.9%
• Timnath = +44.1%
• Severance = +20.4%
• Johnstown = -18.7%
• Berthoud = +18.1%
• Evans = -14.7%
So, what can we learn from this? The areas with increased sales are where there is an abundance of new construction (Timnath and Severance for example).
The areas with decreased sales don’t have an abundance of new construction (Fort Collins for example).
The exceptions to this would be Wellington and Johnstown. It appears that there is price sensitivity to the new construction product now being built in these areas. Given rising costs, builders are challenged to deliver a product under $350,000 in these places.
For instance, in Wellington, between June 2017 and June 2018 there were 137 sales of new homes priced under $350,000. Today there are only 6 new homes on the market at that price point.
With fall right around the corner many of us will be trekking up to Estes Park to see the Aspen leaves turning.
As you drive through Estes you may wonder “how’s the mountain market?”
Here are some fun facts about real estate in Estes Park.
- The average price today is $394,046 – not that different than Fort Collins.
- Average prices have gone up $60,000 in the last three years.
- Their market has about 300 sales per year- roughly a tenth of the amount in Fort Collins.
- If you were looking for a home in Estes between $300,000 and $500,000, you would have 15 to choose from.
Now you know about the Mountain Market!
After a very active (to say the least) spring and summer, the door has now opened for buyers in our market.
Buyers who were frustrated during the first half of the year with low inventory and bidding wars now realize a better environment. It’s time to step off the sidelines and take a fresh look at what the market has to offer.
The first piece of good news is that rates have dropped to near all-time lows. Rates today are 0.6% lower than they were on January 1st. What this means on a $400,000 home with a conventional loan is a monthly savings of $110!
The second piece of good news is that inventory levels are coming up. There are more homes on the market to pick from and lower demand because of seasonal slowing. Months of inventory in Larimer County markets have bounced up 20% to 33%.
August marks the end of the busy real estate selling season and the beginning of the traditional seasonal slowdown in our market.
The four months of April, May, June and July tend to produce 45% of the year's total sales. This is based on looking back at 5 years of data.
If 2016 holds true to form, the next five months from now until the end of the year will be progressively slower.
No surprise that December tends to be the slowest month with a third of the number of sales compared to a typical July.
Here's what we will be watching closely over the next few months – is this year's seasonal slowdown "normal", or, because the market has been so hot this year, is it breaking traditional trends.
We will be sure to keep you informed!
Our market is under-supplied. Plain and simple. There is a 1 to 2-month supply of homes across Northern Colorado. A balanced market would have 6 months.
Builders are faced with high land costs, high materials cost, high labor costs, high permitting costs and high water costs. It’s pretty much impossible, in most parts of our market, to deliver a new home under $400,000.
So, condominiums to the rescue right? Not so fast. Because of onerous construction defect laws, developers do not want to build multi-family, for sale product. It’s too risky. They’d rather build apartments.
Our market is under-supplied. Plain and simple.
This is really good news if you are a seller who wants to move up. This is especially good news if you are a seller of a condominium.
Contact us to find out what our under-supplied market has done to the value of your home. We’ll put together an Equity Snapshot which will show you, in detail, what your home is worth in today’s market. It’s valuable information to have whether you are thinking of selling or not. Just call 970-460-3033 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.