Thursday, February 26, 2009

It May Be Time to Get Off the Fence!

Now that we’ve passed the months of talk regarding the Economic Stimulus Package and the Foreclosure Prevention Plan, we can finally move on. I for one am relieved.

It’s time to get back into a position where we feel secure, where we feel confident and where we can once again make strong decisions regarding our future…and that includes decisions we make about real estate.

Right now what I am finding is that many buyers are on the proverbial fence. They’ve been waiting to see what was going to happen to interest rates. They were waiting to see what the results of the Economic Stimulus Package would be. And so they sit.

Now I realize that every individual situation is different so please don’t take this as a broad based brush that I am painting with, but what I can say is that buyers may truly be in one of the best positions than they have been in some 50 years to purchase a home. Consider the benefits to today’s homebuyer:

  • New $8,000 first time home buyer credit (and in most cases, the buyer does not have to repay the tax credit).

  • Reinstatement of FHA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan limits. These limits were equal to the greater of 125% of the 2008 local area median home price or $271,050 for FHA and $417,000 for Fannie and Freddie, with an overall maximum cap of $729,750.

  • Historically low interest rates. In my February Reality Check message I shared with you how changes in mortgage rates can affect a consumer’s purchasing power. The fact is, right now interest rates are low—certainly by historical standards—and those low rates translate to increased purchasing power for buyers.

  • Though we’ve seen decreasing inventory in many of our markets over the last several weeks, we still do have quite a bit of inventory in many markets. This translates to more choices for buyers. We are also anticipating that Spring will bring on a lot of good, new inventory for us and that should bring in a surge of new buyers—for today’s buyer’s, that’s competition for you.

My point in all of this is that you may not want to make the mistake of waiting. Sitting on the sidelines could cost you plenty in terms of higher housing prices, increased competition, fewer choices and higher interest rates. We live in one of the most desirable areas in the world and regardless of the recent slowing in the market, there is still plenty of pent-up demand. Even the most pessimistic analysts aren’t predicting a decline in home prices, simply a slowing of appreciation rates.

And with that good information in tow, let’s take a look at this week in real estate:

  • Boulder—Our Boulder office reports that both showings and listings are up dramatically with new listings up 133% week over week. Sales are holding steady but Agents are reporting that several listings that have languished on the market for months are now selling or getting increased showing activity. Our Longmont office reports that it had some great news this week including a big headline in the local paper that read, “Fewer Homes for Sale in Longmont.” The number of homes for sale decreased by more than half in the past two years. This is good news and hopefully a trend in the right direction. We are experiencing quicker turnaround time from banks on short sales, some are servicing cash deals in a separate department. We expect this to keep those cash buyers intact and get the deals done as quickly as possible.

  • Conifer—The Conifer office reported decreasing inventory with increased showing activity. If this becomes a trend, it could be a good sign of stabilizing prices. We had just one new listing this week and one go under contract. There were 47 showings for the week.

  • Evergreen—The Evergreen office reported that we had steady listing inventory and sales activity for the week though showing activity was on the rise. We had a total of five new listings for the week and one buyer that went under contract. There were 74 showings for the week plus eight Agent previews.

  • Denver Central—Our Denver Central office reports that energy is still good though contracts have slowed a little. We are starting to see increased interest in our high-end properties including both buyers and sellers. This is a good indication that buyer confidence is coming back. Short sales are still prevalent and banks are still open to negotiation and are responding quickly.

  • Devonshire—Our Devonshire office reported that showings were down somewhat this week. We had a big surge in price reductions and offers on properties. We still have pent up demand for buyers looking in specific areas. One of these is the south area with Cherry Creek schools. We have had lots of listing appointments and sellers are moving back into the mindset that it is indeed time to put their homes on the market. We see positive things happening as we move into Spring.

  • Douglas County—The Southwest Metro office shares that this past weekend was the best since early Fall of 2008. Our buyers are buying and homes listed in the $250,000 range are going quickly. Our mortgage rep has nine deals closing this week. We had several double enders from open houses and from call nights we are seeing an increase in listings for next month.

  • El Paso County—Our Colorado Springs office reporting decreasing listing inventory and sales activity though showing activity was steady. This market is seeing a bit of a change with many sellers in a wait and see mode. The economic articles locally are showing growth in the area. The military returning shows only about 10% are potential buyers with most of that 10% going into rentals instead.

  • Elbert County—Our Parker office reports that it seems as if buyers are trying to figure out the effect of the stimulus plan. Although showings have increased, the amount of offers has gone down slightly since last week. Also, there are a number of buyers that are still waiting for lien holder approval on short sale offers. The inventory continues to decrease slowly, however it is too early to call it a trend since many of the listings going off the market did not sell.

  • Larimer County—Our Fort Collins office is seeing increases across the board. With the recent passage of the Economic Stimulus Package that includes an $8,000 tax credit to first time home buyer, is already showing its signs of a positive trend upwards. Enterprise Car Rental also announced the relocation of its regional claims center to Fort Collins. This will provide upwards of 100 local jobs to the area. While the environment remains challenging, Fort Collins and Northern Colorado remain top contenders for emerging from this economic downturn earlier than other parts of the country.

  • Loveland—The Loveland office reports a tremendous turnout to the Loveland Luxury Home Tour last weekend which shows that clearly many people are interested in seeing what is on the market in the upper-end. We had 11 homes hosted open with over 300 people on tour. The properties on the tour were lakefront and foothills homes priced from $600,000 to $1 million+. Activity remains on an upward trend and thanks to the terrific weather, we are seeing more and more showings being scheduled during the week.

  • North Metro—Our North Metro office is seeing many homes in the upper price range facing short sale or foreclosure. It will take some time to work through this. Buyers are able to purchase some very special homes at very special prices in our area. Showings are increasing steadily and contracts are beginning to be approved by the banks. If you are considering buying your dream home, now may be the time.

  • Southeast Metro—Wow! We crossed the 500 mark for showings last week and scheduled 560 showings. This activity is unheard of in February. I’m told that traffic through open houses is unbelievable. We are on track to close over 100 transactions this month.

The lesson I’d like to leave you with this week is that waiting for the real estate market to hit rock bottom may be a mistake. The only way to know that the market has “hit rock bottom” is when it is on its way up and by then, the window of opportunity is gone.

The current housing market offers a unique window of opportunity for confident buyers. The exciting news is that for the first time in quite a while, the stars are in alignment for consumers: mortgage rates remain low (certainly by historical standards), loan limits have been raised, there is an $8,000 first time home buyer credit and there is a large selection of homes to choose from. Now truly may be the time to buy and you may not want to make the mistake of waiting; because my guess is that if we were able to jump ahead 10 years from now, we’ll be looking at this market as a thing of the past—a time when we all probably should have been buying a lot more real estate.

Until next week,
Have a great one,

Chris Mygatt
President and Chief Operating Officer
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Colorado

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Legislative Action…May We Finally Restore Consumer Confidence

It was a week full of stories and reports, both from the cynics and proponents of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The $780 billion package was signed into law on February 17 and truly is the largest, most unprecedented recovery act in history.

The provisions of the bill were changing even up until hours before the House and Senate voted on the bill, but the final provisions were recently posted to NAR’s website. Click here to access the details and learn more about the housing elements that were included:

Also announced this week was Obama’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention plan. The multipronged plan calls for modifying loans for borrowers both at risk or already in default and for allowing those with little or no home equity to refinance into more affordable loans through interest-rate reductions.

Click here to read the details of the prevention plan:

Obama’s administration said Wednesday that this prevention plan will help up to nine million people avoid foreclosure, by providing government funds to provide incentives to borrowers, loan servicers and mortgage investors to modify loans to affordable monthly payments.

I know many are wondering if this new program will help them. Official guidelines of the plan won’t be unveiled until March 4, at which time we will focus our March Reality Check on the details of the plan and how consumers may take advantage of it. In the meantime, I did find this article on which may help in educating yourself:

I realize this is a highly debatable topic right now but what is not debatable is the fact that in order to fix this housing crisis, we must stop foreclosures. Real estate is 20% of the gross domestic product in this country. The only way to fix 1/5 of this country’s GDP is to stop falling home prices and the only way we will do this is to stop people from loosing their homes. This prevention program should help millions of people stay in their home and will hopefully get our country back on track.

The fact is, when consumers feel safe in their homes, feel safe in making their payments and once again feel confident that they will continue to have a roof over their heads, they will begin to put their money back in the economy. They’ll begin to make home improvements. They’ll begin to feel more confident in their future and that consumer confidence will begin to trickle into all areas of our economy. From home improvements to car purchases to vacations—and the jobs and associated spending that these create. What we know is, when consumers feel confident, they spend.

Now I realize for many that statement conjures up far too many negative emotions from the recent past—people who are living beyond their means simply because they think their house is going to appreciate. Fortunately this plan and that of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provide stipulations that we hope will stop history from repeating itself. Couple that with the fact that lenders have become far more conservative in their lending practices, we should finally be on a level playing field that will safeguard against such an issue.

Now, let’s take a look at this week in real estate:

  • Boulder—Our Boulder office is reporting very little change from the last week. The increased rate of showings is holding steady and Agents are reporting buyer activity but not big up tick in contracts. My sense is that we’ve been in a holding pattern until these two legislative initiatives were passed and now that we finally have the action, we should begin to see buyers enter back into the marketplace and those contracts begin to close. Our Longmont office reports that showing activity was up significantly this week. Open houses are seeing more activity. The investor buyer is still looking for the great deals. The rental market is particularly strong. We are seeing a decline in available inventory. Longmont seems to be the most reasonable place in Boulder County to buy/live. First time buyers are becoming more active which will eventually trickle into all price ranges.
  • Clear Creek County—Our Evergreen office is reporting that we had a total of six new listings for the week. On the flip side, only one buyer went under contract on a short sale property. We had 69 showings for the week plus six Agent previews. Our open house activity was down from the previous weekend (due to the holiday). However, new listings in Sloans Lake brought 15 potential buyers through on Sunday.
  • Denver Central—Denver Central is reporting that short sales are picking up and banks are responding faster with offer approvals than they did this time last year. An interest fact is that 10% of our sales are multiple offers—most of which are related to bank owned properties. We are seeing an increase in the average sales price. Energy is still good and our Agents are increasingly busy which is a positive sign.
  • Devonshire—Our Devonshire office reports steady figures across the board: listing inventory, sales activity and showing activity. We had three multiple offer situations this week—two of which we won. Our inventory is going down in the central Denver area and prices seem to be stabilizing.
  • Douglas County—Our Southwest Metro office is reporting that showings were down for the three day President’s weekend. That said, Agents did hold open houses and had on average 8-12 groups of people come through. First time home buyers have been awaiting the stimulus package to come through and now that it has, we should begin to see fence sitting buyers come back into the marketplace.
  • El Paso County—Our Colorado Springs office notes that Lockhead Martin and Northrop/Gruman both increased Southern California transfers to Colorado Spring. Fore Credit in Phoenix closes the end of February and had 100 transfers that are now coming into Colorado Springs. Builder activity has picked up on the five acre spec home business. Homes in the $300,000 plus range have showed significant increase in buyer showings.
  • Elbert County—Our Parker office reports that although the number of new listings is still higher than the number of listings going off the market under contracts, the total inventory is coming down consistently because many of the listings that shouldn’t be on the market are being withdrawn or expire. As a result, we see a higher percentage of listings actually selling. Prices are slowly becoming stable in the Parker area while property values are still decreasing in the outer areas.
  • Jefferson County—Our Conifer office reports one new listing this week. Two listings went under contract. One REO property had multiple offers and went under contract above the list price. Two additional offers on REO listings that we received are currently waiting for bank approval. Showing activity continues strong with 39 showings during the week.
  • Larimer County—Our Fort Collins office reports that all indicators show increases across the board this week. Our showing activity was at 189 showings and reports from the field are that buyers are out looking at property—lots of it. Buyers are requesting to see virtually all inventory in a given price range. I spoke with one Agent who showed over 20 properties in one day to a single buyer. With the recent passage of the Economic Stimulus Package that includes an $8,000 tax credit to first time home buyers, it should be a terrific incentive for those who may have been waiting. Permits for new construction remains at an all time low. Builders remain aggressive to sell inventory. With limited new construction inventory available, very small up tick in demand to see competitive pricing structures disappear especially in new highly desirable areas, like Timnath Ranch.
  • North Metro—The North Metro office is seeing a rapid increase in showing activity. Last week several properties went under contract all at once as banks made decisions on offers. Our listings have slowed down slightly, but certainly not enough to be a trend. We look forward to having more showing activity and closing contracts in the coming weeks.
  • Southeast Metro—Our Southeast Metro office reports that in addition to the several multiple offers on bank inventory, the office had an additional six multiple offer situations. Brokers are very busy with first time home buyers and inventory in the $200,000 to $250,000 price range is moving quickly. We are gearing up to have a great Spring.

Of course time will only tell if all of this legislative action will work and we’ll only know if it does when we are able to reflect on it a year, two or even three down the road. But the fact is we’ve been in a holding pattern for far too long. And our economy, country and people have struggled and lost far too much because of it. The recent passage of these two very important housing initiatives—which include (among other things) the $8,000 first time home buyer credit and the increase in conforming loan limits—should finally put us on the road to recovery.

Until next week,
Have a great one,

Chris Mygatt
President and Chief Operating Officer
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Colorado

Friday, February 13, 2009

It Passed! Now What?

A compromise on the Economic Stimulus Package has been reached. The new price tag: $787 billion. That’s below both the $820 billion House-passed version and the $838 billion Senate-passed version.

Just like with anything in life, the final package is all about compromise. Real estate advocates from NAR and Realogy President Richard Smith lobbied well on our behalf but in the end only a portion of the requests we had of lawmakers were made part of the final Economic Stimulus Package.

I am encouraged that lawmakers have now reached an agreement and we can finally move forward with some direct action.

The goal of the highly controversial Economic Stimulus Package is to create or save some 3.5 million jobs while helping to rebuild our nation’s economy which has been in a recession since December 2007. Although, at writing of this piece, the details of the legislation had not been finalized we do anticipate a number of important housing provisions, including (as reported by NAR):

  • Homebuyer Tax Credit – a $8000 tax credit that will be available for qualified purchase of a principal residence by a first time homebuyer between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009. The credit does not require repayment. Individuals who purchase in 2009 using financing assistance from state and local mortgage bonds will be permitted to use the credit, as well. Click here for a chart with details on the first-time home buyer tax credit:
  • FHA, Fannie and Freddie Loan Limits – Revised loan limits for FHA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae. Specifics have not been released but reports indicate that the 2008 limits have been reinstated for 2009 except in those communities where the 2009 limits are higher. Additional increases in individual communities may also be available at the discretion of the HUD Secretary.
  • Foreclosure Mitigation & Neighborhood Stabilization – Funding for states and local communities to be used for neighborhood stabilization activities for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes are authorized.

In addition to these new elements, NAR continues to work with the Department of Treasury to implement a mortgage buy-down program. The details on that will surface over the next several weeks.

To view all of the housing provisions, click here:

So what’s next? President Obama is pushing to get quick approval of the emergency package so he can sign it into law before the end of this three-day holiday weekend.

Once it is signed into action, Washington is eager to get the funds into the local state governments and ultimately the local economies so they begin to directly affect Main Street. Consider reading this article from CNN with more details on the package itself:

There’s no question, it will take several weeks—if not months—before we begin to see some patterns or trends and for this package to have a full impact on our economy. But I am gratified that the government recognized the importance of passing the Economic Stimulus Package. The health of the nation’s housing market is critical to the financial well being of every household in the country and that, of course, is front and center right here at home. I believe the legislation will help to stabilize the housing market, at a time when our country needs it most.

With this news in tow, let’s take a look at this week in real estate:

  • Boulder County—New listings in the Boulder market are up 25% week over week, with sales up slightly. The best news is that showings are up sharply, with nearly twice as many showings in December. The higher rate of showings is holding steady for the first week of February. Several Agents who have had listings languishing for several months report that they are now going under contract. Most of this activity is in the lower 1/3 of our price range.
  • Colorado Springs—The high-end market is slow due to jumbo loan requirements—though now that the Economic Stimulus Package has passed that may change. Sales of properties under $150,000 are up compared to a year ago. Foreclosures among military is a real concern as 1/3 of returning military are home owners. Vacancy on rentals is now at 10%. Listings are down about 9% over last year.
  • Conifer—We had four new listings during the week, while our sales activity was on the decline. We had no new contracts this past week. We’re still awaiting short sale approval on one contract. Showing activity continues strong with 37 showings during the week. The buyers are out there. They are just sitting and waiting.
  • Denver Central—We are following much of the same trend—great activity in showings and listings. We feel confident that contracts will follow. We are seeing increase movement in higher-end homes and buyers showing us that consumer confidence is growing.
    Devonshire—This has been an interesting week for Devonshire as the number of new listings is down and showing activity is up. With this scenario we should see prices holding steady. As more of our current inventory is sold, our market will begin the upsurge that we are all looking forward to. The spring season should bring good buyer activity and sellers that have been in the wings putting their homes on the market.
  • Evergreen—Our Evergreen office reports a total of eight new listings for the week while three of our listings went under contract and three buyers went into contract. We had 50 showings for the week. A new listing in Sloans Lake had 12 showings in the first week plus 30 potential buyers through on Sunday.
  • Larimer County—Our Loveland office is reporting good news. Showings are up and we’ve seen an increase in homes going under contract and an increase in open house activity. This continues to play out the forecast that there is pent-up demand in the market as more consumers realize now may be a great time to buy. Existing inventory will continue to decrease until we get closer to April.
  • North Metro—The North Metro office continues to take significant numbers of listings in all price ranges. We are still patiently waiting for bank approvals on REO and short sale properties. However, many buyers are beginning to realize their increased purchasing power with lower interest rates and our Agents are showing a lot of property to qualified buyers. (As an aside, this reminds me, did you read this month’s Reality Check message? It is completely focused on how changes in interest rates may affect a buyer’s purchasing power and it would be a positive tool to share with your clients.) Sellers are showing great interest in pricing their homes to sell which is a welcome trend for our market.
  • Parker—Parker and Central Douglas County still show an increase in activity. Showings are up substantially and we are getting more new listings in as well. We had a number of multiple offers on Power Priced Listings which are not limited to bank-owned or short sale properties. The outer areas of Douglas and Elbert counties are still slower, especially above $400,000. We do not expect those markets to show any major signs of improvement in the immediate future.
  • Southeast Metro—Showings for our Southeast Metro at DTC office have been steadily increasing as we are close to 500 showings a week. Finally buyers are coming off the fence. The best example of this is a multiple offer situation on a listing that went on the market last July. Several showings and multiple offers later, this property is now under contract well above the list price. With over 100 properties scheduled to close already this month, the office is predicting a strong 2009.
  • Southwest Metro—Agents are starting to get excited about the year. Floor calls are on the rise. Agents are getting calls from their sphere regarding the market and whether or not now is a good time to buy. It seems like some buyers are finally getting off the fence.

What I’d like to leave you with this week is this: it’s time to get in a position of optimism. We are in a great position for a turnaround. But we also must understand that this isn’t going to be an easy road. The road we took to get here wasn’t easy and the road ahead may be a challenge. But the up side is that we are on the road to recovery. Our market has been in neutral for some time and now it is time to put it in drive. The Economic Stimulus Package. The release of the second half of the TARP funds. These are all things that can and should help. Now it is up to our economy to do the rest.

Let’s watch as the details unfold over the next few weeks and we’ll wait to see whether the $787 billion in aid is our nation’s answer to prosperity. All we can do is hope and remain optimistic.

Until next week,

Chris Mygatt
President and Chief Operating Officer
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Colorado

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Economic Stimulus Package Could Bring Big Benefits For Real Estate Sector

If you tuned into CNN, Fox News or any of the other major news media outlets this week, you likely watched the drama unfold regarding the new Economic Stimulus Package which is currently making its way through the Senate. This controversial package has many speculating as to its legitimacy but is being driven by President Obama in an effort to jump-start our ailing economy.

To learn more about the status of the Economic Stimulus Package, click here:

As of now, the Economic Stimulus bill is winding its way through the U.S. government, pushed by Demographic leaders who want to present President Obama with legislation he can sign by-mid February.

From a real estate perspective one of the biggest potential benefits of this Economic Stimulus Plan is special Amendment #353 to the Plan, a provision for the Federal Government to buy-down mortgage rates to 4.5% or less for a 30-year fixed rate loan for the purchase of a primary resident. Without question, a 4.5% or lower, 30-year fixed rate mortgage would help stimulate housing sales and would also open the door to hundreds of thousands of new potential buyers by greatly improving housing affordability.

While the Economic Stimulus Package makes its way through Washington, real estate sales continue to show new signs of life. Just this week, NAR released its pending home sales report noting that pending home sales rose 6.3 percent nationally to 87.7 from an upwardly revised reading of 82.5 in November and is 2.1 percent higher than December 2007 when it was 85.9.

Also noteworthy this week was an article I came across on ( which points out that housing markets across the country may be nearing bottom and we should begin to see signs of new life by the 4th quarter of this year. Among the highlights of the article:

  • "More than three years since the market began correcting, inventories are flattening, prices are coming back down to earth, and sales are approaching stability," the report said.

  • “The outlook, however, assumes stronger action by U.S. policymakers and says that even with further government intervention, the recession will keep the housing market from fully recovering until the end of this year.”

  • “With this help, sales are probably at bottom, stabilized by foreclosure sales, while construction will hit bottom in the first half of this year, although the pace of housing starts will remain very depressed until 2011.”

The coming week will likely be an interesting one in Washington, D.C. as lawmakers make the final decisions on the Economic Stimulus Package. It will be exciting to see the details unfold and the plan take shape as lawmakers work to quickly restore our ailing economy.

Locally, we’re seeing some interesting trends. As we continue to work through our bank owned properties, it is a welcome sight to finally see banks responding to short sale offers. Couple that with the fact that with interest rates so low, buyers—especially first time home buyers and some investors—are finally beginning to feel the need to come off the fence and take action. The hardest hit markets are new construction and the upper end. Both are nearly at a stand still though as prices begin to stabilize and we finally weed through the bank owned properties (later this year), we should begin to see a domino effect that ultimately benefits all price ranges.

Now let’s take a look at this week in real estate:

  • Boulder County—The Boulder office reports that listing inventory, sales activity and showing activity are all steady, though activity in the below $500,000 range has been much more active than the higher price ranges. Well-priced foreclosures are commonly drawing multiple offers and we’ve seen a notable uptick in first time home buyer interest.

  • Colorado Springs—The Colorado Springs office is reporting an interesting trend noting that military are returning at a steady pace. The Space Command Center at Schriever Air Force Base continues to expand bringing more transfers from California. Since the closing of John Lang Homes, new development in the area is now very quiet.

  • Conifer—The Conifer office reports increases across the board including listing inventory, sales activity and showing activity. This week we listed a new subdivision in Conifer with six lots priced at $250,000 each. We saw some good sales activity including four offers on our listings, three are short sales and we are awaiting bank approval. We also submitted two offers on behalf of buyers and are awaiting responses from the sellers. Showing activity continues to be strong with 29 showings and four Agent previews during the week.

  • Denver Central—The Denver market is still holding steady. We are seeing 5-7% of our deals going into multiple offers, thanks in large part to REOs and short sales. With interest rates at all time lows, many buyers are making their move. Listings are up but we are still seeing more buyers. Last week we had one non bank owned property that had three multiple offers. The lesson: when priced right, they sell.

  • Devonshire—The market is positive right now. There is good energy with lots of showings. Buyers are beginning to realize that with interest rates at such great levels and inventory decreasing, it’s time to get out and find a home. Open houses are busy. In this market it is especially beneficial for sellers to work with full-time, knowledgeable professionals who are on top of trends and current market conditions.

  • Evergreen—Our Evergreen office reports a good, solid week with four new listings. We also had two of our listings go under contract. There were 36 showings plus seven Agent previews for the week making a total of 180 showings for the month.

  • Larimer County—Our Fort Collins/Loveland office is reporting decreasing inventory along with steady sales activity. The Loveland market remains slower but steady given the season. In Fort Collins, showings are heading upward and many home owners are taking advantage of ultra low interest rates and the opportunity to refinance. Inventory levels continue to fall as fewer listings are taken. We are anticipating a very strong Spring selling season when demand for move-in ready homes that can close quickly increase substantially. The new construction market is at a stand still. There are very few new permits being issued. This will assist in keeping inventory levels reduced and will keep a balance between supply and demand.

  • North Metro—The North Metro office is noting huge leaps in listing inventory and showing activity. Many of our Agents are currently in multiple offer situations with their buyers. The reason contracts are down this week is that we are waiting on banks. Once these break loose we should see a real spike in sales. We had over 80 properties come on the market. Showings are way up. We expect many contracts in the coming weeks. It’s an exciting time at the North Metro office!

  • Parker—The Parker office is reporting a temporary slight drop in sales activity, mainly because many of the bank owned properties have sold. Showings are still increasing. Activity is up throughout the lower and mid price range as well as on investment properties. Upper price range inventory ($600,000 and up) is still increasing about 10% per month. This effects total inventory numbers. Short sales are still on the rise and we have formed a short sale expert team to help those needing assistance in that area.

  • Southeast Metro—The office is busy with showings and Agents are reporting great activity at open houses. One Agent had more than 30 visitors at a single open house. We have taken 92 new listings this month and many of our current sellers are repositioning their properties as a result of experiencing increased activity. We are seeing multiple offers though typically on bank owned properties.

  • Southwest Metro—Our Southwest Metro office is reporting steady listing inventory and sales activity despite the fact that some buyers are weary due to big layoffs that were announced this week. But these announcements haven’t really slowed down interest level. Showing activity is up. One Agent had three successful buyers and one is closing next month. Another had three buyers who called this week saying they are finally ready.

My overall assessment of the market this week is that buyer interest is up. It seems buyers are finally realizing that with today’s low interest rates and generous amount of inventory—including a large number of bank owned properties—they may be in a very strong position and in all likelihood, can afford a lot more home than they could’ve a year ago, or even six months ago for that matter.

Next week I will release my February Reality Check which will focus on interest rates and how they may affect a buyer’s purchasing power. I trust this will be helpful in educating our clients on why now truly may be the best time to buy.

Until next week, make it a great one,

Chris Mygatt
President and Chief Operating Officer
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Colorado