The skyline in Denver, where the housing market remains more competitive than other pandemic boomtowns like Austin and Boise, Idaho. Source: Shelly Vincent, eXp Realty
Four decades ago, the Colorado capital was a city in decline, plagued with vacant buildings and a shrinking population. The Denver of 2022 is thriving - with no end in sight. As the easy money days of the pandemic inflated the bank accounts of the upwardly mobile, it morphed into a magnet for newly-mobile high-paid workers and became one of the hottest housing markets in the country.
Denver was ripe for transformation. Many tie the start of the city’s ascent to the debut of its newly constructed airport, which opened 27 years ago and is the largest in the US by size — its land area is bigger than Manhattan. Over the next couple of decades, the region’s economy diversified away from oil fields and ranching to tourism and tech, and the population boomed.
The city got another boost after 2012, when Colorado became the first US state to sanction recreational marijuana use. By July 2021, Denver had more than 700,000 residents, up about 20% from the 2010 census. The greater metro area has close to 3 million people.Realtors report numerous clients from San Francisco or New York buying Denver homes sight unseen over the past two years, agog at the square footage their dollar commanded compared with bigger cities. Denver was the 10th-hottest real estate market in the country last year as gauged by factors including bidding wars and the jump in median sales price. Aurora, a traditionally working- and middle-class suburb to the east, was ranked second, due largely to buyers priced out of Denver.Today, Denver’s economy is on fire. Unemployment has more than halved in the past year, GDP is expected to grow 73% faster in 2022 than the national figure and inflation — even more so than in the rest of the country — is on a tear. Colorado's economy, unemployment, and weather make it a draw for future homeowners from all over. Read the full article from Bloomberg here
I don't particularly appreciate the general "doom and gloom" outlook that's all over the news right now with regard to how inflation, rising interest rates, and a recession may cause the housing market to crash. The reality is that Colorado has a significant housing shortage - one that will take 10 years or more of new construction to remedy. While Buyers have more leverage now (no need to waive the inspection objection or write a full appraisal gap), Sellers are still likely to receive 1-3 offers within 30 days of being on the market. That's not a Buyer's Market. That's a Seller's Market. Frankly, I think we are all just adjusting to not having to write an insanely crazy offer within 4 hours of seeing a property (just once) to win. Seller's will have to reset their expectations, but they are still likely to go under contract on their home at or just under the list price (which is the still highest it's ever been) in plus or minus 30 days. And, while home prices haven't taken a tumble, interest rates have been holding steady between 5% and 5.5% since June. If you've just started shopping, the interest rates don't matter. You can afford what you can afford.Here are 3 questions you should ask if you're shopping for a home right now:
If the answer to all three is "YES" you should absolutely buy. Right now. Do not wait another minute.
In a recent settlement announcement, the FTC said Opendoor told customers that they could make more money selling their homes to the company than they would by selling homes traditionally. The FTC found that, in fact, most people who sold their homes to Opendoor made less money than they would have selling to regular buyers via a real-estate agent.
Opendoor, which bought 36,908 homes in 2021, is an instant buyer, or iBuyer, which buys homes directly from owners and then resells them, sometimes making small renovations to homes. The company is able to close on homes much more quickly than traditional buyers purchasing via a real-estate agent. Opendoor, which reported $28 million in net income in the first quarter of 2022, makes money by charging its own fee in the place of a traditional brokers' fee.
The FTC found that in many instances, Opendoor's fees amounted to more than what a Seller would pay if they had used a real estate agent. The standard commission on a real estate transaction in the State of Colorado is 6%, which is generally split between the Buyer's agent (2.8%) and the Listing agent (3.2%).
WHY IT MATTERS: iBuyers have been looking to displace the role of traditional real estate agents for several years. While their appeal is "fast and easy" the reality is that you may be leaving money on the table. Sometimes, when something sounds too good to be true, it is. If you're thinking about selling your home and using an iBuyer, do yourself a favor: interview the iBuyer company AND 1-3 experienced, competent real estate agents who will go to bat for you.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH: KOREAN BEEF SESAME NOODLES
I am a BIG fan of any delicious meal that can be made in 20 minutes or less. So, voila! Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest does it again. Her recipes are delicious and come together quickly. This one is perfect for a busy weeknight meal.INGREDIENTS:
FiveFour Real Estate is the one-stop shop for those who are ready to take their home or investment to the next level. Our name FiveFour derives from 5.4%: the average annual home appreciation rate in the US over the last 50 years. We know that your real estate investment is one of the largest and most important purchases of your life. With that in mind, our focus and strategy revolves around you. We hold our licenses at the brokerage Five Four Real Estate. If you buy a home and put 20% down, you are leveraging your money 5X. A 5.4% increase in your home's value means a 27% ROI.
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