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I had an interesting chat with one of our Agents recently. She mentioned that many of our sellers in the upper-tier price point are seeing the current strength of the Dow as a sign that their home will probably fetch more in the early part of next year. Academically speaking, there is a belief that there is a direct correlation between the housing market and the stock market. But from an analytical standpoint, although the stock market and the housing market correlate well, there is a variable time lag. The time lag between housing underperformance and stock market performance can vary widely. The average is 18 months.
What we're seeing, in some instances, is that some of the upper-tier clients are saying no to potential deals as they think if they wait another four to six months (thanks to the stock market's recent gains) they may get more for their home. And while I understand the reasoning, I would caution sellers on this strategy. First, what we know is that in a "normal" market (of which this market is anything but), the average lag time between the two is 18 months (not four to six months). It's also important to point out that we probably aren't out of the woods as it relates to the volatility in the stock market. Many analysts are suggesting that our recovery will be "W" shaped rather than "V" so we may be looking at more changes ahead.
So while I understand the logic, I would caution sellers on this strategy and would ask them to focus less on the stock market and more on the level of supply and demand in their market and in their neighborhoods. In most markets, the upper-tier price point remains relatively soft so sellers should consider most deals that are presented to them. That's not to say buyers should be throwing out unrealistic offers. The real story here is that across the board we're starting to see increases in interest and buyer activity so sellers may want to consider taking advantage of that interest...before it's too late.
For those who are focused on the stock market, my best advice to you is to look at it more as an indicator for the economy as a whole. With the DOW closing Thursday at just over 9,300, it may not be making housing prices go up, but it may mean that the recession is subsiding which is good news for us all.
Now let's take a look at this week in real estate:
Boulder/Longmont-The Boulder office reported small but steady increases in all the Boulder county market numbers last week. Listings were up by 12%, under contracts up by 17% (not bad) and showings up by 15%. Two good things to note here, although showings are up, under contracts are up by a higher number. Agents are also seeing no "end of summer" drop off of buyers yet. It's very unusual to see showings increasing as we approach September. The Longmont office reports showing activity continues to increase. The large increase in showing activity did translate into deals being written. Twice as many offers were accepted this week over last week. Listings also took a big rise. We are seeing some good listings going on the market that are not short sales or foreclosures. The upper end market still needs help. The $8000 credit for 1st time buyers needs to have a matching program for the upper end market to get it moving too. Loan issues continue to bring problems. We need at least 30 days to make it happen - 45 days to close is much more realistic for all.
Evergreen/Conifer-Evergreen reported we had a total of two new listings for the week. Three listings went under contract including one builder spec. One local buyer, one from Denver and one Texas. Three buyers went under contract, two local one one from Oregon. Three were a total of 81 showings during the week. The week was close to normal level for peak season. The majority of activity in three different price points - $200,000 to $250,000 for 1st time buyers and investors. The $300,000 to $500,000 is strong and recent strong activity in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 range. Conifer reports we had two new listings during the week. One listing went under contract - short sale pending bank approval. Showing activity increased to thirty-three during the week although that's still below normal levels for this time of year.
Denver Central - We are seeing an increase in higher priced homes going on the market and receiving offers which is a positive sign. The Denver real estate market continues to get positive national and local press each week. We're encouraged and excited about the future of real estate in Denver. We've seen an increase in showings the first two weeks of August and it's tracking better than July for showings. Our August 2009 numbers are outpacing those of last year. More buyers are taking advantage of the $8000 tax credit with the deadline fast approaching. We're seeing appreciation of home prices in several neighborhoods. The lower-end market has certainly shifted to s sellers market with properties moving quickly. Those that are priced aggressively are seeing multiple offer situations. We're also seeing an increase in cash offers on homes in the area. Many in the lower end go under contract within days of being placed on the market. The high-end market continues to be sluggish.
Devonshire- We seem to be in the August "hurry and take a family vacation" or "get ready for school" days. Showing activity is steady but both sellers and buyers are distracted with other activities. We are encouraging reevaluation of home prices, making price adjustments as necessary & freshening up both the interior & exterior of homes. September is always a good month for us at Devonshire as our clients are ready to move forward with purchases so they can be settled before the holidays. Mortgage rates are still attractive and consumer confidence seems to be sending somewhat of a positive message. We are feeling very positive about the remainder of 2009 and look forward to 2010.
DouglasCounty-Our Southwest Metro office reports we had a great week of showings. Open houses were very good this past week and we're seeing a steady increase of sellers ready to list their homes. Buyers, especially first time ones are looking to buy but the inventory is very low in the $250,000 range. There has been steady activity in homes priced below $350,000. We're experiencing a slight increase in the $350,000 to $450,000 range. We feel as an office that the public is ready to move forward to either purchase or sell a home. The Agents are getting the message to their clients/sphere that the $8000 tax credit needs to be used before December 1, 2009. The news on local TV channels has been positive and this has been a good tool to use on sellers & buyers.
El PasoCounty-Colorado Springs reports although sales activity has slowed down slightly, we still see a lot of activity on our listings which is also reflected by the strong increase in showings. There is some uncertainty about some military personal relocating from Texas to Ft. Carson. This relocation has been approved but now delayed after intervention from politicians in Texas.
LarimerCounty-The Fort Collins/Loveland offices reported the end of summer lull is here and families are getting the kids ready for school and the college students are rolling in from a nice summer break. Showings were down dramatically last week and this is to be expected based on the time of year. The good news is that there are still plenty of great homes to choose from and well priced homes are moving. Ft. Collins currently has over 1500 single family homes and Loveland offers 1000 plus homes. Come out and see the inventory. You won't be disappointed. It's hard to believe but we only have about 3 1/2 months left to take advantage of the $8000 tax credit. It is unclear whether or not this program will be extended so take advantage of it while you can!
North Metro-The North Metro office is humming with activity. We just received a letter from Bruce Zipf, President & CEO of NRT, that our office is in the Top 20% of offices for the 2nd quarter of this year. The Agents deserve this recognition as their activity continues to be very high. In the past month we've seen the price of our new listings increase from $275,000 to a current average of $325,000. Showings are picking up on homes priced over $250,000. We've put several homes under contract in the $400,000 to $650,000 range which is a recent change in our market.
Parker-Our listing inventory stays steady and although the showing activity has dropped slightly over the last week, sales activity has gone up consistently over the last few months. Our closed transactions were up over 50% last month year over year and we are up 15% year to date compared to last year. Douglas County was just rated #5 in the country for job growth and the towns of Parker and Castle Rock are #3 & #4 in most desirable places to live!
Southeast Metro-The SE Metro office is experiencing a slight decrease in showing activity which can be attributed to the start of the school year for the surrounding districts. Our average days on market for listings is steady at 79 days and we are averaging 25 showings before a property goes under contract. Inventory continues to drop and there continues to be a shortage of desirable properties below $250,000. Luxury properties are seeing additional traffic as 10% of our Previews properties are currently under contract.
West Lakewood-The West office is seeing more sales in the over $300,000 price range. Low appraisals are becoming less of a problem. If a buyer wants to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit, they should act now! Do not wait! There is a shortage of inventory in these price ranges.
This week I'll leave you with a few good articles of note:
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.