Real estate market conditions have continued to improve here in the Denver area and around the country.
National real estate market conditions
Let’s start with some of the national data. In short, the national housing market is showing some real signs of strength. Take a look at these numbers from the National Association of REALTORS’ Existing Sales Report for April:
- Sales are up 10% from 2011
- Prices are up 10.1%
- 30-year interest rates are down almost a full point
- The inventory of homes for sale is down almost 21%
- Percentage of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) is down 9%
Those are some pretty amazing numbers, considering that a year ago, we were only starting to get a hint that real estate market conditions might be starting to rebound, and some were thinking it would take until 2014 to see any real improvement.
The National Association of REALTORS reports that the April 2012 improvements in the real estate market conditions were broad-based, and seen across all regions. Standard and Poor’s Rating Services, though, estimate it will take almost four years to fully clear up the “shadow inventory” of distressed homes and bring that part of the market to “normal” levels. (The shadow inventory is made up of homes that are in the foreclosure system, but are not yet on the market.)
Predictions published within the last 60 days from the Home Price Expectations Survey, the Urban Land Institute Real Estate Consensus Forecast, and the Demand Institute are all showing a slow but steady strengthening of real estate market conditions. Between now and 2014, they all show increases to about 3% annual growth in home prices.
Most telling of all, though, is this chart of the changing opinions of some highly-regarded industry analysts. All of them write often on the status of real estate market conditions. Perhaps you’ve even been following them.
Local real estate market conditions
The local (Denver-area) real estate market conditions are generally even stronger than the national real estate market conditions. The situation was similar to previous market conditions. Take a look at these statistics of the Denver real estate market conditions from 10k Research Marketing:
Those are some strong numbers, folks. The real estate market conditions in the Denver area are border-line wacko-crazy. In fact, one of the agents in our office recently reported receiving over 80 — 80! — offers on a single listing. When we last saw him, the price of the property had been bid way, way over the listing price. (That leads to some interesting negotiating situations that are outside the scope of this post, but look for them in future posts.)
As an aside, if you are interested in investing in real estate, right now Denver, Douglas, Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties are all reporting less than 2% vacancy in residential properties*. That’s virtually full occupancy, and can be easily accounted for in just people moving in and out. Average rents in those counties are now over $1000 per month, and rose over the previous year in each of those counties except Arapahoe County. Now is a great time to be an owner in the rental market.
By the way, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve added an economic data widget to the site. It shows a series of graphs showing current conditions in a variety of areas, not just the real estate market conditions. I hesitate to tell you where it is, because I’m prone to moving things around, but for now, it’s located on the pages that have a left-side sidebar.*Inside Real Estate News, May 25, 2012
So what’s next? Take your pick.
Yeah. You should probably do at least one of those things right now.