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An update on the real estate market

With figures just being released by the Federal Housing Finance Association (FHFA) for the final quarter of 2019, it’s time to take a look at how the market is performing – from the bigger picture at national level, through regional trends and right down to what’s happening in Niwot.

National Single Family House Prices

Overall, US house prices were on the rise again to the tune of 1.3% in December 2019 – and rose 5.1% year on year for that same month. The fourth Quarter of 2019 represented the 32nd consecutive quarter in which house prices have risen (in other words since September 2011).

All 50 states showed house price increases, with the top states being:

Idaho – 12%

Utah – 8%

Arizona, Washington & Indiana – 7% each

As far as metropolitan areas were concerned, prices rose in 97 of the top 100 largest, with the top three being:

Boise City ID – 12.7% increase

Colorado Springs CO – 11%

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford FL – 10.1%

Regional Outlook

With Northern Colorado maintaining its strength economically it’s no surprise that its real estate is also maintaining a strong outlook.

The end of last year saw consistent maintaining of price stability with an increase of 1.9% in average sale price 2019 over 2018 and an increase in the dollar value of sales of 1.1% overall.

Established cities such as Boulder and Fort Collins showed a slight slow down in the number of sales made, but continued the upward lift in average sales price (with Boulder in particular continuing its steady year on year rise).

Longmont took a unique path, perhaps reflective of its “#1 boomtown” status which was awarded last December – both sales volume and average prices continue to rise here.

Greeley was also mentioned in the top 10 national boomtowns and while sales volume has not picked up, sales prices have risen and with the activities happening in this region Greeley may yet start to follow the path of Longmont.

What’s Happening in Niwot

Coming right in close to home, it’s useful to take a look at what really happened in the Niwot market last year.

As time has gone by the availability of more affordable homes under the $500K mark has been squeezed. There simply aren’t many homes in the Niwot area that fall into this category any more.

Let’s take a look at the number of homes sold in Niwot in 2019 at these different price points:

This shows Niwot to be very “middle heavy” right now in terms of inventory and sales

Interestingly, the time on the market was similar for all homes except for those in the 1-2M bracket.

Both above and below this figure, homes took an average of roughly 60 days to sell.

In the band between 1 and 2 Million, home sales took roughly 100 days on average, perhaps reflecting the increased competition and inventory at this price point.

Home sellers at this price point need to look to really differentiate their offering to make sure to stand out from other homes. There is still significant interest in great family homes in the “sweet spot” below $1 M.

And for 2020?

I predict a continuation of the strength of the market. With mortgage interest rates still at all time lows, a strong employment market and housing demand, things look to stay robust – even with a presidential election upcoming.


Federal Housing Finance Study

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