Introducing 19943 County Road 15
Located in beautiful Johnstown, Colorado
Several recent indicators for the real estate industry are pointing to a market that is on the mend and entering recovery mode.
Housing experts’ predictions for the new year tend to center around a market stabilizing before entering a gradual, albeit very slow, recovery. However, the tone is more upbeat than it has been in years for the housing market.
Here are a few of the signs that are showing the market moving in a more positive direction:
Home sales: Existing home sales are expected to increase 12 percent this year, following a 2 percent jump last year, Moody’s Analytics predicts. The signs are already showing: In November, pending home sales — a gauge for future home buying — reached its highest level in 19 months, the National Association of REALTORS® reported. (Read more.)
New-home market: Coming off of what could be considered the worst year for new-home building ever recorded, the sector is expected to bounce back this year. New-home sales and starts were already showing a rebound in the last few months of 2011. Moody’s is predicting that single-family housing starts will increase 37 percent this year, and new-home sales will soar 74 percent.
Housing stocks: Investors are starting to get optimistic about the possibility of a rebound too, and are turning to home builder stocks. These equities have recently outperformed the broader stock market and the S&P 1500 homebuilding index has increased 38 percent since mid-October, USA Today reports.
Consumer confidence: With mortgage rates at record lows and housing affordability high, about 71 percent of Americans say now is a good time to purchase a home. Also, more Americans are optimistic that home prices will rise over the next year — about 26 percent say prices will rise in 2012, an increase of 4 percent over the last survey, according to Fannie Mae’s December National Housing Survey
Zillow stats showcase markets off the beaten path
By Inman News
Editor’s note: This article is based on data compiled by Zillow, using the Zillow Home Value Index.
Metro areas off the beaten path like Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla., bucked national trends to win a place on a top 10 list of markets with the greatest year-over-year median home-value increases from October 2010 to October 2011, based on data compiled by Zillow. None of the top 20 U.S. metro areas by population size cracked the top 10.
The Tulsa metro area topped the chart at a 6.2 percent median home value increase to $101,000 — the lowest value of the top 10 — in that one-year timespan, followed by Oklahoma City’s metro area at a 3.1 percent bump. However, the rosy home value increase news fades by No. 10 on the list — the Green Bay metro area — where a place in the top 10 no longer represents an increase in median home value, but a sliver of a decline — 0.3 percent.
Metropolitan Pittsburgh, at No. 22 in U.S. metro population size with 2.35 million people in 2010, according to U.S. Census data, was the most populated metro area in this top 10 list, coming in at No. 8, with a slight median home-value increase of 0.4 percent, and, interestingly, the only metro area in the top 10 to experience a population dip from 2000 to 2010.
Metro areas in this top 10 averaged a 1.6 percent median home-value increase over the one-year timeframe, with six of the 10 having median home values hovering around $100,000. Honolulu, Boulder, Fort Collins and Madison stretched the upper end of the spectrum with median home values of $474,200, $304,000, $217,300, and $192,400, respectively.
Source: Daily Real Estate News
Service providers will continue to do the heavy lifting when it comes to creating jobs next year in Colorado, according to the 2012 Business Economic Outlook from the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business.
“Colorado will outperform the nation in employment growth,” said CU economist Richard Wobbekind, who presented the 2012 outlook to more than 800 people at the Grand Hyatt Denver on Monday.
Colorado is expected to add 23,000 jobs in 2012 on top of an estimated 27,500 jobs the state gained this year, the outlook forecasts.
Service providers will add 20,900 of those net new jobs, despite a strong showing in agriculture, energy and a rebound in construction, said economist Patricia Silverstein, one of more than 100 people who prepared the state’s most comprehensive economic forecast.
So where does the outlook predict the hiring will take place?
Ambulatory or outpatient health services will add 3,000 jobs, and hospitals are expected to add 2,000 more positions.
Registered nurses in particular will continue to be in high demand, Wobbekind said.
Computer system design service firms are expected to hire big, adding 2,500 jobs next year. Architectural and engineering firms are expected to add 1,200 positions.
A need to retrain in a weak economy will continue to drive employment at private schools, which are expected to add 1,500 positions.
A forecasted 4 percent increase in consumer spending in the state is expected to create 2,700 food service jobs, 2,400 retail jobs, and 1,000 wholesale trade jobs.
State government is expected to add 1,100 jobs, while local governments are looking at minimal job gains and the federal government at cuts.
In one of the 2012 outlooks’ boldest predictions, the construction sector, which has shed 56,700 jobs over the past four years, will add 2,600 jobs next year in response to higher construction spending.
Manufacturers, lenders, real estate firms, print publishers and telecommunications providers are expected to shed jobs next year.
Wobbekind cautioned that the uncertainty coming out of Washington, D.C., and Europe clouds the economic picture and complicated the forecast.
Some of the other highlights from the outlook:
• Inflation will run 2.2 percent locally, down from the 3.1 percent pace estimated for the Denver-Boulder- Greeley Consumer Price Index this year.
• Colorado’s population is expected to grow 1.5 percent next year, or by 75,900 people. Of that gain, 40,500 comes from natural increases and 35,400 from net migration.
By Pat Ferrier
Fort Collins-Loveland might be falling victim to its own success.
A combination of the cities’ relatively healthy job market, diverse economy and positive national press is putting the squeeze on available apartments.
The vacancy rates in September plummeted to critically low levels, meaning rents are going up and will continue to do so until more apartments are built.
The combined Fort Collins-Loveland vacancy rate was 2.3 percent for the third quarter, according to a new report from the Colorado Division of Housing. The survey of 5,810 apartment managers, owners and property managers was conducted Sept. 10.
On that date, almost all of the region’s apartments were full.
A 5 percent vacancy rate is considered to be an even market.
“It’s been going on for years, and you’re seeing the cumulative effect. It’s not just the impressions of the region … you do have a better chance of getting a job there and wages will be better than many other regions as well,” said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the state Division of Housing.
“It is clearly very tight,” McMaken said.
Meanwhile, in a simple supply-and-demand market, as
vacancies tighten, the median rent has soared from $856.53 a year ago to $932.58, a $76 jump. Just over the past six months – from the first quarter to third quarter – the median rent has gone up $53.
In Loveland, where developer McWhinney is building apartments by the hundreds, the vacancy rate is 3.4 percent. The median rent is the highest in the region, at $941.88.
McWhinney’s recently completed 303-unit Lake Vista project north of U.S. Highway 34 is about 75 percent leased, said Mike Hill, senior director of multifamily development and operations.
And on Friday, the company held an open house on its newest property, the 252-unit Greens at Van de Water, 2900 Mountain Lion Drive.
“Northern Colorado and Loveland have some of the lowest apartment vacancy rates in the state, and leasing at our Eagle Ridge and Lake Vista lifestyle communities has been strong, furthering the need for additional residential rental offerings in the region,” Hill said.
Rents at Van de Water range from $700 to $1,500 and at Lake Vista from $890 to $1,725.
Mike Easter, president of Rocky Mountain Property Management Inc. in Loveland, said the tight vacancy rates and increasing rents will foster investment in new rental units, which will benefit the overall market.
But for consumers trying to afford higher rents, the news is not as positive.
Stephanie Ludwigsen and her boyfriend signed a lease Thursday morning on a 1,500-square-foot condo in central Fort Collins.
They’re subletting the condo for $1,100 a month, about the same price they would pay for a much smaller unit at a large apartment complex, she said.
“I hadn’t had to look for a place for a couple years. We did notice the rents were higher than what we had seen, and I was surprised at the cost per square foot. It was higher than what I was used to seeing.”
Along with higher rents, Ludwigsen said there were fewer available units than what she expected.
“There was probably one-quarter of the availability” she’s seen at other times of year.
“We had far better luck looking at sublets this time of year,” she said.
If rents go too high, it will force some renters to look for cheaper apartments elsewhere in the market, but they’re not likely to find too much as rents are being pushed up across all types of rentals, Easter said.
With one of the stronger job markets in the state, McMaken said workers are saying put.
“People are not only staying there because of the job situation, people are relocating there because it’s seen as such a strong market and a place people want to live,” he said.
“Fort Collins has benefited from a lot of magazine articles and general talk about what a fine community it is,” McMaken said.
That reputation also is helping fuel a decline in Greeley’s vacancy rate, which is the lowest in the state at 1.8 percent.
Although Greeley’s job market is improving, as well, McMaken said Greeley has become a more affordable bedroom community to Fort Collins. “I don’t think it’s improving enough to drive the vacancy rate down that much. It’s very much related to the Fort Collins market.
“West Greeley is seeing the impact of people looking for an affordable place to live where they can drive to jobs in Fort Collins,” he said.
Statewide, the vacancy rate fell to its lowest rate since 2001, according to the report conducted by Gordon Von Stroh and Ron Throupe of the University of Denver and Jennifer Von Stroh of Von Stroh Housing Surveys.
Source: Loveland Connection