Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fixed mortgage rates rise above record lows

Fixed mortgage rates rise above record lows

Rates are so low...if a real estate transaction is in your futures...the time is now...for the first time buyer, the move up or move down buyer!!

Fixed mortgage rates rise above record lows

Fixed mortgage rates rise above record lows

Rates are so low...if a real estate transaction is in your futures...the time is now...for the first time buyer, the move up or move down buyer!!

Increase in short sales give market a little breathing room

Increase in short sales give market a little breathing room

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Boulder Valley Economic Snapshot


            The economic climate these days is reflective of a yo-yo.  One day it’s up, the next it’s down.  I believe we would all be a little happier if it would stay about the same from one day to the next; preferably up.
            The Boulder County real estate market has remained relatively stable the past few years.  According to IRES, the Northern Colorado Multiple Listing Service, in 2009 there were 3,665 single family/attached unit sales in Boulder County. There were 3,660 sales in 2010. Through September of this year that number is tracking about 6.5% behind last year, which would equate out to around 3,425 sales for 2011.
            Home mortgage interest rates have dropped to the lowest level in decades, which has impacted the refinance market, but not so much the resale market of homes.  As is characteristic of this time of year, the inventory of available properties continues to drop.  This pattern will sustain itself into the spring of 2012.
            If you are a home seller, where do you go from here in a real estate market that will naturally continue to soften? Where there are fewer prospective buyers, but also fewer options for the buyers who are actively in the market.  There’s an old saying in real estate: “Price overcomes all objections.” That statement holds most true in a declining real estate market – a buyer’s market.
            The Boulder County real estate market has struggled to right itself since 2005, when the local market peaked.  There were 5,795 single family/attached unit sales that year.  That’s a huge difference from where we are today.  Admittedly, the Boulder County real estate market hasn’t felt the significant negative impact in housing values that other parts of the country have experienced, but it still has been affected by the economic environment.
            The Absorption Rate for Boulder County (single family homes) at the end of September was 7.7 months or 233 days. If you are attempting to sell a home priced at over one million dollars, the Absorption Rate averages 24.8 months or 756 days.  That’s a long time to wait for a buyer.
            As we wind our way through fall toward winter, there doesn’t appear to be a white knight perched on the horizon that is going to magically lift us out of this somewhat stagnant real estate market.  Jobs are the white knight.  They are at the core of the economy.  As jobs are created, the economy shifts in a positive direction, which benefits the housing industry.
            So, if you are a home seller looking for that one buyer, you need to be the best value not only on your block, in your neighborhood or in your community; you have to be the best value out there from the perspective of that one buyer. Buyers have other options to choose from and they are willing to wait for the right opportunity.
            Real estate is a little different from many other types of business. It is a business of negotiation pitting buyers against sellers; each wanting to garner the “best deal”.  That is where the Boulder County real estate market is today.  Buyers have the upper hand. They call the shots. Sellers who aren’t willing to play in what seems like a “zero sum game” can be left standing on the sidelines; hoping for another prospective buyer to come their way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Longmont has the best real estate values in Boulder County!

Looking to relocate to Boulder County? Of course, it's a great place to live and offers many opportunities for recreation with its open space, bike trails, hiking trails and fun events. The city of Boulders median price for a single family home is around $550,000 and $273,000 for attached homes!! Louisville's single family home median price is $389,000 and about $220,000 for attached homes. Lafayette's is $309,000 for single family homes and $179,000 for attached. Longmont's prices are a bargain in comparison!! Median price for a single family home is about $225,000 and about $168,000 for an attached property! Having lived in Longmont for 28 years, I can tell you the city is a great place to live. Longmont's population is about 85,000 and offers wonderful amenities, such as parks, bike and walking trails, fun festivals and events year round. Contact me if you would like more information on the housing market in Longmont Colorado!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Economic Snapshot August, Boulder County

August/2011 The pace of things is much quicker these days and much more sensitive. Technology is the culprit with its Internet, smart phones and social networking. Want to know something about anything and it’s only a few keystrokes away on a computer, phone or electronic notebook. It is truly an age of information. Real estate has become part of this information age with a variety of Internet sites available to obtain current housing information. These would include the inventory of homes for sale, home values, mortgage interest rates, foreclosures and bank repossessions. Possibly everything a potential home buyer or seller would need is available somewhere on-line. What is missing is the human touch. Finding a home to purchase is part of the process. Determining how to purchase it is the part that entails the human aspect. From negotiating a contract to procuring financing to getting over inspection and appraisal hurdles, and making it to the closing table without going insane requires the support of Realtors, lenders, appraisers, and inspectors. Today’s real estate market is teeming with anxiety. Seller’s are dealing with a buyer’s market. Buyer’s are unsure if now is a good time to buy or should they wait. Mortgage lenders are faced with changing regulations and increased qualifying requirements. Appraisers are conservative in their appraisals. Realtors are working with sellers to price properties realistically. In the end, it all seems to work as seller’s sell and buyer’s buy. In looking at the Boulder County housing market, things are beginning to improve. For July/2011, single family home sales were UP 26% compared to July/2010; attached unit sales were UP 28%; overall the market was UP 26.4%. Year-to-date (compared to through July/2010), the Boulder County housing market is down 7% for single family home sales and 27% for attached unit sales; overall it is down 13%; but the market should continue to improve over the balance of the year compared to 2010. In evaluating the Boulder County housing market, one of the key focal points is the Absorption Rate i.e. how long does it take for the market to turn. The Absorption Rate characteristically peaks at the beginning of the year and then declines as sales activity improves. For 2010, the ending Absorption Rate for Boulder County was 6.3 months. At the end of July/2011 the Absorption Rate stood at 8.9 months for Boulder County. That was down from 9.5 months in June/2011. Home mortgage interest rates continue to remain reasonable: 30 year fixed rate at 4.5%; 15 year fixed rate at 3.75%; 5/1 ARM at 3.125% and a 7/1 ARM at 3.375%. All of these are at zero origination fee and no discount points. Lender buy downs are available for lower rates. Like everything else these days, mortgage rates vacillate up and down on a daily basis. As the balance of the summer drifts away and we head into the “cooler” days of fall, the Boulder County real estate market will hit its traditional peak in sales activity and then begin to naturally slow. Sellers who need to sell now will need to take a serious look at how their home is priced relative to the market. Buyers will need to take advantage of moderate mortgage interest rates and recognize that now is a good time to buy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Economic Snapshot for Boulder Valley Real Estate

Economic Snapshot July/2011 During the past few years there has been a great deal of discussion and debate in the economic arena about the national real estate market. Most of it hasn’t been pleasant. When something positive surfaces i.e. sales are improving, home values have stabilized, etc. it can be viewed from the perspective that the real estate market is beginning to shift. The days of doom and gloom are behind us and sunny days are the new norm. Real estate markets have traditionally followed that scenario. They bottom-out at some point and then begin the arduous task of righting themselves and slowly (very slowly) gaining momentum. Buyers are once again actively engaged in the process. Sellers are once more receiving reasonable value for their homes. Realtors, mortgage lenders, appraisers, home inspectors and insurance companies feel the impact of the change. New home construction gears-up. The sound of hammers, saws and “boom boxes” once again fill the air. The real estate market we have been experiencing for the past five or six years is slightly different. At times it offers the promise of a renewed enthusiasm. At others not so much. If you follow the stock market, it’s a roller coaster. One day it’s up based on some newly published economic index. The next day it’s down based on some foreign country threatening to default on their loans. The housing market can feel much the same. According to MetroList (MLS), real estate contracts for the Denver Metro area written in June/2011 are up 22.5% compared to June/2010. That’s a positive. Available homes for sale in June/2011 are down 15.7% compared to June/2010. That’s a positive. More sales; less inventory; scarcity creates demand. The hope is the Denver Metro/Boulder Valley real estate market will sustain itself through the balance of the summer and into the fall. That home buyers and investors will see this as an opportune time to buy. Sellers will view this as a favorable time to move-up, move-down or move-on. Below is a brief overview of the housing market in our area by locale for single family homes from IRES (the Northern Colorado MLS). 2010 2011 (Thru June) Area Average Sales Price Average Sales Price %Change Boulder $649,726 $672,072 +3.44% Superior $426,358 $419,758 -1.55% Louisville $440,176 $398,612 -9.45% Lafayette $357,129 $362,301 +1.45% Longmont $256,222 $246,738 -3.70% Suburban Plains $549,136 $532,562 -3.02% Suburban Mountains $412,176 $387,946 -5.88% Broomfield $379,432 $338,805 -10.71% Average … $433,246 $426,783 -1.49%

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

  • Hey, Presidential Candidates: Where are the New Ideas to Fix Housing?

    Fixing the housing market is perhaps the most important step toward fixing the economy, so you would think those who want to win the next presidential election would be talking about how housing creates jobs, the ways consumer confidence is tied to home prices, and what the heck they will do to fix the housing market and turn the economy around. Read

Visit for more articles like this.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Economic Snapshot for Boulder Valley Real Estate

Economic Snapshot

A look at the current real estate market; provided by RE/MAX ALLIANCE


            In some obscure way, a healthy real estate market mirrors life; it seeks balance.  It trends toward a market where there are a practical number of homes for sale, an adequate number of home buyers, reasonable mortgage interest rates, and an acceptable level of appreciation in home values.  When all of these elements are in alignment, tranquility exists.  When they aren’t?  Then some degree of confusion and uncertainty prevails.

            The Boulder Valley real estate market has not experienced a “balanced housing environment” for the past few years.  Inventory levels of available properties have declined as many homeowners have decided to either stay where they are and not sell their home or they have rented their home and moved on; themselves often renting somewhere else.  Homebuyers have become less visible these days.  Through May/2011, Boulder County single family home sales are down 18% and attached unit sales are down 34% when compared to the same time frame for 2010.  The overall market is down 23%.

            In today’s real estate market, there are certain considerations at play.  (1) Buyers are bargain hunters.  They want the maximum return on the dollars they are investing in a home.  They don’t want to lose money.  They believe in the old adage, “Buy low, sell high.”, but they aren’t always confident what low is or what high might be.  (2) Price overcomes all objections.  There’s a price where everything will sell, even if the seller needs to bring funds to closing. That’s one of the issues facing the housing industry today; it’s an upside down world.  Many homes are worth less than what is owed on them.  The solutions to that dilemma are to stay the course and hope housing values improve, let the bank have the property or belly-up to the bar at closing with cash in hand, if you’re the seller.  (3)  He/She who has the gold makes the rules.  Mortgage companies and banks are the pathway to the great American dream; home ownership.  Unfortunately, that pathway is strewn with stringent governmental and banking regulations, conservative underwriters and appraisers, and difficult qualifying requirements.  Mortgage rates have continued to hover in the 4.5% to 5.0% range for the traditional thirty-year fixed rate loan.  (4) Seller’s are unrealistic regarding pricing.  Real estate markets are like sifting sand; they change quickly.  New neighborhood sales reflect on neighborhood values.  What sold down the street three or six months ago may not be an accurate representation of what a seller’s home may be worth today.  (5) Consumer awareness is at an all-time high.  Home buyers have immediate access to a plethora of housing information on the Internet.  Some of it isn’t always accurate, but it’s there.  More consumers today begin their search for a home, car, appliances, etc. on-line than ever before.  They do their homework.  When they show-up to purchase, they are educated about the nature of the marketplace.

            On the bright side, homes are continuing to sell.  Median home values for the Northern Colorado housing market have remained relatively stable for the past few years, only off seven (7) percent when compared to 2005 [slightly over one (1) percent per year on average].  Much better than what has happened in some of the bell weather states where double digit depreciation has been the norm.       

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

572 E 16th Ave, Longmont CO 80504

Tour this home!!
Fabulous, impeccably maintained two story home with all the features on the most wanted list!!  One of this homes many attributes is a wonderful updated kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliance, and island and breakfast nook.  Main floor is light and bright and offers a family room with a gas log fireplace, formal dining and living area as well as a den and ¾ bath.   The home also includes surround sound with built in speakers for your  entertainment pleasure!  Laundry is also on the main floor.    Upstairs is the Master Suite, with a beautiful, updated, five piece master bath, and walk in closets with built in features and a dressing area, as well as 2 additional bedrooms and a full bath.  Daylight basement is finished with a large rec room (gas stove), a large 4th bedroom and a full bath!  The lucky new owner will appreciate all the storage this home offers.    The outside living areas host a spacious deck, patio and other sitting areas.  The gardens are delightful and not a detail is missed, including the paver walkway from the front to the back of the home. This delightful home backs to and has access to open space and walking trails.  The large 3 car garage with its organization and workbench is just another feature of many you will find in this lovely home.  A rare gem not to be missed!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Update from Longmont Area Economic Council

1st Quarter 2011 Currently we have 201 primary employers in the Longmont area. ~ 4 new companies: Anew Green, CPU Technology, Digital Data Services, and Honeybee Robotics which represent 16 new jobs to-date in 2011. ~ 2 companies have closed or relocated their operation out of Longmont to-date in 2011 resulting in a loss of 49 positions. Those companies are BMGI Corporation and DataPlay. ~ 27 existing companies have added employees to their operation to date in 2011 resulting in 176 new jobs. ~ 9 existing companies have cutback employment in to date in 2011 resulting in a loss of 57 jobs. This gives us a net gain of 86 primary jobs to date in 2011. ~ The vacancy rate for real estate inventory (industrial and office) in the Longmont area through the first quarter of 2011 is 14.2% with 1.21 million square feet available. (Net primary employer absorption through the first quarter 2011 is -22,744 square feet). Note that these numbers reflect only facilities that are ready for occupancy. ~ The Longmont Area Economic Council worked with 15 new prospects looking at the Longmont area for relocation and/or expansion of their businesses during the first quarter 2011. This compares to 13 for the same

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Survey: More Than 70% of Homeowners Say Home Inspection Helped Them Avoid Potential Problems

RISMEDIA, March 3, 2011-Nearly three in four (72%) U.S. homeowners agree the home inspection they had when they purchased their current primary residence helped them avoid potential problems with their home, according to a survey released by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Also, almost two in three (64%) noted, in the long run, they saved a lot of money as a result of their home inspection. As the housing market begins to recover, ASHI encourages homeowners and buyers to hire a certified home inspector and to get a home inspection to help further protect their investment.

The survey was recently conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of ASHI to gauge current consumer perceptions about the purpose and value of a home inspection. Results revealed 88% of all homeowners believe home inspections are a necessity, not a luxury.

"ASHI's goals have always been to build customer awareness of the importance of a home inspection and to enhance the professionalism of home inspectors," said Kurt Salomon, ASHI president. "It is encouraging to know consumers are listening and understand the significance of protecting their largest single investment, their home."

While it is clear homeowners who had an inspection understand the value it serves, many still incorrectly believe certain components are included in a standard home inspection. For example, septic systems, electrical wiring and plumbing behind drywall and swimming pools are commonly mistaken as items that are included when, in fact, they typically are not.

"ASHI remains committed to educating consumers on what a standard home inspection is likely to include," said Salomon. As such, ASHI members have committed to following a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what consumers should expect to be covered in a home inspection report.

During a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes a detailed look at the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. A home inspector will examine the condition of the home's roof, attic and visible insulation, foundation, basement and structural components, as well as interior plumbing and electrical systems.

Additionally, nearly three in four homeowners surveyed (70 percent) assume all home inspectors must be certified and licensed, when in fact, not all are. "It is important for consumers to do their homework before hiring an inspector," said Salomon.

For a complete list of what's included in a home inspection, visit

RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to:

Copyright© 2011 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boulder County February 2011 Economic Snapshot

Economic Snapshot

A look at the current real estate market; provided by RE/MAX ALLIANCE


Before a declining real estate market can recover it must reach a plateau. It must halt its negative momentum and begin the arduous process of turning itself around. This can often take an inordinate amount of time, because it is contingent on a number of factors. There needs to exist favorable mortgage interest rates, motivated and somewhat plentiful buyers, reasonably priced properties and acceptable levels of available inventory. There must be a timely transition from a buyer’s market to a more balanced buyer/seller market.

The Boulder Valley real estate market has struggled for the past five years as the national economy drifted into a chaotic state. For Boulder County, overall sales activity for single family and attached units dropped 42% during this five-year period; an average of 8.40% per year. A buyer’s market prevailed.

The Chinese calendar for 2010 was known as the “year of the tiger”; for Boulder County 2010 may be remembered as the “year of the plateau”. Real estate sales last year for Boulder County were comparable to 2009; less than a one percent difference.

2011, the “year of the rabbit” in the Chinese calendar, has gotten off to a quick start. Boulder County single family and attached unit sales for January/2011 are UP nearly 19% over January/2010. That’s without any government assisted first-time homebuyer program being available. Hopefully, this isn’t a tortoise and the hare tale, where the hare takes a nap midway through the course its running or the real estate market slumps in the second half of the year.

Here are some things to digest as we venture down this precarious real estate path the rest of 2011.

1. Mortgage Interest Rates: Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, home buyers would have literally killed to get a thirty-year fixed rate loan for 4.75%. It would have felt like they were stealing money from the banks. They would have been lined-up for blocks; drooling on themselves. In today’s economic climate 4.75% doesn’t generate the same level of enthusiasm. It’s nice, but it doesn’t get home buyers salivating. Mortgage interest rates have risen slightly over the course of the past few months. If the housing market rights itself, look for interest rates to continue this pattern.

2. Available Inventory: That black cloud perched on the horizon is composed of bank foreclosures, short sales and HUD properties. It’s unclear how many of those little devils are out there. They keep popping their heads-up. In the past couple of years many of them have been purchased by savvy investors, first-time homebuyers or, on a more limited basis, buyers looking to take advantage of a price sensitive marketplace and make a move-up. Lack of inventory creates motivation in the mind of buyers. Unfortunately, high inventory levels of available properties have been the norm the past few years. BUT, that may be changing. New residential listing inventory for the Northern Colorado real estate market for January/2011 is down 20% compared to January/2010. Is there a pattern developing here i.e. more sales and fewer listings?

3. Residential Home Values: Finally, for a plateau to exist there needs to be stabilization in market values. For Northern Colorado, the median priced residential property sold in January/2011 for $225,000; for January/2010 that number was $212,000; for January/2005, the year when Northern Colorado sales activity peaked, it was $227,000.

Market data statistics are from IRES the Northern Colorado MLS.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Real Estate Stats for Boulder County

Economic Snapshot

A look at the current real estate market; provided by RE/MAX ALLIANCE


The first decade of this new millennium was one of contrasts. It began on loose footing with the fiasco and the events surrounding 9/11. Then followed the years of unbridled economic growth, where people’s thoughts were centered on early retirement, travel abroad and procuring more adult toys. The decade limped to a close as the government attempted to pump new blood into an ailing economy by offering tax credits to homebuyers and salvaging the banking industry; home mortgage interest rates fell to historic lows. The question that begs an answer is, “Where are we ten years later?”

Let’s take a quick look back to see where the Boulder County real estate market was ten years ago relative to today. In January/2001 the traditional thirty-year fixed rate mortgage was at 7.07%. In December/2010 that same loan was at 4.86%. The average sales value of a single-family home in 2001 was $361,833. In 2010 the average sales value of a single-family home was $442,694. That equates to a 22.34% increase in the average sales value; approximately 2.23% per year. Using the above figures, with a 20% down payment, the principle and interest payment for the average home in 2001 was $1,945.28. In 2010, that number would be $1,879.88. Things have improved incrementally over the course of the past ten years.

The Boulder Valley real estate market appears to have weathered the economic storm and reached a point of stabilization. Boulder County sold properties in 2010, single-family homes and attached units, was 3,660. This compares to 3,665 sales in 2009. The inventory of available homes for sale still exceeds the number of potential buyers, with the Absorption Rate currently standing at 6.26 months.

Per the chart below, the average home values of sold properties have improved over last year in most market areas. This should continue as buyers who have been standing on the sidelines view this as an opportune time to purchase homes in the higher price ranges.

Home mortgage interest rates have trended-up slightly over the course of the holidays. As the economy continues to show signs of improvement, expect mortgage rates to vacillate around the 5% mark as we head into spring.

Below is an overview of sales activity for the past two years for single family homes in the various Boulder Valley areas, courtesy of IRES – the Northern Colorado MLS.

               2009       2010           %Change         2009                2010                    % Change

Area       Solds        Solds          Change          Average Price     Average Price        Change

Boulder    563           622         +10.48%         $647,584           $650,280             +.416%

Louisville   202          194           -3.96%           $394,214           $440,512          +11.74%

Lafayette    219         229          +4.56%          $352,667            $357,377           +1.33%

Superior     127         107           -15.75%         $413,935           $426,358            +3.00%

Longmont   891         831            -6.74%          $240,902           $256,175            +6.34%

Sub. Plains  373        449            +20.37%         $510,351          $549,796            +7.73%

Sub. Mtns.  203        230            +13.30%         $415,567           $411,662            -.940%

Broomfield   353       338              -4.25%           $353,343           $380,074           +7.56%

                    ===      ===             ======          =======           ======             ======

Totals …     2931     3000             +2.35%          $405,363            $433,427            +6.92%

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Economic Outlook Digital Magazine!!

New from RE/MAX Alliance, our Economic Outlook Digital Magazine!!  Inside you will find all kinds of great information, from what the real estate market indicators are to home staging tips.  There is even a section for kids.  Take a look!! 

Click here to read the magazine.

Friday, January 14, 2011

LAEC reports primary job gains for the Longmont area!

4th Quarter 2010

Currently we have 197 primary employers in the Longmont


~ 10 new companies: Abound Solar, American Recreation

Products, Goliath Systems, Niwot Technologies, Onsemble,

Inc., Parascript, RF Concepts, Synapse Design, TechPubs

Global, and TerraLUX which represent 148 new jobs in


~ 14 companies closed or relocated their operation

out of Longmont in 2010 resulting in a loss of 156

positions. Those companies are AgInfoLink, BioHarmony

Corporation, Cevan Nutritionals, Colorado Micro

Precision, Cornay Company, Earthmap Solutions,

ExcelStor Technology, FreeDesign, Great Basin Scientific,

InPhase, Knowledge Forge, Monolithic Sculptures, Peak

Industries, and Storage Genetics.

~ 67 existing companies added employees to their

operation in 2010 resulting in 661 new jobs.

~ 47 existing companies cutback employment in 2010

resulting in a loss of 317 jobs.

This gives us a net gain of 336 primary jobs in 2010.

~ The vacancy rate for real estate inventory (industrial and

office) in the Longmont area through the fourth quarter of

2010 is 14.6% with 1.26 million square feet available. (Net

primary employer absorption through the fourth quarter

2010 is +7,444 square feet). Note that these numbers

reflect only facilities that are ready for occupancy.

~ The Longmont Area Economic Council worked with 10

new prospects looking at the Longmont area for relocation

and/or expansion of their businesses during the fourth

quarter 2010 for a total of 45 for the year. This compares

to 7 for the same quarter in 2009 and 52 for the year.

The Longmont Area Economic Council has a

comprehensive database of available land and industrial/

office buildings. We service the City of Longmont, Lyons,

Niwot and unincorporated Boulder County area.