January 13, 2014

People Buying To Actually Live In It Have A Chance

The Denver Post reports on Colorado. “Single-family home sales in metro Denver last year beat a record set during the housing boom, according to Metrolist, the area’s multiple-listing service. There were 42,762 single-family detached homes sold last year, which surpassed the previous record of 41,682, set in 2004. Those homes sold for an average price of $336,831, which also was an annual high. Some homes last spring were selling within hours of listing after receiving multiple bids. Later in the year, concerns that the Federal Reserve would end its bond purchases sent mortgage rates higher and restrained the overheated market.”

“‘Our brokers and agents have seen a very busy year with a record-setting selling season,’ Metrolist CEO Kirby Slunaker said in a statement. ‘While the market has cooled slightly at year-end, as one would expect, the numbers year over year are incredible.’”

The Gazette in Colorado. “Positive Electric, a decade-old Colorado Springs company that wires homes for about 10 local homebuilders, saw its business start to ramp up about a year ago, said owner John Mays. By midyear, his company was so busy that Mays and his employees were having a tough time keeping up with the workload. ‘In the early summer to the end of the summer, we were working overtime on a consistent basis, asking the guys to put in extra hours because we couldn’t hire anyone fast enough to keep up with the increase,’ Mays said.”

“Economist Fred Crowley of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs said local housing is poised to take off again. In his latest quarterly report on local economic conditions, Crowley said he expects another round of pent-up demand from buyers to propel homebuilding. Also, he said, people will have gotten used to the idea of long-term mortgage rates in the neighborhood of 4.5 percent and will move ahead with plans to buy homes. ‘I see no reason why it’s not going to continue,” Crowley said about housing construction. ‘People are going to have to realize you’ve missed the boat at 3.5 percent. It’s not coming back.’”

The Telluride Daily Planet in Colorado. “2013 has been a good year for luxury condominiums in Telluride and especially Mountain Village as sales have been brisk and new units have come online. Brian O’Neill of Telluride Properties said he thinks the lack of available homes in Telluride has led buyers to condos, which have started to see higher selling prices as a result. ‘This is a good indicator that people are starting to and are willing to pay ahead of the market, which hasn’t happened since 2006-07,’ O’Neill said.”

The Aspen Times in Colorado. “Last year the dollar volume of all real estate sales in Pitkin County totaled $1.49 billion. This year’s sales volume is down about $181 million, or 12 percent, from last year’s mark. Tim Estin, a broker associate with Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, said many sellers are convinced that the market has turned and that prices ’should be rising.’ But buyers in every price category are still seeking bargains, according to Craig Morris, a partner in Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty. The difference between the listing prices and the selling prices is at least 20 percent, on average, he said.”

“In other words, buyers aren’t just looking for deals — they are demanding them.”

From Fox 5 Vegas in Nevada. “Southern Nevada home prices ended the year on a positive note, landing 24 percent higher than they were 12 months earlier. The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported that December’s median home price was $185,000, up 1.1 percent from the month earlier. Association chief Heidi Kasama says prices have been rising since they bottomed out at $118,000 in January 2012, but notes the jumps have stabilized in recent months and are expected to remain steady in 2014.”

“‘People have to remember we were greatly undervalued. So we’re coming back up to the reasonable prices,’ Kasama said.”

“‘We don’t have the cash investor volume we had over the summer, trying to compete with them. It makes it easier for buyers to actually stand a chance of getting a home,’ said Las Vegas realtor Cynthia Silver. She said having more houses on the market doesn’t hurt either. ‘This summer I wouldn’t have had anything to show in their price range that was a single family home,’ Silver said, after helping a local family put in a bid for a 1400-square-foot home.”

8 News Now in Nevada. “The real estate market in southern Nevada is expected to have a brighter future in 2014. In the resale market, Omar Lopez with Cosmopolitan Real estate says you can find deals in the market right now. He says some listing prices have gone down, and more cash-paying investors are leaving the market, meaning people buying a home to actually live in it have a chance. ‘Perfect opportunity for buyers to take advantage of the increasing inventory.’ Lopez said.”

The Arizona Republic. “Home sales across metro Phoenix slowed to their slowest pace in several years during November. Home sales were down 27 percent in November compared to November 2012. ‘Demand (from home buyers) is drastically lower in a slide that started in July,’ said Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at W. P. Carey.”

The Phoenix Business Journal in Arizona. “There were 5,846 single-family home sales in November in the Phoenix area — a 27 percent plunge from a year ago, according to the latest Arizona State University housing report. ‘By the beginning of January, demand had weakened enough to drop even below the limited supply here, despite the fact that we have 15 to 20 percent fewer active listings than normal,’ said Michael Orr, the report’s author.”

“As demand wanes, the dramatic price increases the Valley was seeing in the first half of 2013 have slowed substantially. The Valley’s median price reached the $200,000 mark in October, but didn’t budge at all in November. It was still, however, up 23 percent from a year ago. Orr said home builders were also pretty disappointed with the end of 2013, noting that new-home permits in the Valley, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, took a sharp 35 percent drop from October to 667 in November.”

“‘Despite all of this, time has shown us the Greater Phoenix housing market is very volatile,’ Orr said. ‘Conditions could quickly change during the first quarter of 2014, and we could see some surprises.’”

Bits Bucket for January 13, 2014

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