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The 411 on Denver real estate.

Real estate news: the pandemic is shaping real estate, but the Denver market keeps speeding along

Looking for a quick digest of what’s happening in real estate right now? We’ve got you covered:

National News

+ COVID-19 hasn’t kept people from moving this year: permanent moves are up 1.94% and temporary moves are up 26.73% since 2019.

+ Families with school-aged kids are increasingly heading to the ‘burbs for larger homes and yards amidst the pandemic.

+ COVID has fundamentally transformed our relationship to home. Seven months in, find out how the pandemic is reshaping interior design priorities and trends.

+ Nationally, new homes are bigger than a decade ago, but new homes in Denver lost 197 square feet in that same period.

Local News

+ Four Colorado cities are in the top five best places to live in the country according to U.S. News & World Report’s list of 150 best places to live in the U.S. in 2020-21.

+ Homes are selling nearly twice as fast compared to 2019. If you’re looking to buy now, be ready to act quickly!

+ Apartment rents in the Denver Metro area recovered in the third quarter after taking a hit in the early months of the pandemic.

+ Denver Restaurant Week is offering a surprise fall edition from November 13-22. Check out their lineup of dine-in and to-go options to help support one of the 150+ local restaurants participating.

+ Niche.com ranked the 25 best Denver neighborhoods for young professionals in 2020. They ranked the best neighborhoods for families, too.

+ Join us in supporting those affected by wildfires in Colorado by giving to these fundraisers.

Financial News

+ Mortgage rates are holding steady at historic lows. Housing continues to propel growth and is helping to lift construction, manufacturing, and transportation industries that build new homes.

 

Have questions about what’s happening in real estate in your neighborhood? Let’s chat!

Interested in the Denver real estate market? Subscribe to our weekly emails to get more information like this.

Colorado Wildfire Relief

Monetary Donations

+ Denver7 Gives is a fund that passes 100% of contributions to the Denver area community. Select “Help Colorado Wildfire Victims” from the dropdown.

+ Donate to the 2020 Fires Relief Fund through the Community Foundation Boulder County to support individuals, families, and nonprofit organizations affected by the Cal-Wood and Lefthand Canyon Fires.

+ Give to the Grand County Wildfire Emergency Fund. 100% of donations go to support the needs of Grand County residents who have been evacuated, displaced, or have lost their homes during the Grand County Wildfires.

+ Donate to the Larimer County Fire Recovery Fund by United Way to help provide financial assistance to displaced families as they rebuild their lives in the wake of the Larimer County wildfires.

+ Donate directly to families and first responders affected by the East Troublesome Fire on GoFundMe.

Material Donations

+ Grand County Outbreak of Kindness is connecting volunteers and services with those who need them. Please check their Facebook page to see what items are needed and where they can be delivered.

+ Help pets in need by donating to Grand County Pet Pals. They can be reached at 970-887-2988 to find what their specific needs are at any given time. Financial donations can be made on their website.

Fundraisers

+ Buy a t-shirt from Wild Fire Tees, created by Colorado-based designers and marketers. 100% of the profits benefit wildfire victims.

+ Buy a t-shirt from Bonfire to support Colorado wildland firefighters and wildfire relief.

Real estate news: low mortgage rates can’t compete with housing price increases

Looking for a quick digest of what’s happening in real estate right now? We’ve got you covered:

National News

+ The national median home price rose 11% since last year — the largest annual increase in over 6 years.

+ COVID-19 has caused lumber prices to skyrocket more than 160%. Home buyers can expect to add about $16,000 to the price of a new house.

+ The share of mortgages in forbearance decreases to 3.4 million homeowners — a drop of 6 basis points.

+ With 84% of parents considering a home education model for their kids, back to school is affecting home buying decisions.

+ Think an empty nest is looming? Think again. 52% of young Americans ages 18 to 29 are now living with at least one of their parents.

+ When COVID-19 changes education plans, here’s how to set up a homeschool space anywhere.

Local News

+ Increases in home prices around Denver are wiping out savings from lower mortgage rates. Expect bigger monthly payments on single-family homes compared to a year ago.

+ Home prices in around Denver have increased 7% since January (6% for condos) — and they’re selling 10 days faster compared to this time last year.

+ RiNo is getting a new look and feel to help tame traffic.

Financial News

+ Violating the 30/30/3 rule may find some homebuyers overextended, unless they consider a few ways to get around it.

+ The average 30-year mortgage rate hit an all-time low of 2.86 percent in September, according to data released by Freddie Mac.

 

Have questions about what’s happening in real estate in your neighborhood? Let’s chat!

Interested in the Denver real estate market? Subscribe to our weekly emails to get more information like this.

Real Estate News: August 2020

Looking for a quick digest of what’s happening in real estate right now? We’ve got you covered:

National News

+ Think it’s cheaper in the ‘burbs? New interest from city dwellers is raising home prices in rural areas.

+ Looking for additional income or a place for family to stay long-term? COVID sparks renewed interest in ADUs.

+ Real estate markets defy the norms as homes are selling unseasonably fast.

+ Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky thinks international travel will never be the same. How have domestic vacation rentals fared?

+ Covid is reshaping what buyers prioritize in their home search. Here are 6 things buyers are now looking for in their next place.

Local News

+ Love hitting the trails? These are the 10 best neighborhoods for hiking enthusiasts.

+ Homes are selling in half the time for 15% more than they were at this time last year.

+ Denver is continuing to decline in housing affordability, but it could be worse.

+ How creating a safer, people-oriented space has helped Larimer Square get back on its feet.

Financial News

+ Mortgage rates are beginning to inch up as housing demand continues to accelerate.

+ Outcry from industry groups and lawmakers push Fannie and Freddie to delay the mortgage refinance surcharge until December 1st.

 

Have questions about what’s happening in real estate in your neighborhood? Let’s chat!

Interested in the Denver real estate market? Subscribe to our weekly emails to get more information like this.

What Forbearance Means for You

Over 4 million Americans have put their loans into forbearance.

Up until recently, there has been a lot of uncertainty about what it means when a borrower’s loan goes into forbearance. Will there be a huge lump sum owed at the end of the forbearance period? Will it have an impact on credit? Will people be able to purchase or refinance in the future if a loan has gone into forbearance? Initially, the CARES Act did not provide clear guidelines or statements regarding any of those questions, resulting in many borrowers unable to take advantage of record low rates and uncertain if the forbearance policies in place would cause more harm than good.

Now for the good news. On Tuesday, May 19th, the Federal Housing Agency (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) provided clarity regarding what forbearance means to borrowers, and gave guidance on how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans will handle repayment, as well as how it will affect a borrower in the future.

Here’s what it means for you.

Let us start by saying, if you’ve not been impacted financially by COVID-19 and can keep paying your payments on time and in full, you should. Forbearance or deferment is not forgiveness, and that money does not go away. So, if you can still pay, that is your best option.

Can you purchase or refinance in the future? Yes! Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers will be allowed to purchase a new home or refinance their current mortgage even if a loan has gone into forbearance. The borrower must show three consecutive months of payments after the forbearance period has ended. Additionally, if your loan has gone into forbearance accidentally (many Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans were being placed into forbearance, if a borrower even breathed the word), you can purchase or refinance immediately if your payments are up to date, without having to wait the three-month period.

Will you have to owe a lump sum at the end of your forbearance period? Not unless you want to. Here are a few ways borrowers can exit a forbearance plan:

  • A borrower can pay the sum of the missed payments in full when their forbearance period ends.
  • A borrower can defer the payments to the end of the loan. For example, if you were in forbearance for six months, you could tack those six months onto the end of your loan, adding an additional six months of payments before maturity. You can do this for up to 12 months, per the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
  • A borrower can use a repayment plan. They can pay the amount due or missed payments, over the course of 36 months or until they are up to date on their payments.

 

At Love Your Hood, we’re committed to being a resource for you and all of your housing needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our trusted realtors if you have any questions regarding forbearance, or buying and selling in the current climate.

How the Pandemic is Affecting the Denver Real Estate Market

Our New Normal

COVID-19 has sent our market into uncharted territory. Since the start of increased COVID-19 precautions a few weeks ago, we have seen a significant decrease in showings in the Denver Metro area. This is in part due to buyers, sellers, and agents alike staying home to help slow the spread of the virus. With individuals and families facing financial hardships, we are also seeing buyers have to put their home-buying process on hold or even terminate on homes that were under contract due to loss of job or income.

Many sellers are also pausing all business until this subsides in the hope of slowing the spread, but also out of concern that showings will decrease given the situation at hand.

Governor Polis has issued “Stay at Home” orders for all non-essential businesses in the State of Colorado. For those of you who either have to buy or sell immediately, all real estate professionals have been deemed “essential” and are allowed to continue operating business while maintaining COVID-19 precautions.

There are many new guidelines being implemented by companies to ensure the buying and selling process can keep moving forward while also maintaining social distancing. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued new temporary appraisal requirements, allowing for desktop or drive-by appraisals. Many title companies are also implementing ways to close at home and electronically, or even “drive up” closings where there’s no need to get out of your car.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

The federal reserve learned a hard lesson back in 2008, and that was the need to act quickly during times like this. Luckily, they did this time. The federal reserve is currently throwing everything they have to combat this. They have dropped the federal rate to 0, added another $700 billion in purchases, and have announced that they are going limitless. This means they will spend as much as it takes to keep businesses afloat. However, the most important factor is the containment of the virus. The sooner that happens, the sooner the economy can begin to recover and all of society can return to normal.

While we certainly don’t have a crystal ball, through all of this the Denver real estate market seems to remain strong. Many sellers are still receiving multiple offers, buyers are still actively searching, and Denver still has incredibly low inventory. These factors, alongside incredibly low rates, are still pushing Denver’s market forward.

What You Can Do

If you have to buy or sell due to personal circumstances (death, divorce, finances, etc.), if you are a renter who has received notice to vacate, if you have already bought a home and need to sell your current home, or if you have already sold your home and need to purchase your next home, you are still able to move forward with your buying or selling plans. Please feel free to reach out to any Love Your Hood broker to discuss your buying or selling needs and how to best navigate them at this time.

And of course, please stay home, and abide by government-issued precautions if you must leave your home.

If you or someone you know is struggling financially during this time and own a home, it is possible you have equity in your home that you could tap into. Talk to your financial advisor, lender and realtor about your options to refinance, take out a HELOC, or to sell if you need to. If you are having trouble making payments, talk to your mortgagee about payment forbearance as soon as possible.

Rest assured, Love Your Hood is taking COVID-19 precautions very seriously. Our heart goes out to all of the individuals and families who have been personally affected by this. At Love Your Hood, we truly love our neighborhood and those within it. If there is any way that we can support you or someone you know during this time, please reach out. We are happy to help.

All the best,

Your neighbors at Love Your Hood

COVID-19 and the Denver Real Estate Market

Let’s address the elephant in the real-estate-market-room: the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to zero.

So… What does that mean?

The reason the Fed has dropped rates to zero is to support the economy during the nation’s current self-quarantine. It’s looking like COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, and the economy is feeling that impact in several ways.

With everyone holed up to avoid the virus, consumer spending is down. Making up 70% of the GDP, consumer spending’s dip is negatively affecting industries such as travel, entertainment, hospitality, and dining. This loss of business may lead to the laying off of workers in those industries, in turn creating a further lack of spending. Last week, we shifted from a bull market to a bear market, meaning stock markets are down at least 20% from recent highs. Investors are converting to cash and to other, safer investments due to this consumer spending concern.

The drop to zero is also to provide easier access to business and personal borrowing to weather this financial storm. It will provide businesses the opportunity to acquire short-term loans to help maintain payroll, keep employees, and keep doors open. 

It’s important to note that mortgage interest rates are not necessarily directly correlated with the Fed’s rates. While mortgage rates are still at an all-time low, this doesn’t mean they will continue decreasing (however, this is still possible).

The good news in this is that the housing market remains strong. We ended February with a supply of 4,835 homes on the market (attached and detached). To add context to this, the record high for February was back in 2006, where we ended with 25,484 active homes on the market, while heading into a recession! So, demand is still high, and supply is still very low.

The buyer side of the market continues to be competitive, often with multiple offers over list price. With COVID-19 spreading, we anticipate a buyer slowdown as buyers avoid public places, like open house tours. However, this also presents an opportunity to continue (or begin) your home search in a less competitive environment, at least temporarily. Once the virus begins to stabilize and financial markets start to recover, you can bet it will be a mad dash to start touring listings. 

Sellers remain in the power seat in this market in almost all price points — this is with the exception of homes over one million, where buyers are able to take back the process a bit more. 

So, with the safety of our clients and our employees as our priority at this time, all Love Your Hood Brokers will be taking the recommended precautions against COVID-19. If anyone at Love Your Hood becomes sick, you can rest easy knowing they will be home, and another one of our amazing (and healthy!) team members will assist you with any property tours. We are also available to do virtual video tours of properties for you while you stay safely at home — please reach out to us to schedule one.

Here are the precautionary measures we will be taking to ensure that your home buying and/or selling journey is not affected:

  1. We will carry disinfectant wipes to clean all surface areas — particularly lockboxes, keys, and doorknobs.
  2. We will ask you to please refrain from touching any surfaces when touring homes. 
  3. If you’re showing signs of illness, please let us know. We can do a video tour on any available home.
  4. Our entire team will be working from home as much as possible to do our part in slowing the spread of the virus and flattening the curve.
  5. All meetings will be done via conference calls or virtual video chat.

 

We encourage you to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for additional information regarding COVID-19.

With regards (and washed hands),

Your neighbors at Love Your Hood

Former Colorado hotel converted into affordable housing for homeless

Source: Jeff Todd of CBS Denver

3737 N. Quebec St., formerly the Quality Inn & Suites, is now a 139-unit studio apartment building for people struggling with homelessness. The project utilized funding from the Denver Housing Authority’s bond program — a new partnership with the city — along with funding from other programs.

John Parvensky, the president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, stated that the project’s intent is to provide access to mental health, counseling, and employment services in addition to affordable housing. Watch the news clip and read the City of Denver’s statement below!

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Denver 2020: What to expect from the market

Source: Kelcey McClung of 5280

Coming off, yet another, bidding war this past week (oh, Hilltop), the numbers don’t lie! Inventory remains low, demand has picked up over the winter due to low interest rates, and prices keep inching higher. If you’re looking to purchase a new home in 2020, we recommend doing it in the first quarter. The summer is shaping up to be another brutal one for buyers!

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A look back at 2019: Big multifamily sales, “opportunity zones,” and lots of development

Source: Andrew Dodson of the Denver Business Journal

A lot happened in 2019 for the Denver real estate market. Here are a few highlights.

Opportunity Zone Projects

Investors and developers invested around $1 billion in opportunity zones, a plan known as a “once in a lifetime federal economic development program” that allows investors to defer and possibly eliminate capital gain taxes by investing in underdeveloped neighborhoods.

iBuyers Came to Denver

Zillow and Open-door bought hundreds of homes, allowing sellers to close in as little as week. Although we saw more of this is 2019, it actually represented only 1% of the housing market. As convenient as it may sound, ask one of us to tell you about the downfalls (hello 8-10% fees!)

Apartment-community Sales Galore

What happens when you mix low interest rates with increased rental rates? Apartment deals. New construction and old apartment buildings were traded frequently in 2019, including trading Union Denver to Daydream Apartments (with plans to utilize Airbnb ahead) and the iconic Poets Row on Cap Hill to a buyer that made contemporary updates to the vintage sites.

Broadway, Alameda Station Development

South Broadway is about to get a major addition. This 10-acre development will have 887 residential units, 380,000 square feet of office space and 180,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space across the five building layout! As for Alameda Station, 75 acres of land with 1.25 million square feet of retail/residential space will get an addition 8+ million square feet of development. Talk about big changes.

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