Denver Housing Market

As we head into fall, let’s talk about what is happening in our housing market.

Let’s start with the good news. I mean, who doesn’t need good news?

First, metro Denver has been named one of the country’s top markets to watch next year in the new “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2011” report. This is a commercial real estate study in its 32nd year. The report ranks Denver 11th among U.S. cities on a list of real estate markets to watch for commercial and multifamily investment. Denver earned points for its redevelopment of downtown’s Union Station, for DIA being “one of the nation’s most modern airports,” and for relatively low business taxes. Looking at the U.S. as a whole, the study found hopeful signs of tempered real estate market improvements for next year.

Second, Forbes magazine has ranked Colorado as the fourth best state for businesses and for fostering economic growth. CNBC has rated Colorado the third best state for businesses. The Forbes ranking puts Colorado first for labor supply, sixth for overall economic climate and growth prospects, and ninth for quality of life.

So do commercial real estate and businesses affect residential real estate? You bet they do! An upswing in commercial real estate indicates improving businesses. A good business climate indicates strengthening employment. And residential housing markets always recover as unemployment decreases. But notice the wording from the Emerging Trends report above: “hopeful signs of tempered real estate market improvements.” Our housing market recovery is still in the early stages, and probably will recover slowly.

That brings us to the not-so-good news. Sales of existing homes in metro Denver fell 23.1 percent in September 2010 from the September 2009 total. That follows a 21.2 percent year-over-year decline in August and a 26.6 percent yearly decline in July. There were 23,332 unsold homes on the market in September, up 17.6 percent from a year earlier. But despite these depressing figures, some homes are selling. 3,079 homes sold in September, about 13 percent of the available homes for sale. I was able to put two of my listing under contract in September. The reality is, however, that both of these homes sold at 8-10 percent lower than their list price.

Getting a home sold in this challenging housing market takes patience and often times some real “belt-tightening.” But it can be done. Let’s stay positive!