The Denver Real Estate Broker Blog

Two New Schools planned for Central Park

Two New Schools planned for Central Park

New Staplton SchoolsDPS is committed to keeping pace with the rapid growth in Central Park and has announced plans for 2 new schools to be opened in Central Park for the 2013 – 15 school year.

Denver Public Schools is planning to build an elementary school in the Bluff Lake neighborhood that is scheduled to be ready in 2014. The school has been announced as a measure to keep pace with the demand of elementary students in the Central Park and surrounding communities. The Bluff Lake school will not be ready until 2014, however classes for enrolled students will begin in 2013 at a separate leased facility offering kindergarten and some first grade classes. The location of the leased facility has yet to be determined. This phased approach is similar to the opening of Swigert International School which was opened in the same manner and was highly successful.

Two options are currently being considered for the Bluff Lake School. The first option being considered is Highline Academy which is a charter school with approval for a second campus. The second option is the development of a fresh program to be designed from the ground up.

Recent bond measures that passed have DPS moving forward on the construction of a new middle and high school located at 56th Avenue and Central Park Boulevard. The new school is slated to be ready for the 2015 school...

Seller’s or Buyer’s market? I think we’re moving to the seller’s side

Sellers market or Buyers market? I think we’re moving to the seller’s side.

Buy or SellWith the benefit of hindsight, it is now very apparent that the Denver real estate market, along with the rest of the country, underwent a price correction starting in 2006. The price of real estate began to decline when the supply of home buyers dropped sharply as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis. As we all know, the law of supply and demand has a large influence on price. When the demand fell, supply stayed the same exerting downward pressure on home prices.

The ensuing years saw high levels of supply coupled with massive regulation in the lending industry further diminishing demand establishing a very stagnant housing market through 2011. During this period the market was undoubtedly a buyers’ market. As a real estate broker, we referred to this period as the era of the “low ball offer”.

It wasn’t until the second half of 2011 that the market began to shift. The graph below shows residential home listings and sales for 2011 and 2012. What jumps out is the gap between listings and sales in December of 2011. The number of home listings started falling in June of 2011 and continued for the remainder of the year. This trend diminished the supply surplus and corrected the imbalance in the market. This supply correction had a dramatic effect on real estate in Denver for 2012.

Denver residential listings vs sales...

Who priced this house? - Denver home valuation analysis.

Denver Home ValuationWho priced this house? - Denver home valuation analysis.

Home valuation is an important duty when listing, buying or making an offer on a home. In Denver the listing inventory is dropping sharply as the amount of homes being purchased is on the rise. This is shifting our market toward stabilization. We are also seeing some areas and neighborhoods where prices are beginning to rise.

Denver home valuation is subjective and there are typically 4 parties that contribute an opinion toward the perceived value. As a rule it must be understood that a property is only worth what others have paid for comparable improvements/property. 

Let’s take a look at all the parties involved in a real estate transaction and …

  1. Sellers: The single most important factor to help sell your home is the price. It is very important to hire a full service, local listing agent that specializes in your neighborhood. A neighborhood specialist will be able to complete your home valuation accurately and determine a price at or near market value. An overpriced listing will place you home in one of the only market segments not selling.
  2. Buyers: Competition is now a reality in the market. As the number of new listings fall and home sales increase the days of a “low offer” are over. It’s a difficult lesson when you  lose your favorite house due to an unreasonable offer. Select a buyer’s agent that can accurately determine the market value of the home and trends for that Denver neighborhood.
  3. Listing Agents...

Denver Real Estate Growth expected to be the best in the nation

Denver Real Estate Growth expected to be the best in the nation (originally posted 12/2011)

As we close out of 2011 and head into 2012 the troubled housing sector of the economy is showing signs of improvement. Year over year housing starts and home sales are trending upward. This is welcome news as these indicators begin to show signs that we are ending the current real estate correction period. 

Denver Real Estate Growth

So as the housing market begins to rebound nationally how is our local market going to fare? According to real estate guru Greg Rand, Denver is at the top of the list when considering real estate investment. He bases his opinion on fundamentals such as:

  • Migration – Are people moving to the area and from where? People are moving to Denver from all over the United States. It is not a situation where there is a specific climate that people are moving from. People are coming from all over.
  • Denver has a stable, young, active population that is employed.
  • The unemployment rate and foreclosure rate for Denver are half the national average.
  • The most attractive attribute about Denver – a high quality of life combined with a relatively low cost of living. The people that live in Denver absolutely love it and attract others based on the positivity they have about the area.

Another key factor leading to a bullish outlook on Denver is the fact that the median home price has steadily climbed since 1996 without a major price collapse over the last 4 year. As you can see from the graph, a minor correction is observed with prices rebounding almost immediately. This is a strong indicator of health real estate growth without influences that...

Sellers, do you want feedback? An OFFER is your best feedback!

Shaking handsSellers, do you want feedback? An OFFER is your best feedback!

So you have decided to sell your home, congratulations. You have hired a realtor and come up with a compelling price based on the comparable properties that have sold in the area. You have painstakingly gone through the house to remove as much furniture as possible while still making the home feel warm and relaxing. You have spent countless hours cleaning and organizing so that everything in the house is purposefully placed. The yard is immaculate and the entrance is inviting.

Now comes the listing day when the home goes active in Metrolist. You are overwhelmed with excitement as your home in top shape and you feel that buyers are really going to like it. The house gets numerous showings and you are anxious to hear the feedback on what the other brokers and buyers think. Your listing agent calls to report that some buyers have provided feedback, the house is not the one for them, while others have not provided any. You think to yourself, how hard is it for them to provide a little feedback on what they thought of the house, its common courtesy!  

The truth is – they have provided you with valuable feedback. Since they did not set up a second showing or present an offer the house was not right for them. You already know the shortcomings of the house. Perhaps it only has 2 bedrooms, is on a busy street, has a funky floor plan, needs new carpet etc. These are things that are not easily fixable and are already known. Rarely is feedback profound in uncovering hidden items that once addressed sell the home. Feedback is typically mundane and thoughtless – “the house showed well”, “the bedrooms are too small”, “we...

Central Park property value set to increase with light rail stop

How much will Central Park property value increase when light rail completes

This is a question I have been curious about for some time. It seems logical that in a neighborhood as active as ours that the benefit of light rail will be profound. Not only will it allow of easy car-free access to the airport it will afford stress-free travel to and from downtown.

Imagine walking over to the Central Park Station to jump a train for a quick ride downtown for a show, game, dinner or stroll. Imagine jumping a train to the airport and leaving your car parked in your garage. Imagine meeting family, in from out of town, at the Central Park Station and not the airport. This list goes on and on. With all the quality-of-life improvements coming with commuter rail access how do we translate them into property value appreciation?

We need a way to determine if this new transportation hub, opening in our back yard, will have an impact on property value.   The term “Transit Premium” has been established for just this purpose and is defined as the value added to property by proximity to high capacity transit. A report prepared by Reconnecting America for the Federal Transit Administration studied high-capacity transit in Washington D.C., Dallas, San Diego and Portland. They concluded that not only does viable high-capacity transit spur robust development but also has a significant impact on Transit Premium. The following was pulled from the report.

Appreciation percentages for land use next to light rail

This particular report focused on property within a very close proximity to transit stations.

Additional research has also been conducted by RTD FastTracks with regard to transit and property...

Why real estate is a great investment

Why is real estate a great investment?  

If you look at different ROI (Return on Investment) scenarios and which of those ROI scenarios would have made you the most money from January of 2000 through June of 2010, purchasing a home would have been your most savvy investment.  If you had invested in the DOW, your Return on Investment (ROI) would have been -9.9%.  If you had invested in the S&P, your ROI would have been -19.1%.  The Nasdaq would have been -46.4%. If you had purchased a home in January of 2000 in Denver, your return on investment would be 27.5%. This means if you purchased a home for $400,000 it should be worth about $510,000 in today’s market.

Why real estate is such a great investment right now

According to the Case Shiller Price Index, Denver’s home prices are about the same as they were in 2004!  

Case and Shiller Graph

Therefore, if you purchased a home today, you would be paying the same as you would have in 2004.  The biggest difference is that the cost of that home today is much less than it would have cost you in 2004 due to lower interest rates.  For example, if you purchase a home in May of 2004 for $400,000 @ 6.27%, which is where interest rates were during this time, it would cost you $2,468.07 (Principal & Interest). If you purchase that same home today at 4.75% your P&I payment would be $2086.49 thus you would save $381.48 per month! This is a huge savings for most of us.  Therefore, the price is the same it just costs less.

Denver Interest Rates Graph...