Good News and Bad News … which do you want first?

Well the media is starting to turn around a little and seems to have discovered that if you print something remotely positive about the economy people might read it! But as always there is good news and bad news. Which do you want first? Let’s save the good news for last.

First the bad news … Boulder and the rest of our area is not feelin’ the uptick yet. I just ran the numbers for our MLS for March 2009 compared to March 2008 and here is what I found:

  • # of new listings is DOWN 16.4% for single family and 6.5% for attached dwellings – many sellers are still reluctant to test the waters or can’t afford to take a loss. This also means that although there are some foreclosures in our area they have not flooded the market at this time.
  • Median and average list prices are UP 7-10% for both single family and attached. Sellers still haven’t internalized the message that homes are not going to move at 2005-2007 prices anymore!
  • # of units sold is DOWN, and in a big way – 32% for both single family and attached. Yikes! Obviously despite the “bubble” we all think we live in here in the Boulder/Denver area we are definitely seeing the effects of depressed consumer confidence.
  • Median and average sold prices are DOWN too, although not as bad as they could be – 5.7% and 13.5% for single family respectively, and less than 1% and 7.6% for attached dwellings.
  • Total home sales $ volume is DOWN also in a big way – over 41% for single family, and over 37% for attached dwellings, which just validates that fewer units are selling, and for lower prices than last year at this time.

So what does that mean for you as a seller? If you live in Longmont, Loveland/Berthoud, Ft. Collins or Greeley/Weld County then your house might sell quicker than you think. These are the areas with the highest # of units sold in March 2009. It’s no coincidence that these are also some of the more affordable communities in our MLS coverage area. Only 35 homes and 52 attached dwellings sold in Boulder last month. Broomfield, Louisville, Lafayette and Superior all report lower units sold as compared to last year.

Okay, these are the facts, and they are indisputable (isn’t that a movie line?). I wish we had better numbers to report, but it’s not our job to blow sunshine in anyone’s face. As real estate professionals we have a responsibility to our clients to provide the facts, meaningful analysis, and make all of this relevant to our clients and their situations.

Now … here is the GOOD news from a few different news feeds from today (I know you are saying “Finally!”):

Recovery Hopes Begin to Blossom – from CNN 4/7/09
Economists think there are some long- and short-term indicators giving more hope that the economy is closer to a turnaround than previously thought. Pent up demand for goods, slowing job losses, and home price declines will all help to turn around consumer confidence and fuel a recovery.

Signs of a Housing Bottom? – from 4/6/09*blog*∥=RSS
Existing and new home sales increased in February. Sales are headed in the up direction. Blogger/real estate reporter Diana Olick is slightly optimistic!

Signs of Hope and Fear In “Foreclosure Central” – from 4/7/09
Signs of hope in the housing market because sales have jumped. The $8000 tax credit being one reason. Prices have stabilized and inventory is down in some markets. Markets that have seen huge foreclosure activity are starting to see more green lawns, meaning less vacant foreclosure properties and people are out in their yards. “That part of it is very encouraging.”

So as I said earlier … Boulder and the rest of our area is not feelin’ the uptick … yet. Key word = YET. It is coming – we see it in our office every day with agents setting showings like crazy on our listings. Consumer confidence is on the rise – maybe everyone just needed to go have a good spring break, and now they are back they are testing the waters.

Hope you had a good spring break! Now get off the fence, and into the yard!

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors