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June 2011 Metro Denver Real Estate Newsletter

J. David Lampe, Realtor

Quick Stats 
May Denver Metro Single Family Housing Stats:

Active Listings: 13,958

  • Down 15% from May ‘10

Under Contracts: 3,858

  • Up 23% from May ‘10

Solds: 3,036

  • Down 11% from May ‘10

Average Price: $279,443

  • Up 2% from May ‘10

Average Days on Market: 108

  • Up 44% from May ‘10


May Denver Metro Condo Housing Stats:

Active Listings: 3,930

  • Down 23% from May ‘10

Under Contracts: 919

  • Up 24% from May ‘10

Solds: 696

  • Down 21% from May ‘10

Average Price: $160,051

  • Down 2% from May ‘10

Average Days on Market: 113

  • Up 43% from May ‘10


Real Estate News
Markets rise and markets fall – that’s the first rule of real estate. One of the markets we have been following closely is Summit County which went through a devastating downturn the past few years. But lately there are signs of a concerted recovery.

  • First, March and April 2011 showed great signs of improvement, especially in the dollar volume category, over the same months in 2009 and 2010 – a sign that buyers are getting back into the market and taking advantage of competitive pricing.
  • Second, foreclosure actions, meaning Notice of Election and Demands (“NED”) filed by the Public Trustee, are down in 2011 from 2010.  The year 2009 had 300 NED’s filed, 2010 had 367 NED’s filed, and through April, there have been 104 NED’s filed.  Multiplying 104 times 3 gets us an estimated 312 NED actions for 2011 – a number lower than 2010, showing signs that distressed properties are decreasing, or at least remaining steady.
  • Finally, last year at this exact time there were 1,806 residential properties on the market.  Today there are 1,590 – a 12% decrease in the number of active listings.  Fewer listings mean less competition for sellers, lower holding time, and a more vibrant market. We also predict that luxury buyers will be entering the market this summer to take advantage of the discounts on the most luxurious mountain residences. We have already seen indicators of this activity with 14 sales in April over the $1M mark.

If you are still waiting on the fence, be aware that other fence riders are jumping off and getting their piece of the mountains. Your Castle Summit Properties is a full-service real estate agency with tremendous mountain experience. Call me to discuss the great opportunities that await you in the mountains.

The Case-Schiller real estate report made headlines again recently announcing that much of the nation is suffering a double-dip in residential prices. Cities like Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Chicago are down 8% in the past 6 months as the recovery sputters.
Denver has been spared the worst of this phenomenon with prices holding steady, but the very fact that the Case-Schiller data is getting so much play in the media makes sellers nervous and supports the notion that it’s a buyer’s market. It’s a truism in real estate that if everyone THINKS it’s a buyer’s market, it’s a buyer’s market! And of course the best time to buy is when it’s a buyer’s market. Especially when interest rates are at 50-year lows and Denver homes are reaching record affordability. Call me and I can show you why now’s an incredible time to buy.

Success Story
A client mentioned she was paying $700/month rent for her condo and asked whether it made sense to buy instead. We searched for a month and found a HUD listing one block from her current apartment. Because she liked the neighborhood and wanted to stay there, she agreed to look at the listing. It was a 950 sq. ft., 2 bed / 1½ bath unit with a garage and a partially finished basement listed at $50,000!
Of course the property needed a little work, but it wasn’t any worse than her current apartment.  After getting the contract (the second time around) and dealing with the subtle nuances of HUD she closed on the property last week. Now her total payment including HOA dues is almost $100 less per month than her smaller rental! These deals exist here in Denver and I know how to find them!

Welcome to the selling season! There is a lot of evidence that sellers who sell their property in the spring and summer get more for their property than those who sell in the fall and winter. How much more? A lot! In the last 5 years, properties that sold in the summer months fetched about 9% more than properties that sold in the winter! On a typical $240,000 home that’s an additional $21,600. What’s more, 80% more homes were sold in July than December over the past 5 years. So the message is clear, seasonality matters and it’s something you as a seller need to consider. Call me and I’d be happy to show you the data behind this research.

Success Story
A client of ours was facing foreclosure on the beautiful 5 bed / 5 bath house shown below.  We decided in this instance a short sale was the best option. The original loan was for $1.3 million. The new buyers offered $460,000 plus golf membership (the property is on a golf course) and the seller’s bank that held the mortgage accepted it! The buyers are thrilled to get such a beautiful home at such a deep discount and our client avoided foreclosure, making it a win-win situation for everyone!

In case you didn’t know, the market for buy and hold investors has NEVER been better. An odd combination of economic circumstances has converged to make this one of the best buy and hold markets Denver has ever seen. Here’s why: we’re in a buyer’s market so buyers can get great deals, interest rates are at 50-year lows, the rental vacancy rate is 1.5% (the lowest in Denver history), and rents are going up. What’s not to love? Call me to see if investing in real estate is right for you.

Success Story
One of our clients purchased a duplex on Reed St. in Lakewood recently and got a smoking deal!  Each unit has1,072 sq. ft and has 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, and shares the 2-car garage. The property backs to a large set of fields with a high school on the far end. And it’s in great shape! It has hardwood floors throughout, updated windows, a newer roof, and systems that all passed inspection. It’s on a quiet street with little through traffic and a lot of single family owner-occupied homes on the block. And the best part is that the property came with two Section 8 tenants and the rents are $1,075/month for each side, guaranteed by the government!  The purchase price was $199,000 and our clients put down 25% so their monthly PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance) payment is $1,039, meaning they’re getting $1,111 in cashflow every month. That’s right, their monthly cashflow is more than their payment!

YCRE In the News
One of the things we love to do at Your Castle is host property tours so you can see and evaluate properties in a friendly, no-pressure, learning environment. Our tours (like all of our training) are always free and there’s no hidden agenda. We just want to go look at properties to see what the market holds. Over the years we’ve done many different types of tours including tours of: duplexes up to fourplexes, single family rentals, condos, lofts, and mountain properties. The tours have included many different parts of town like Thornton, Denver Southwest, Aurora, etc. It’s a fun and engaging experience led by folks who really understand the market. To learn more about upcoming tours and to see our entire training calendar go to and click on “Training/Seminars”.

Mortgage rates to continue to hover around 50-year lows making it an incredible time to lock in a 30-year loan. Where are rates headed?  No one knows, but we can tell you they have never been lower. Combine that with the tremendous deals that are available on homes and it is a perfect environment for home buyers. Rates cannot stay this low forever so call me and I can refer you to a qualified mortgage broker to get a free prequalification.

Neighborhood Spotlight
The Broomfield Red Leaf development broke ground in 2003 and has 493 homes, of which 111 are condos. North of the Broomfield Commons Open Space, Red Leaf continues to show selling strength. In the period 7 to 12 months ago there were seven non-condo sales at a median price of $390,000 and only 40 days on the market (fast sellers!). The period 4 to 6 months ago shows three sales at $402,000 average and only 22 days on the market (even faster!). The past 90 days show three sales at $368,500 with 56 days on the market. By comparison, the Denver metro average is 109 days at an average sold price of $257,000. Good homes do sell in this market quickly!

With walking trails and parks inside the development, Red Leaf is 90% married families, and 39% of those families have children.  Household income is $89,348 with Broomfield city wide at $75,041. Almost 100% of the adult residents have a bachelor’s degree.

The data on Red Leaf tell us that families want to be here. Today’s active inventory includes six ranch style, seven two-story and five condo/patio style homes.  As you search for your new home we can help you find home values and the right match for your critically important lifestyle decisions.