Colorado Divorce and Real Estate Law Blog. (Vol 1.23)
By Craig Franklin Chambers Esq. 7851 S. Elati Street #204, Littleton, CO 80120
The Littleton Lawyer
As a Colorado law firm specializing in divorce law and real estate law in Denver, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Centennial and Englewood, and as a licensed real estate broker, with over thirty years of experience in helping people buy and sell residential real estate, clients often ask me for a prognosis for the real estate market for the upcoming year.
Problems with real estate contracts--and the need for my services as a Colorado real estate attorney--are related to the economy because the more real estate transactions occur the more potential need for an attorney to overseer and advise on residential real estate matters.
This last year saw a remarkable recovery in the real estate market, increasing the property values in most Littleton and Denver-Metro areas. At the time--last spring--there was very little inventory, and homes sold immediately, often above the asking price.
The surplus of HUD-owned properties and short-sale properties diminished and the individual sellers finally saw an increases in home values. As that occurred, many professional pundits and real estate brokers predicted that the increased market marked the beginning of a boom.
However, the "mini-boom" was caused by the high inventory, the low interest rates, and the fact that the monthly mortgage payments for purchasing a home was the same money or less money than paying rent. In addition, there were a number of displaced buyers from recession whose credit finally recovered and wanted to find themselves back on the market.
The increase in interest rates and the rise in pricing has altered that scenario. The market has slowed substantially. It is now a generally flat market, given the slightly higher interest rates, the higher inventory, and the increase in residential property values.
The main factors in the real estate market are the interest rates and the local job market. Until that recovers and people are confident in their finances, there is no long-term boom in sight.
The Denver residential real estate market is somewhat cyclical, with the local market usually subsiding over the Holidays and during the cold season and thriving in early spring in the peak season. It is too soon to tell how well the real estate market will do in 2014, but the current market today is substantially slower than it was a year ago during the "mini-boom".