A Tale of Two Stories

Dated: April 15 2023

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A tale of two stories.


On one hand, REALTORS was thinking, along with sellers, that the Spring season would start out with a Rush of business. They were right, sort of. If you have a home in the right price range and it is very nice and priced well we have multiple offers occurring. Agents are standing in line again, and buyers trying to figure out how there are so many other buyers waiting for that special home. But the market is far different than one year ago.  Total unit sales were down a whopping 24.1%, or about what we were selling in 2015. Active listings were up 64% and prices pulled back 2.4% across the MLS for the medium sales price. Days on market rocketed up almost 300% for single-family homes. And although inventory remains low, the tide continues to turn.


Let’s dig in a bit. On the national level, as of December, the Case-Schiller National home index now showed 11 months of consecutive home sales dropping and as of February home prices fell for the first time in 11 years. As we have discussed a housing slowdown takes time.  Mortgage applications hit a 28-year low. Hardly good news for the future of housing. We continue to see mortgage companies lean out, or close.  Builder sentiment seems to flow with the interest rates, and although builder sentiment rose 7 points in February, the highest increase since 2013, it remained at 42 which put it firmly in negative territory.  By March it rose to 44, still negative. Weekly we are reminded that the housing market continues to struggle, and the mortgage industry is shedding lenders and closing lending options.


As we wade into the changing economy I believe housing across the front range, and the nation will continue to slow down. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers recently came out and said the likelihood of recession was increasing as a series of weak economic indicators have hit the news. And the IMF came out recently stating that we have 5 years of sluggish global growth ahead. If you Google tech layoffs, you will find that in the first quarter of 2023, we have 158,000 jobs lost. Typically, higher paying jobs, those layoffs will ripple throughout the areas that are heavily tech-based. With the FED still in a tightening cycle, more layoffs are bound to come. And it appears they may still have one more .25 rate hike left in them. The FED typically overshoots the economy looking backward for data that is past as we slam into a recession headfirst. I suspect that will occur again. And as companies then lay off more people, housing will take the brunt of that later in the year. For now, we will simply digest data as it comes in, and try our best to figure out what path that takes us on. If history mimics itself, once the FED pivots, we can likely expect the economy to then show how bad things are going to really get. And my guess is, it is going to be a hard landing. 

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Patrick Muldoon

I have many interests and hobbies to supplement my busy career in real estate. Although I enjoy my work I also enjoy finding free time to enjoy the most important things in life. This includes being w....

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