Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Housing Market Notes

What We Love About Our Homes

Valentine’s Day brings out our love for others, but what about the homes where we live? They deserve a little love as well. This month we’ll look at what homeowners love about their homes, as well as what buyers are looking for in a home. Is there a Valentine’s Day match?

When asked what they love about their homes, homeowners responded by describing what they like to do in their homes. Specifically, Americans love to entertain and eat.

According to a Harris poll, the top home features were social spaces where guests could gather and mingle. These included an open floor plan, a backyard deck and a balcony with a view. On the food-related front, amenities like a gourmet kitchen, an eat-in kitchen, and a vegetable garden were cited.

On the flip side, what are buyers looking for in a home? The National Association of Home Builders’ “Housing Preferences Across Generations” report found these 7 features that buyers want most:

  1. Separate laundry room – From Millennials to Baby Boomers, this was the most popular feature desired by 92% of homebuyers.
  2. Exterior lighting – Of course, the house has to be looking good when all your guests arrive. Aesthetics aside, lighting also provides an added safety bonus.
  3. Energy efficient appliances and windows – today’s Energy Star rated appliances and windows provide significant savings on utility bills without compromising quality.
  4. Backyard deck or patio – outdoor areas offer more living and entertaining space even if their use is limited by weather.
  5. Hardwood floors – Wood flooring offers a cleaner look, is easier to maintain, and is more durable than carpet.
  6. Garage storage space – A little bit of cabinetry and shelving in the garage goes a long way for organizing the endless gear and adult toys of active Coloradoans.
  7. Eat-in kitchen – Whether it’s just a regular night at home or an evening of entertaining guests, everyone inevitably ends up in the kitchen.

So do we have a Valentine’s Day match? Do homeowners love the same things buyers are looking for? Not surprisingly, it all comes down to food and entertaining.

Both groups love a home where they can prepare a meal in a gourmet, eat-in kitchen (chock full of energy efficient appliances), and then enjoy that meal with friends and family on a backyard patio or deck. Now that’s a match made in heaven!

A Refreshing Look at the Question “What is my House Worth?”

As Winter is coming to a close, and Spring is right around the corner, many people are getting ready to list their homes or are currently looking for a home. The biggest question on everyone’s mind is how much will homes be going for this year.

We’ve already seen more and more listings popping up, and we’re seeing the Spring market starting to come early, as we expected. Let’s take a look at some of the stats for our area to get a better idea of what is going on.

In Douglas County for January 2017 (anyone else still writing 2016?), the average sales price* was:

  • $440,500 for Single Family Homes (up 6.1% from 1 year ago).

  • $280,000 for Condos/Townhomes (up 12% from 1 year ago).

In Arapahoe County for January 2017, the average sales price* was:

  • $355,000 for Single Family Homes (up 10% from 1 year ago).

  • $210,000 for Condos/Townhomes (up 13.5% from 1 year ago).

The graphic above shows that on average a buyer paid 100% of what the seller listed the home for last month. Also with low months of inventory, this keeps us solidly in a seller’s market for now until more homeowners decide to list their homes.

*Median sales price based on a twelve-month moving average