What to do in Denver in April 2021

Check out these April Events and Fun!     April 10th– April 18th: Through It All: A Colorado Ballet Season Finale “Colorado Ballet presents a celebratory return to live performances with its season finale at Lone Tree Arts Center. Marking Colorado Ballet’s first company performances in over a year, the dancers couldn’t be more excited to perform and share the culmination of their work and perseverance through all of the past year. From choreography by Marius Petipa to new works choreographed by Colorado Ballet’s dancers, this program will feature a variety of repertoire including classical variations, pas de deux and contemporary ensemble pieces. Performances will follow all health and safety guidelines.” Tickets & More Info!       April 13th– April 18th: Women + Film Festival “The Women+Film Festival is an annual tradition that celebrates outstanding cinema by and about women, unique perspectives, and connects Colorado audiences to the filmmakers whose groundbreaking work examines the roles, challenges, and triumphs of women everywhere. This year’s Festival will take place April 13 – 18 on our Virtual platform, which will give you access to the entire program from the comfort of your home. The Festival will feature over 15 premieres, including local stories, powerful documentaries, and compelling narratives. We will also present poignant conversations with community leaders focused around the films in the festival and pressing issues facing the community.” More Info!       April 16th– April 18th: Colorado Rockies v. New York Mets “The Colorado Rockies take the field against the New York Mets!” Tickets & More Info!         April 22nd– April 25th: Lotus at Red Rocks “LIVE NATION is thrilled to announce LOTUS live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre!” Get Tickets!           April 23rd– May 2nd: Denver Restaurant Week “Celebrate the local culinary scene during VISIT DENVER’s Denver Restaurant Week, April 23-May 2. Top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for one of three tasty prices: $25, $35 or $45 per person. Patio, to-go and delivery options will be available!” More Info!         April 24th: Colorado Rapids v. Austin FC “The Colorado Rapids take on the Austin Football Club at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park during their Home Opener!” More Info!           April 29th– Aril 30th: Trevor Hall “AEG Presents is thrilled to announce TREVOR HALL live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre Friday, April 29th and Saturday, April 30th.” Get Tickets!         Have a great month and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Denver Real Estate News – April 2021

A REBOUND IN CONFIDENCE, BUT INVENTORY LAGS BEHIND   Winter is winding down, and spring has officially arrived! As we pass the 1-year mark since the pandemic began, some things are considerably different from last spring. Consumer confidence has come a long way since the turbulent shutdown last year. Three FDA-approved vaccines are currently being administered. As of April 2nd, Colorado is in Phase 2 of vaccine distribution, meaning all Coloradans age 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. Congress also approved a third wave of stimulus checks for many people. Many checks were sent out last month across the country, further soothing some of the financial burden from the ongoing pandemic. On the other hand, housing inventory continues to lag in seven counties that make up the Denver metro area. The average number of listings in February is historically 13,500. At the end of February 2021, there were only 2,025 active listings, a record low (includes attached & detached homes). This February was down 58% in inventory from the same time last year. The simple fact is that we need to reach a critical mass of people getting vaccinated for some sellers to feel safe opening up their homes to strangers. We do not expect this to happen until sometime this summer.   INFORMATION FOR BUYERS: Interest Rates Are on The Rise   The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate recently increased to the 3% mark for the first time since last July. This may discourage some buyers, potentiallylessening a bit of the competition in the market. Despite this recent increase, it is important to keep in mind that 3% is still historically very low. In Feb. 2020 before the pandemic hit, the rates were already considered historically low at 3.5%. In comparison, rates were at 4.5% in Feb. 2019, and 6% in Feb. 2008 at the start of the last recession. These increased rates mean that a homeowner would owe more money in interest over time. However, they would also be gaining equity at a faster rate, as appreciation in Metro Denver is up to nearly 20% from this time last year. Lately the media has been focusing on the most extreme cases of homes selling for more money than their list price, further frustrating buyers. They have highlighted homes that have had over 100 showings in the first weekend and 20+ offers, telling buyers that they need to be prepared to offer 20% above the asking price on homes. Although this is an extremely competitive market and that is true of select homes, it is certainly not the norm. In February, on average, homes sold for a 1.9% premium (See the February Market Snapshot Graphic.) For a $350K home, this would amount to $6,650 over the asking price. It is still a dramatic reflection of low housing inventory, but not as dire as a 20% markup. Many homes still sell at, or near, market value. Many buyers are getting frustrated over getting outbid on brand new listings. One helpful strategy to combat this could be to focus on homes that have been sitting on the market longer than one weekend. These homes may be perceived as defective by buyers. However, in many cases, they were simply just priced too high by overzealous sellers. After being passed over by buyers for being overpriced, or having passed on decent offers, these sellers may sign lower offers than they had initially hoped to accept.   INFORMATION FOR SELLERS: A Strong Seller’s Market Continues for Now   The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has slowly been on the rise since the year began, as it appears that it bottomed out at the end of last year. As these rates continue to climb past 3%, some marginal buyers will pull out of their home searches. This will gradually reduce the buyer pool. In addition, it is all but guaranteed that as more people are vaccinated and comfortable with people in their homes, many first-time sellers will list their homes to try and capitalize on the current seller’s market. Over the course of the year, this should increase the available inventory. Although showing traffic is still incredibly high and it is expected to remain a seller’s market for quite some time, the new inventory will most likely reduce some of the current fervor in the market. As a prospective seller, especially in the $1MM+ price range, act now to get the most out of your home sale. 63% more homes over $1MM were sold in Feb. ’21 than in Feb. ’20. Buyers are cashing in on low- interest rates while they can. For listings under $800K, you should be getting 20 showings in the first week on market. If not, odds are that your home is overpriced. Although the market is in your favor, you should expect that if you get 10-20 showings the first weekend and receive an offer, and that offer is at-or-near asking price, that is totally normal. Do not lose out on a good offer because you are reaching for the far-off 20% above asking price sale. Throughout the process, remember the reasons why you are selling your home and celebrate that closing when it happens!        

Denver Real Estate News – March 2021

Scarcity In The Market Persists, But Not Forever A growing number of Colorado residents are getting their vaccinations against the Coronavirus, and many are increasingly optimistic about the prospect of moving closer to their normal routines later this year. This optimism is also becoming apparent in the local real estate market. Despite a dismal 2,316 active listings on the market at the end of January, as of mid-February, that number had already jumped closer to 3,300 actives. Although that number is prone to fluctuation and still signifies a seller’s market, it is a good sign of things to come in 2021. Every vaccine that gets administered brings us one step closer to a normal economy and further away from the negative effects of the pandemic.   Tremendous Excitement For Sellers Many home sellers are ecstatic and with good reason. The lack of inventory in the market brings friction for buyers and their agents. However, on the seller side, it can be a best-case scenario. The average number of showings per active listing was 20 in January. This high showing traffic tends to lead to competitive bidding wars. These bidding wars can drive offers up tens of thousands of dollars above asking price, if a home is priced correctly from the start. Another real estate metric is MOI or months of inventory. This is a metric that represents how many months it would take to sell every home currently available on the market if buyers kept buying at the same pace that they did in the last 12 months. For detached homes, MOI is close to 0.3 months or only about 9 days! For condos, it is 0.8 months or around 24 days. This data shows an extremely strong seller’s market, and we do not see that changing any time soon. The average sales price in Q4 2020 was up a whopping 17% from Q4 2019. For condos, this increase was around 5%. The luxury market also shifted to a seller’s market in 2020, which is fairly unprecedented.   An Uncomfortable Lack Of Inventory, Trepidation For Some Buyers The lack of current housing inventory is primarily caused by two factors. The first is that many potential sellers are uncomfortable showing their homes due to the virus. They want to limit the amount of people walking through their homes. This fear can be remedied if proper safety protocols are followed. The second major cause of low inventory is that entry-level and lower-paid workers have been disproportionately affected by the recession. Many are still worried about losing their jobs and don’t want to lose the security that their home provides. Low inventory currently spans all price points but is especially acute in the entry-level market. We are in hopes that by the end of summer all of the people thinking about selling their homes, but did not due to Covid-19 fears, will do so as more people are vaccinated. This first round of immunity should give people more confidence. Eventually, they should move past their fears and into selling their homes. New construction is projected to be on the upswing this year too, which should help the inventory slightly. Many would-be buyers are nervous that we are in a bubble. They are fearful of buying in a Seller’s market only to have the bubble burst after their purchase. For clarity, in the past 50 years, there has never been a time when prices dropped when it has been a seller’s market and a simultaneous shortage of inventory. There have only been three years out of the last 52 where home prices dropped in the Denver metro. One was in 1985 when mortgage rates, inflation, and unemployment were in the double digits, and we had about 11-12 months of inventory. That year was an extremebuyer’s market. 2008 and 2009 were the other two years when priced dipped. We had 35,000-36,000 homes on the market during the Great Recession. Those two years also had well over 6 months of inventory. Foreclosures are another common concern for would-be buyers who are worried about a bubble. However, foreclosure activity is the lowest it has been in 20 years, and all the leading indicators show an improvement as people catch up on forbearances in 2021. The odds of foreclosure being a large factor on the market any time soon are very low. Not as many people are behind as you might think. Unless people bought their home in the past year and are in forbearance, they should have equity built up, and thus won’t go into foreclosure. They may fall behind, but even so, they can sell their homes and walk away with the equity.     Buyers: Sales are still happening every day at all price points, so do not let yourself get too discouraged. It may just take a bit longer to make a move than normal. There are strategies to come out victorious in multiple offer situations. This extremely low inventory should let up a bit by at least July as people start to cast off some of their Coronavirus fears.   Sellers: Now is a better time than ever to put your house on the market. Inventory is incredibly low and demand continues to surge. Take advantage of the current conditions while interest rates are still low – we are seeing them begin to shift!  

What to do in Denver in March 2021

Check out what is going on in Denver this March!   March 8th– 10th: Colorado Avalanche v. Arizona Coyotes “Colorado Avalanche take on the Arizona Coyotes at Ball Arena!”       March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day “No parade – no problem!  We are still celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the Denver area this year in a BIG way and helping our local restaurants and bars while doing it!  The Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee has teamed up with Bellco Credit Union and Breckenridge Brewery to help bring a little luck of the Irish to Denver area restaurants & bars.  Metro Denver St. Patrick’s Day Dine & Decorate aims to help bring guests back into our local restaurants while also donating to the Mile High.” Events & More Info!       March 18th, March 25th: Triple Threat “Comedy Works South presents Triple Threat featuring three national touring headliners in one show on March 18 & 25, 2021! You are in for an AMAZING show! This Triple Threat show includes three national touring headliners each doing a full set all in one night, one show. Catch Stephanie McHugh, Louis Johnson, and Bryan Kellen as they prepare their sets for their own Dry Bar Comedy special.” Tickets & More Info!       March 20th: TEDxMileHigh – UNCHARTED “We all start somewhere as we venture into the uncharted – sometimes teeming with clarity, sometimes hesitant with uncertainty. And while we can never know what contours the journey will take, we can know it will require ingenuity, collaboration, and nerve.We inherit maps that can inspire the way forward. Adventurers who have gone ahead of us exploring the space of inner worlds between neurons & synapses, mapping our collective motivations and movements, examining our impact on the natural world and climate, and poets who have long weaved meaning and inspiration. There is much to explore.On March 20th we will venture together into unmapped ideas in science, art, business, health, poetry, and social science. Join TEDxMileHigh as we celebrate our human spark of discovery and impulse to forge ahead into the UNCHARTED.Speakers and schedule will be announced leading up to the event.” Registration & More Info!     March 21st: Colorado Bridal Show “Colorado Bridal Show. Plan Your Wedding! Shop Local Wedding Professionals. Get Show-Only. Pricing. Register For Vendor Prizes. Complimentary Wedding Magazines. Sample Wedding Reception Tables. Register For A Honeymoon Giveaway at Mountain Lodge Telluride. Register for The Knot Guide To Weddings Giveaway. All Brides Get A Gift Card For Free. Wedding Bands, Up to $379 Value.Masks Required, Current Social Protocols Will Be Followed.” Tickets & More Info!       March 24th: Michael W. Twitty – Passover Lecture “Join JAAMM as we welcome an incredibly special guest, James Beard Award-winning author and food historian Michael W. Twitty, for an interactive lecture event around the holiday of Passover.” Tickets & More Info!         March 28th: Central Park 5K “Run/walk this spring in beautiful Central Park! All registrants receive awesome swag, an expo party with music, finisher goodies, an after-party beer deal, and more!” Registration & More Info!     Have a great month and stay safe!

How Many Types Of White Kitchens Can You Find?

The Short Answer: An Infinite Amount Just because “white” is often thought of as one color doesn’t mean all-white kitchens are the same. There are actually 494 different shades that fall within the actual hue. Beige isn’t white, though some people consider it a “white” color. Eggshell white is different from the sort of white you’ll find on a piece of paper. There are white colors so “bright” they impact the eyes. Other whites are muted. So which hue of white is right for your kitchen? Well, that’s going to depend a lot on your personal preferences. It will also partially depend on the sort of home you’re decorating. Sometimes a purely white kitchen is perfectly complementary to a given space. In other instances, white will starkly contrast with the rest of the home, and it’s not a good thing. Here we’ll explore a few of the details that surround kitchen décor. Because endless variations of design exist for kitchens, we’re just going to focus on a few kitchen features to help give you an idea of what’s out there, and the best steps for your property. 1 – The Cabinetry Component White Shaker cabinetry represents one of the most popular styles of white kitchen cabinets, and you can explore quite a selection at the Cabinet City website. A few notable examples of this cabinetry style include Malibu, Jersey, Lexington, Aspen, Huntington, and Irving White Shakers. Each of these styles brings something slightly different to space. Beyond wooden cabinetry, there are also metal options and those that have transparent cabinet doors. You might have the interior and exterior of cabinets colored white, then paint around the edges of glass doors. Backlighting your cabinets is a fine step that makes your kitchen “pop”. Also, you might explore “open” cabinets. That is to say: those which are essentially a stylistic cubby hole—there are no cabinet doors at all. This is a sort of Spartan, modernist style that has become more prevalent in recent days. 2 – Countertop Shades Now counters can be white as well. You could paint them, then apply a protective coat to keep the counters easily cleanable. Or, you might look into granite countertops. Granite and marble have a variety of shades, and there are a few quartz options out there that have a “pearl” coloration to them which fits comfortably among a variety of white shades. Here’s what Home Depot has in this area. Metal counters can be a bit more difficult to find in white colors, as the paint is superfluous in many scenarios; though there are white metal options out there that have different qualities of coloration defining them. Generally, you want countertop options that are designed and polished to their natural coloration. 3 – Appliances, Lower Cabinets, Tile, And Trim Appliances for the kitchen are usually black, white, gray, or dusky red color. Different variants exist, but these are the primary options. Often, homeowners try to match appliances to the décor of the rooms those appliances are central to. Additionally, you have lower cabinet options that need to be matched to upper cabinets, appliances, counters, etc. The tiling scheme you use on your floor, or the backsplash of tile behind the sink, may be purely white, or you could have a checkerboard pattern. Some kitchens will put white and off-white together in tile design for a subtle contrast. Trim is another region of kitchen design to consider. A lot of kitchens use LVP, or Luxury Vinyl Plank, for the floor. Well, the edges of that LVP are hidden under “trim”, which is usually about a half-inch thick, and two inches high. That trim outlines the kitchen, and sometimes it’s good to contrast it to the white. Other times it’s best to match it exactly.   Finding The Balance Befitting Your Home Whether you decide to make the whole premises white, or just the cabinets, there are multiple options to explore. Countertops, appliances, tile, trim, lower cabinetry, upper cabinetry—all have their variations. What makes sense is taking a few pictures of your present kitchen in good light from a good angle, and sketching out a few possible designs. Also, taking pictures helps you search for cabinetry online, or explore local home improvement stores. Whatever works best, do that—and keep in mind: just because your kitchen is white doesn’t mean it’s the same design scheme as any other house. Especially if you go the DIY approach with your renovation, your kitchen will be as unique as you are.  

What to do in Denver in February 2021

Check out these February Events & Fun!   February 1stto 28th: Black History Month “Each February, Black History Month honors the achievements and contributions of African Americans to the country. Celebrate throughout the Denver metro area with lectures, dramatic performances and music.” Click here for a full schedule of events!           February 7th: Superbowl LV “The matchup for Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida is officially set and it pits the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This year’s big game is a big one for CBS and its family of networks. CBS is set to broadcast the Super Bowl for the second time in three seasons, which will be its 21st Super Bowl broadcast, the most in league history. You can watch the game FOR FREE on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App on your phone and connected TV devices or with your CBS All Access subscription.” More Info!         February 7thto 13th: The 19thCentury in European and American Art Opening Week! “In newly installed galleries, view about 85 artworks from the museum’s collection by Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Paul Cézanne, Édouard Manet, Willard Leroy Metcalf, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Childe Hassam, and others that tell a story about one of the most important times in art history.” More Info!         February 8thto 17th: Denver Jewish Film Festival “The 25th Annual JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center’s Denver Jewish Film Festival powered by The Chotin Foundation will be held entirely virtually and “on demand” from February 8-17, 2021. The Festival includes 21 feature films and 10 shorts showcasing Israeli and Jewish cinema from 14 countries.” Tickets & More Info!         February 13thto 21st: Colorado Garden & Home Show “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Colorado Garden & Home Show is taking place virtually this year, sponsored by Bellco Credit Union. Get ideas, inspiration and advice for your home from more than 400 companies participating in the Virtual Show. Research, compare and choose from thousands of products and services, and take advantage of show-only specials!” Get More Info!         All Month Long: Winter Fun & Outdoor Activities “Winter makes The Mile High City sparkle. Denver is also the world’s largest après ski town. It’s a great place to gear up, find deals and acclimatize before you hit the higher Rocky Mountain ski slopes of Colorado.” What to do in Winter in Colorado!     Have a great month and stay safe!

Denver Real Estate News – February 2021

A New Year Brings New Optimism As 2021 rolls on, we feel ready to take on the world in the fresh new year. Although we are left with many of the same problems as before, it seems that with vaccines continuing to roll out to the at-risk among us, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, a slow solution to our nearly years-long health crisis should start to bring about more consumer confidence, and as a result, even more traffic in the real estate market. Five Metrics to Watch to Gauge the Strength of the Market When we do market research, we focus on five key metrics that can tell us about the health of the market and what direction things might take. See below for an in-depth breakdown of these key data points to get more insight into what the market is doing: Average Sales Price We expect strong price appreciation in the first half of 2021, but more moderate price growth in the 2ndhalf. Homes have gone up in price in all but 4 years in the past 44! Just because we are at record high prices DOES NOT mean prices have to fall next year. Prices have been rising for 12 years straight… on average, home prices rise 6% per year. In the past 12 months, prices rose 8% for detached homes. Months of Inventory (MOI) MOI is a metric that illustrates, hypothetically, if prices remained at the same levels they are right now and no new homes came onto the market, how long would it take to sell all the available inventory? This metric has been relatively stable for 48 months. MOI on 1/04/2021 was 0.3, a 30yr record low!  We do not anticipate improvement until mid-2021 at the earliest. We have been through tight inventory in the past (1993-2000). There is a normal level of seasonal variation in the busier spring and summer months.     Under Contract Listings The number of Under Contact Listings is a good leading indicator of closed sales volume. Volumes are a bit higher than this time last year due to delayed demand from the COVID crisis. We anticipate strong sales volume for the new year. The lack of inventory is the main constraint; there is plenty of buyer demand (and cheap mortgage money).   Number of Listings Sold First quarter (Jan-March) of 2020 saw a 5-14% increase in sales versus first quarter of 2019. Real estate was hit hardest in the second quarter of 2020, as people were not allowed to show homes, but recovered just as quickly. This resulted in higher than usual sales, setting records for third and fourth quarters. This was especially true in the luxury market (Homes $1MM+) as more affluent buyers took advantage of record-low interest rates.   Inventory Inventory is down dramatically for both homes and condos. It has been interesting to see the demand for homes and condos respectively change directions amidst the COVID crisis, in that detached homes are seeing an even tighter seller’s market. Inventory levels of homes and condos available for purchase had been growing in 2019 but dropped again throughout 2020. As you can see, inventory is the lowest it has been in over thirteen years!     And finally the Monthly Market Snapshot:

What to do in Denver in January 2021

2021 is Here! Check out these January Events & Fun   January 6th to 16th: Blossoms of Light “The Gardens’ signature event for more than three decades, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. Join us for this family-friendly event that has become a holiday tradition for thousands of Front Range families. Pre-purchased timed tickets and masks covering face and nose required. Available for purchase: Holiday treats, warm drinks and our souvenir reusable mug.” Tickets & More Info!       January 7thto February 28th: Dillon Ice Castles “Ice Castles is an award-winning frozen attraction located in four cities across North America. The experience is built using hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists. The castles include breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, fountains and much more.” Tickets & More Info!         January 13thto 15th: Colorado Avalanche V. St. Louis Blues “The Avalanche are set to open the 56-game slate on Wednesday, Jan. 13 against the St. Louis Blues at Ball Arena. Due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Avalanche will not host fans at home games at the Ball Arena until further notice. However, this game will be televised on NBCSN at 8:30 p.m. MST.”       January 18th: Martin Luther King Jr March & Parade Celebrate the largest Martin Luther King Jr. march and rally in the United States, this year virtually!   “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” -Martin Luther King Jr.   More Info!               January 28thto February 3rd: Sundance Film Festival “Welcome to the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. A new chapter filled with possibilities. Despite the challenges this year has brought, nothing could stop us from celebrating independent film, visionary artists, unique perspectives, and you, our adventurous audiences. So, for the first time ever, we are bringing the festival to you—both online and in the real world across the US and beyond.” Tickets & More Info!      Stay safe and have a great January!    

Denver Real Estate News – January 2021

Happy New Year! 2020 has finally come to an end. When the year started, few of us expected to live through the worst pandemic in a century. It’s been a mixed year of tragedy, setbacks, and small victories. Many of us have had to totally alter our lifestyles to adapt. Considering how hard this year has been on local families, communities, and our great state of Colorado, all of us at the New Era Group at Your Castle want to thank you for your continued readership and patronage. We are immensely appreciative of each and every one of our clients. As vaccines begin to distribute and we see a glimmer of hope transitioning into 2021, continue to stay safe and be kind to one another. Try to help someone out in their hour of need if you are able. As always, let us know how we can better serve you. Misleading Statistics for 2020 Regarding real estate, many have asked us recently, “What will 2021 bring for our market?” Although we can never predict the future, if we look at trends from the past year it can guide us to a better understanding of what the new year might bring. DMAR (The Denver Metro Association of Realtors) puts out a year-end report detailing various real estate metrics. In November 2020 the number of Active Listings (attached + detached) on the market was just above 3,400. That is about 50% down from where it was in 2019! By comparison, over the past 15-20 years the average was around 14,000 active homes & condos. These extremely low levels of inventory are driving a sense of scarcity in the market, thus average prices are going up. How much are they going up, you ask? Based on the data, home prices are up about 13% on average so far from 2020 (Jan-Nov) vs. the same timeframe in 2019 (Jan-Nov).  

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