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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Newly Devised Real Estate Index Answers the Question, "How's the Market?"

By JIM SMITH, Realtor®

      When you are thinking of selling a home, the first question that comes to mind is usually, “How’s the market? Is this a good time to put my house on the market?”

      Frustrated by the home sales statistics routinely published by the media — especially national statistics which may differ widely from our local reality — I have finally come up with a measurement that I feel answers that question.

      My new index measures the percent of inventory that is under contract.  It’s a snapshot that can be taken at any time, as opposed to a monthly report that comes out on the 10th or 30th of the following month.

      Here is my index for this Monday, Oct. 31. Thanks to Metrolist’s new “advanced search,” it only takes a few minutes to generate the report.  I’ll update it on the last day of each month and publish it here and online.  Although it is generated on Metrolist, the Denver metro MLS, it counts all the listings on IRES serving northern Front Range and the Pikes Peak MLS serving the southern Front Range.

Jefferson County (Plains)  32.3

Jefferson County (Foothills)  16.8

Denver Northeast  41.9

Denver Southeast  25.4

Denver Northwest  30.6

Denver Southwest  42.2

Downtown Denver  15.3

Denver (all sections)  32.1

Adams County  39.0

Arapahoe County  39.8

City of Aurora  50.8

Douglas County  28.3

Broomfield  24.5

Boulder County  11.4

Clear Creek County  19.0

Gilpin County  10.3

Elbert County  23.5

El Paso County  17.2

Larimer County  9.1

Weld County  19.4

Total MLS 23.8

     The percentages speak for themselves.  They tell us that half the inventory in Aurora is under contract, while less than 10% of the inventory in Larimer County is under contract. It would be a great time to put a house in Aurora on the market, but not so good a time to do so in Larimer County.

      Jefferson County (except in the foothills) shows about one-third of the listings under contract, but the foothills with half that percentage.

      Colorado’s Front Range as a whole is doing quite well compared to the rest of the country, with almost one in four listings under contract.  It will be interesting to track the monthly changes.

      It’s easy to understand why the numbers are so high in Aurora and Denver Northeast/Southwest.  These are areas which have been beaten up significantly by foreclosures and short sales.  The values are way down from their highs of a few years ago.  Combine that with record low interest rates and little wonder buyers are snapping up the inventory.

      Call me if you’d like the calculation for your sub-market of Jeffco.

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