Our strong housing market is not going away any time soon. The
large pent up demand for houses continues to gobble up any inventory that makes it onto the market and
is one of the many reasons I believe demand for homes is going to stay strong for the foreseeable future.
As long as demand stays strong and supply remains constricted (we are at a near
record-low homes on the market) you can be
sure home prices will continue to rise. Where is this large pent up demand coming from? Here are just
a few of the sources:
1. Home formation (e.g., marriages) fell dramatically during the downturn while the economy
crumbled. As the economy improves more people are getting married and creating households. For
example, from 2003-2006 a total of 1.6 million households were formed in the U.S. But from 2007-2010,
as young people lost jobs, moved back in with their parents, and didn’t have the economic
confidence to marry and create households, only 600,000 households were created. That number is
now rising quickly. From 2013 – 2016, 1.4 million households were formed, and these folks want to
buy homes! In a recent survey by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 94
percent of 22-25 year olds said they expect to buy a home in the future.
2. The population of metro Denver increases about 1.5 percent per year and will continue to do so for
the foreseeable future. What a wonderful place to live! More people = more home sales.
3. And speaking of population, here’s another important point. The inflow of immigrants from
countries around the world, both legal and illegal, plummeted during the downturn because of the
reduction in U.S. employment opportunities. As the economy has rebounded immigration is
skyrocketing. These folks need a place to live.
4. During the recession, about 5 million people lost their homes and had their credit destroyed. As
their credit improves over time, more and more of them are becoming qualified to buy again. They
were homeowners once and most want to be homeowners again as soon as they are able.
5. Millions of others, especially young people, saw their friends and relatives lose their homes during
the recession and swore to never buy a house. They learned the wrong lesson. These are a lot of the
people who have been renting the past five years instead of buying, making the rental market
historically strong. These are also the very people who lost outon the recovery and forfeited tens or
hundreds of thousands of dollars in home equity because they didn’t buy when the market was soft
and prices were low. As the housing market continues to improve they’re moving strongly toward
buying their first home.
6. Related to #5, many renters have noticed how quickly prices are rising and feel they need to jump
in now while homes are still relatively affordable. In the last 12 months the average sales price of a
single-family detached home is up 8.1 percent. The more home prices rise, the greater incentive
renters have to finally take the plunge and buy a home.
These are just a few of the many reasons demand for homes remains strong. If you’re interested in
discussing what YOU should do in this real estate market, let’s talk.