Housing Experts Expect Market to Stabilize, Possibly Increase Closings in 2010, According to Colorado State University Surveys

Colorado housing markets are expected to remain relatively stable in 2010 even if homeownership rates decline slightly, according to northern Colorado housing experts surveyed by the Everitt Real Estate Center at the Colorado State University College of Business.

A whopping 67 percent of respondents to a survey prepared by the Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association and the Everitt center said they expect the market to perform the same or better in 2010. Only 33 percent expect the market to be worse or much worse.

“This is promising, but lenders remain concerned about how federal regulations, local job growth and regional economic growth might affect housing,” said Steve Laposa, director of the Everitt Real Estate Center.

Survey results were released Thursday at the Everitt Real Estate Center’s quarterly event at the Fort Collins Hilton.

The Everitt center also released its semi-annual in-depth study on home prices on 11 markets within northern Colorado.

Key findings of the survey in northern Colorado:

• Experts are cautiously optimistic closing will increase in 2010 although there were differences in opinions based on their years in the industry: 55 percent of those with less than 10 years in the industry agreed closings would increase vs. 40 percent of those who had been in the industry 10 years or more.
• Just as much as the $8,000 tax credit helped sales in 2009, it will have a negative impact in 2010 when it ends.
• Northern Colorado and Denver account for 78 percent of the buyers in the region; California ranks No. 1 for out-of-state buyers, but the Midwest No. 1 as a region.
• Buyer confidence and qualifications rank as the top barriers to sales.
• Closings in 2009 for Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties were down 31 percent from the peak in 2004, yet fourth quarter 2009 (2,791) had a higher level of closings than fourth quarter 2008 (2,351).
• From 2008 to 2009, closings dropped in all price ranges with the exclusion of the lowest price ranges.

The Everitt Real Estate Center, based in the College of Business, integrates CSU’s real estate students with the Northern Colorado and Front Range real estate community, and disseminates applied research that responds to critical current and future real estate issues.