Wrapping up 2018
I must begin any summary of a year doing what I do with a “Thank You”. I am honored to serve each of you and truly enjoy the journeys we share. This year has once again had its share of interesting scenarios. From one transaction that I nicknamed “Noah’s Ark” to another in which I had the joy of helping someone I’ve known since she was four years old buy her first home. I’ve reconnected with old friends, made new ones and helped folks in just about every stage of life. One of my favorites was being able to find the exact style home, on the exact street, with the exact view that I told some new friends would be the perfect home for them. At the time I told them about my hope to find something like that there were no homes available there, but lo and behold, one became available and we got it for them!
2018’s market did vary from the last few years due to a late summer downturn. It came on suddenly and had a noticeable impact on pricing. While it appears it will be a relatively minor downturn, roughly 4 to 6%, it’s been tough for folks that came on the market just as it hit. We have about 30% more homes on the market than we’ve had in the last few years and fewer buyers out looking. Buyers have a bit more leverage now, however with the gains over the last 5 to 6 years, sellers are still reaping good gains. Overall 2018 netted reasonable appreciation in most areas and price points, averaging about 5% to 6%. Sales volume was down in most areas.
2019 should track with my projections from last year. I predicted we would see a bit of slowing in appreciation, maybe 2% to 3% and I expect that will be accurate. Things will be good but the time it takes to sell the average home will increase slightly and there will be more pressure on sellers to have their homes present well when shown. Overall economic indicators are still very much in positive territory with Colorado continuing to grow. Over 80,000 people moved into our state this year. Businesses continue to locate and relocate here; employment levels are still very high and wage growth is around 3.1% last I read.
The light rail expansion and C470 expansion should enhance quality of life in the southern portion of the metro area. On the Eastern side, the Gaylord Resort and Hotel and the continued new development around the airport will bring exciting changes. The northern part of the state is growing rapidly and seems to have a diverse enough economy to withstand the challenges created by the volatility in the oil industry. To the west, the expansion of highway 85, the continued growth of Sterling Ranch and the positive impact of more lanes on C470 will benefit homeowners both in quality of life and property values.
On a personal note; I have found a new adventure in my spare time. In 2017 I had a crazy idea to create a new poker game. It started as a fun little project and has actually turned into what appears to be “the real deal”, pardon the pun. In December I hired a Branding and Development Company and a Public Relations Firm to help me with the product launch. It’s great to have found them as they can run the day to day aspects of the business, so the project continues to be a small, fun adventure with a huge upside. We are looking at a product release date sometime prior to Easter so keep your eyes out. I must admit, I never saw this coming in my life but what a blast it has been.
Beth, Roo and I continue to enjoy the Colorado lifestyle though we slowed down a bit this year, taking fewer day trips, but plan to pick up the pace in 2019. We did get to do a tri-state adventure this summer that included Colorado, Utah and Arizona. I even got to surprise Beth by having two of the kids meet us in Utah for the last few days of our vacation. I got them all to try mountain biking at Dead Horse Point and what a memorable day we had. Life is so good when shared with the ones we love.
Thanks to all of you once again for a great 2018. I hope yours was both adventurous and blessed like mine and I look forward to catching up with many of you to hear about it.