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Tag: Sean Gilliam

October Market Insights

Here is the Market Insights report for October 2017 for Boulder County, Colorado provided by RE/MAX Alliance.

October 2017 Market Insights (PDF version)

Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Alliance in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at or by phone at 970-313-6706.  To read Sean’s articles see his blog or to search for properties see his web page.

Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to your success.  Give me a call at 970-313-6706 to get started.


2017 Northern Colorado Real Estate Forecast

2017 Northern Colorado Real Estate Forecast

The year 2016 brought moderate home price appreciation as estimated (see the 2016 forecast).  This year will see much of the same with likely more conservative appreciation.  This will be in large part due to the cumulative effect of home values going up, raising affordability issues, and the mortgage interest rate increases that we’ve seen recently.  However, while home values won’t go up significantly they will rise moderately and the housing market in Northern Colorado will continue to be robust.  This is due to the relatively stable economy and the continued influx of people to Colorado.  Using the Leeds  School of Business’ Colorado Business Economic Outlook 2017 as a reference for data and forecasting estimates, this article will take a look at specific information regarding Northern Colorado’s economy and population and see how these variables inform the outlook for the housing market in 2017.

Colorado’s Economy:

Colorado has a stronger economy in comparison to national statistics.  The Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or the total value of goods and services produced in the state of Colorado, has grown 3.6% year over year as compared to 2.6% nationally.  Colorado has the 4th fastest growing GDP among the 50 states.

Further, for job growth we are ranked 8th in the nation.  Colorado attracts a significant amount of entrepreneurs to Northern Colorado with plenty of resources and networking opportunities in the metropolitan areas such as Denver and Boulder.  New businesses are an important part of a growing economy.  In fact, from 2010 to 2014, new businesses in Colorado created 47,000 jobs annually.  The first quarter of 2016 showed a 7.4% increase in new businesses over the first quarter of 2015.  The sectors with the most growth are professional, scientific and technology, accounting for 20% of new businesses.  Construction accounted for 9% of new business growth.   With the associated job creation related to these new businesses, the economy will continue to strengthen and the influx of people to Northern Colorado filling these jobs will remain steady.

Colorado’s Population Growth:

In recent years there has been a population growth of 100,000 per year in Colorado.  This is projected to continue into 2017 and beyond.  Colorado has the 2nd highest population growth in the country.  It is projected that between 2015 and 2020 that population growth will reach 500,000.  Of that, 86% or 420,000, will be along the Front Range of Northern Colorado.   To break it down further, of the population growth of 100,000 expected for 2017, 31,800 will be due to natural increase (resident births minus resident deaths) and 67,000 will be due to people moving to the state.   This impacts an important factor in the real estate market, demand.  With increased demand for homes, property values rise.   What has caused significant rise in home values in northern Colorado is the growing demand paired with what will be highlighted in the next segment, low inventory.

Housing Inventory:

One factor that has caused an imbalance in the housing market in Colorado is low inventory.  This is to be expected with the amount of population growth with a limited amount of residents leaving the state.  Low inventory has been a significant factor in the rising value of homes in Northern Colorado.  It’s old fashioned supply and demand.  So what is the solution to this dilemma?  New construction.  In recent years, builders have returned to Northern Colorado and are developing new communities to address the high demand for homes.  In 2015, builders brought 26,000 new units to the market.  However, household formation, or the amount of individuals or families that opt to buy their own home was estimated to be between 33,000 and 35,000 in the same year.  This deficit contributes to low inventory and thus rising home prices due to demand.  As new construction increases their numbers and the number of new units catches up with household formation, home prices will continue to level out and a more balanced market will be seen.  Indicators for new construction are positive going into 2017 as the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Market Index indicated that builder confidence is at its highest level since July of 2005.  Further, 2016 saw a 9% increase in new businesses related to the construction industry.

An additional factor that would increase inventory is housing turnover.  That is, if more people chose to move, more houses would be available.  While this sounds a bit simplistic, it is essential to a healthy, balanced housing market.  As cited above, as new construction units continue to increase, more inventory will be available for those moving to Colorado and for current residents that want to upgrade or change location.

Mortgage Interest Rates:

As rates have gone up in recent months, this will impact the perceived affordability of homes for some buyers and perhaps price them out of the market altogether if the rates continue to rise.  For others it may change the price range of homes they are willing or able to buy.  Rates in 2016 hovered around 3.5% to 3.7% as an average for fixed rate 30 year mortgages for much of the year.  The beginning of 2017 sees rates at just above 4% on average for the same type of loan.  If they remain in this range, rates shouldn’t have too significant of an impact on home affordability for buyers.

Recent years have seen an imbalanced market extremely in favor of sellers, with multiple competitive offers on properties and offers significantly above the list price in many communities.  This has been great for sellers but an exercise in frustration for many buyers.  This has been due to low inventory and high demand and has resulted in dramatic increase in home values.  As inventory increases the market will become more balanced, putting buyers and sellers on more equal footing.  It is estimated that the market will become more balanced in the next couple of years.  In most market segments it is moving in that direction.  However, homes below $300,000 will continue to see a significant amount of attention from buyers, especially homes in this price range along the Front Range, particularly communities that are in close proximity to Interstate-25.

In summary, the housing market will continue to be strong in Northern Colorado though with more conservative gains in price appreciation than in recent years.  Things to keep an eye on will be mortgage rates and the amount of new construction.  As rates go up and new construction units increase, home prices will level out and we will move toward a more balanced market and an impending market correction.  Additionally, continued job and wage growth will also have an impact.  While Colorado already experiences healthy job growth, it remains to be seen how that will continue to improve with a new president and their respective policies.

What does all of this mean for buyers and sellers in the real estate market?  It is still a good time for buyers as they will experience price appreciation of their homes even after purchasing them.  Further, interest rates are still relatively low so buying power is strong.  Of course, it will continue to be a great market for sellers as high demand will bring willing buyers to the table.


2017 Annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook.  Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder.

2016 Colorado Real Estate Forecast.  Sean Gilliam, Realtor®

New Construction: The Solution to Low Inventory.  Sean Gilliam, Realtor®

Home Builder Confidence End the Year at Highest Point Since 2005.  Kelsey Ramirez, HousingWire.

About the author: Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Alliance in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at or by phone at 970-313-6706.  For additional articles see Sean’s blog or to search for properties see his web page.

Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to your success.  Give me a call at 970-313-6706 to get started.


December Holiday Events in Longmont!


Please click to enlarge.


About the author: Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at or by phone at 970-313-6706.  For additional articles see Sean’s blog or to search for properties see his web page.

“Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to serving you in attaining your goals.”


Things to do in Colorado: Fall Color Drive – Guanella Pass


Colorado is a great place to live!  One of the most beautiful things in God’s creation is seeing the change of the seasons.  One of my favorites is the fall, when the trees turn from their lush green color to gold, orange and red.  On this stop, we are going to take a look at one of the best places to see the fall colors, Guanella Pass.  This is an easy day trip from most Northern Colorado locations. You can get to the pass either coming from Georgetown on the north side or from the town of Grant to the south.  The best time to go is mid to late September when the Aspen trees are at their peak colors.  Nestled among the evergreen trees, the luminescent colors of the Aspens make the mountainsides look like they are on fire.


The pass is all paved and there are no steep drops off the side of the road so it is a comfortable and safe ride even for the most timid.


At the top of the pass, just above the tree line, you’ll have a grand view of Mt. Bierstadt.  As you can see in the photo, on September 24th there was already snow on the ground and the temperature was in the upper 30’s above 11,000 feet.  So be sure and bring proper clothing for the elements.


Some of the best views can be taken from the many stops along the pass where you can get out and hike and be among the trees.


So grab your family and friends, your camera and spend a great day in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.  Best of all, it’s free as there are no fees to drive the pass.  If you’re up for it, there are numerous camping sites along the pass so you can make a weekend of it.  Check the Forest Service page for reservation and fee information on the Guanella Pass Campground as well as the multiple designated and dispersed camp sites along the way.  Enjoy!


Cookies are for Closers!

I just had to share this one…

I recently had the pleasure of helping a family sell their home in Firestone.  They are a great family and were fun to work with! When I hosted an open house for them they kindly put out cookies for the guests.  To give you an idea of their sense of humor, they joked that the cookies were for closers, insinuating that I couldn’t have any cookies until I sold their home!  Sure enough, I did sell their home.  When we were at the closing table, they kindly presented me with this cookie, because, after all, “Cookies are for closers!”


About the author: Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at or by phone at 970-313-6706.  For additional articles see Sean’s blog or to search for properties see his web page.

Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to serving you in attaining your goals.


Longmont Market Update

The market in Longmont is starting to gain momentum. March is the time when people start attending open houses and have started their shopping for a new home.  The warmer weather has been helpful in getting people out shopping as well. We are still looking at a low inventory of homes for sale as we did last year. If you plan on selling your home this year, the market is strongly in your favor. If you are a buyer, you can expect a lot of competition when putting an offer on that home you really want. As a Realtor®, I can help you with strategies in offering the winning bid.

Comparing the 80501 and 80504 Zip Codes in Longmont, the graph below shows the monthly supply of homes available. This means that if no new listings came on the market and given the current rate that homes are selling, the current supply of homes for sale would be sold out in less than a month for both zip codes.  This is an indication that homes are selling quickly (often times under contract within a few days) and that we have a low inventory.  For reference, having a 6 months supply is the balance between a buyer’s and a seller’s market.  Having less than a 6 month supply favors sellers, or what we call a seller’s market.  Having more than a 6 month supply is a market in favor of buyers.  It is preferable to have a more balanced market, or closer to a 6 month supply.

The following graph shows the median sales price for a home.  Homes in 80501 are slightly more expensive, just shy of $10,000.  This is because 80501 covers areas of Longmont that are west of I-25, including the downtown and old town areas whereas 80504 covers west Longmont and Firestone.  Typically, properties west of I-25 fetch a higher price than those east of I-25.  Location, location, location!

Next month we’ll see how the market has changed.  See the article I wrote on the 2016 Market Forecast for information on how the real estate market will likely play out this year.  Let me know if you want specific data on your neighborhood and I’ll draw up a report for you.


Do Mortgage Rates Go Up Because the Feds Raise Interest Rates?

With the Federal Reserve raising  interest rates (aka Federal Funds Rate) as it did on December 16th, 2015, you may hear that this means mortgage rates will increase automatically.  However, the two are not directly related.  In fact, since the Feds raised the funds rate, mortgage rates have actually dropped significantly.   For instance, prior to the Feds raising the rates, mortgage rates were hovering around 4%.  Now they are around 3.66% as of mid-February.

So if you are a prospective home buyer and see headlines that say the Federal Reserve may raise the rates at their next meeting, no need to panic.  This is because mortgage rates are influenced by the bond market, not the funds rate (See below for further explanation).  If you are just interested in knowing the current mortgage rates, you can monitor them directly at sites like Mortgage News Daily or Freddie Mac that give data on daily rate averages.

For more detailed information on what influences mortgage rates, read on:

Mortgage rates are primarily impacted by the bond market, not the Federal Funds Rate.  Here’s a brief explanation of how the bond market drives mortgage rates.  Specifically, for fixed rate mortgages (Conventional, FHA and VA loans) the mortgage rates are most strongly influenced by the trading of U.S. Treasury bonds/notes.  These bonds/notes are used by the government as a means of paying off U.S. debt.  They are sold at auction by the Treasury Department and are called bonds when issued for 30 year terms and are called notes when issued for 2, 3, 5 and 10 year terms.  However, most people refer to them as bonds regardless of the length of the term they are issued for.

In a nutshell, when investors buy more of these bonds, increasing demand, mortgage rates go down.  Likewise, if demand for buying these bonds decreases, mortgage rates go up.  So while the Federal Reserve raised the rate by .25 of a point, it doesn’t mean mortgage rates will automatically jump up as well.  It could take some time, depending on how the demand for bonds goes in the coming weeks and months.

So what market factors are necessary for mortgage rates to go down?  Typically, when the economy is struggling.  Specifically, when the stock market is unstable and thus is a higher risk for investors, these investors will invest in bonds.  This is because there is lower risk and the federal government guarantees their investment for Treasury bonds.  As more investors move to bond purchasing to avoid the risk of an unstable stock market, the demand for these bonds goes up, which in turn causes mortgage rates to decrease.  Currently, the stock market is a risky endeavor as you may have noticed some fluctuation in your investment accounts.  In these market conditions, investors are moving toward purchasing bonds which in turn keeps mortgage rates lower.  As of the writing of this article on 2/13/16, the average mortgage rate was 3.66%.  So if you have been contemplating as to whether or not you should buy a home this year, these low interest rates put you at an advantage as you can get more home for your money.  Your best bet is to talk to a lender as they can educate you as to the best loan for your situation, some of these loans come with even lower interest rates than the average.


See my Blog for additional articles


Firestone Market Update

The winter months typically see a slowdown in real estate activity.  Firestone is no exception.  There has been decreasing activity in the months of November and December overall.   November saw 14 new listings while  December only saw 9.  Of the available listings November saw 23 go under contract while December only saw 9 go under contract.  Of those that sold, the median sale price was 98.5% of the list price.  This is in contrast to the summer months of 2015 when homes in Firestone were selling at 100% or more of the list price.

In a more positive direction, December saw a few more closed sales (23) than November (19).  There was a decline in the median days on market (DOM) from November to December, each month reporting  73 and 64 respectively.

The Oak Meadows Subdivision saw three new listings in November with no new listings in December.  In November, two of the available listings went under contract while only 1 went under contract in December.  The MLS shows that 3 homes sold in the last 2 months in the neighborhood.  Of those, 2 of the 3 sold at list price or higher.  There was an increase in DOM from November to December,  from 49 to 73 respectively.  These numbers are skewed by new construction and a couple of resales that haven’t sold.

Considering this data, though it is the doldrums of winter, the market in Firestone is fairly healthy.  In the coming months it is expected that activity will increase and that property values will continue to rise, though at more moderate levels than last year.  With the ongoing influx of people to the area and business and jobs development, the market in Colorado will continue to grow.  See my blog post on the 2016 market forecast for more details.


Contact me if you have any questions about these statistics or the real estate market in general.



2016 Colorado Real Estate Forecast

In the last 2 years we’ve seen a double digit increase in median property values in Northern Colorado.  Will they continue to rise at such high rates?  According to research done by Everitt Real Estate Center at Colorado State University there will be increases in property values in 2016 but at a more modest rate.  For example, while Loveland saw a 13% increase in median property values in 2015, a more modest rate of 7% increase in property values is projected for 2016.   Berthoud is expected to see a 7% gain while Boulder will see a 5.5% gain in the coming year.  Communities along the front range can expect to have similar increases in property values.  This is of some relief to buyers who will see a break from the significant increases during the last two years.  Homeowners will continue to benefit from increasing property values.  For those that purchased homes at the tail end of the housing crisis, there could be significant equity in their homes and 2016 may be a good year to cash in.

The market in Colorado should be able to sustain continued growth.  There will be continued demand for homes due to an increasing influx of people into Colorado.  It is projected that 2016 will see 95,000 people moving in to the state and an estimated growth of 97,000 for 2017.  What is the cause of the migration of people to Colorado?   Colorado is a great place to live for recreation, a milder climate, lower property taxes than other states, a stable job market and of course, the marijuana industry surely plays a part as well.

The job market will continue to be stable in Colorado.  According to a report by the University of Colorado Boulder, The 51st Annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook 2016, there will be continued growth in all job sectors except for the oil and gas industry.  Richard Wobbekind, PhD, Executive Director of the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business at University of Colorado Boulder, stated, “The state is measurably outperforming due to the talented workforce, key infrastructure for entrepreneurship, diverse industries, and the aggressive efforts by state and local economic development.”  According to the study, it is expected that we will see 65,100 new jobs in 2016.  Specifically, the construction sector should see 9700 new jobs; education and health services should see 10,900 new jobs; leisure and hospitality will see 9000 new jobs and the professional and business services sector should see 15,500 new jobs.

Looking at the data, it seems that 2016 will be another good year for Coloradans with regard to the economy and the real estate market.  Buyer’s can have confidence knowing that the value of a newly purchased home will increase over the course of the year.  There is significant benefit for sellers as the demand for homes will still be strong.

Want to know what your property is worth?  Contact me for a Comparative Market Analysis of your home or if you have any questions.

Sean Gilliam, RE/MAX Alliance