The Housing High (and Comedown?) in Denver

Data from the July edition of the U.S. Housing Confidence Survey of 10,000 households (HCS) and the Zillow Housing Confidence Index (ZHCI) highlighted the recent smoking-hot conditions in the Denver housing market. For example,  at 77.9, the Housing Market Conditions Index (a ZHCI component) for Denver was at the highest level of all cities tracked (i.e., Denver households still had the most glowing assessment of current conditions in their local real estate markets in July).

More significant, these July data also revealed clues of an imminent slowdown in Denver’s mile-high market momentum via signals pertinent to future conditions, e.g.,

  • Almost nine of every ten (87 percent!) Denver homeowners said that “now is a good time to sell a home†there. This is a 12 percent increase from the number who said so a year ago (in contrast, across the 19 other major metropolitan areas surveyed, on average, less than two-thirds of homeowners said that it was a good time to sell in their respective markets).
  • The first-ever dip recorded in the Mile-High City’s Housing Expectations Index (another component of the ZHCI headline number). Although the decline in this sub-index was slight and driven mainly by a less optimistic outlook for the local housing market among Denver-area renters, homeowners revealed relatively sober sentiments about the future, too. For example, they predicted 4.3% home value appreciation for the 12-month period ending June 2016–still a healthy clip should it materialize, but quite a come-down from the heady 14.6% increase Denver residents experienced over the 12-month period ended June 2015.

Fast-forward to today: reports that the Denver smoke has begun to dissipate. Here’s a market update that was broadcast on a local TV station earlier this week: