Summary: With steadily rising home prices, and relatively low mortgage rates, many Denver residents are now asking the question: Should I buy a house in Denver, Colorado in 2019? Here’s one way to look at it.
Last week, the mortgage-buying corporation Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates have stabilized amid a stronger economy. The latest data on the housing market suggests demand among buyers continues to increase steadily along with a gradually improving national real estate market over the past two months.
The average rate for a 30-year home loan fell 0.78% from the same time last year. On average, borrowers last week were locking in rates at 3.75%.
Home prices in Denver, meanwhile, continue to rise. This means that those who postpone their home purchases until later in 2019, or early 2020, might encounter higher housing costs. So one could argue that now is a great time to buy a house in Denver, as we continue to head into summer of 2019.
That said, even though housing prices have increased by 2% in Denver over the past year, according to Zillow, the market is cool and prices are expected to somewhat plateau over the next few months.
Should I Buy a House in Denver in 2019?
Should you buy a home in Denver this year? There is no simply “yes” or “no” answer to this question. It’s the kind of question that must be considered on an individual basis, due to the many variables involved.
But for many would-be buyers, current conditions in Denver are ideal for buying a home. Here are some recent real estate market and mortgage trends to help you decide if you should buy a home in 2019.
1. Mortgage rates recently sank to a yearly low
Mortgage rates are lower now (July 2019) than they were at the start of the year. But there’s no telling how long they’ll stay in the current range. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.73% during the week of June 27, 2019. That’s a decline of 0.78% from the start of this year, when 30-year rates were averaging 4.51%.
Looking forward, however, analysts expect rates to inch upward between now and the end of 2019. Freddie Mac expects 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates to average 4.1% in 2019 and eventually tick up to 4.2% in 2020.
So from a mortgage rate perspective, now could be a good time to buy a house in Denver, Colorado.
2. Denver home price increases have slowed
The Denver real estate market generated a lot of headlines over the last couple of years, mainly because of rapidly rising home prices. According to the real estate information company Zillow, the median house value in Denver rose by 2% over the last 12 months alone (as of July 2019). And the price is actually double today than what it was in 2012.
That said, home prices in Denver are expected to slow down over the next few months. Zillow predicts that prices may actually dip by 0.1% over the next year.
As for the whole rent-versus-buy question, consider this. The median rent in Denver is $2,200. If you were to buy a house in Denver at the current median price of $422,400 with a 10% down payment at today’s mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, your mortgage payments would be $1,754 per month. You could actually be paying less by owning as opposed to renting.
3. The Denver market has cooled
As already mentioned, the housing market in Denver has cooled. And even though prices in Denver may have increased over the past few months, the rate of increase has markedly weakened. The recent changes in conditions in the market means buyers can get more bang for their buck.
Denver is notorious for having home price increases that have steadily outpaced wage increases, and given the recent slow in price growth, the market seems to be shifting in favor of buyers.
As such, now may be the ideal time to get into the market and take advantage of plateaued prices and historically low interest rates before they start on an upward trend once again.
First-time buyers who are wondering if they should buy a house in Denver in 2019 or 2020 should pay close attention to this trend. Houses in the metro area will likely be more expensive next year than they are now. Here’s more advice for first-time buyers.