Insider by goodbaby


									Real estate
A PublicAtion of the GrouP, inc.

Vol. 31, No. 2

March 2007

Index shows Greeley, region is affordable place to live
According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, Northern Colorado is a reasonably affordable place to live, but Greeley offers the most bang for the buck. The council gave the city a composite index number of 95.3 on its Nov. ‘06 Cost of Living Index, compared with an average 100, and Fort Collins-Loveland came in at 102.2. The cost of housing in both metro areas earned a below-average composite number – Greeley had a 95.4 and Fort Collins-Loveland had a 96.1. Compared with California, from which many of our transplants come and whose metro composite numbers range from 108.2 to 169.4, our cost of living makes Northern Colorado a desirable choice. Check out how the different Colorado metro areas scored on the index:
Colorado Cost of Living Index Area Index Grocery Housing Utilities Transportation Health Care Colorado Springs 95.3 101.2 92.4 86.7 108.1 106.4 Denver/Aurora 102.5 99.2 110.8 108.1 96.6 102.3 Fort Collins/Loveland 102.2 104.0 96.1 102.5 103.1 100.9 Grand Junction 102.1 107.9 111.8 87.4 102.4 102.8 Greeley 95.3 98.2 95.4 105.6 96.1 103.8 Pueblo 88.0 102.8 78.1 86.6 95.3 93.9 National average 100.0 (for all categories)
Source: Council for Community and Economic Research

National TV channels to feature Northern Colorado homes, people
Northern Colorado is Home and Garden Television’s newest hot spot. HGTV has recently contacted The Group, Inc. for its “National Open House” and “My First Place” series. According to Brad Hall, a producer with “National Open House,” the show features homes in cities considered “highly desirable places to live. Fort Collins is one of those cities on that very short list.” HGTV has already completed filming a segment for an upcoming series, “New Places,” featuring Loveland’s Custom Garage Works. The business remodeled an 8-car garage in Windsor. The result is a muscle-car collector’s dream garage and a new hangout for the homeowners. The show will air sometime between when the show kicks off this fall and next spring. Loveland has also caught the interest of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which will feature the city on its segment on cheap and chic places to retire sometime this month.

By the Numbers, Job Growth Health Expansion, Tax Deduction Economic Indicators

More online, visit

Real estate by the numbers
• $4 million – The amount for which investors Jim Eddy and Aaron Million sold the Rocky Mountain Building, 315 W. Oak St. in Fort Collins, after purchasing it for $3.5 million an hour earlier. The new owner is Californian investor Dolph Renaud. 7th – Fort Collins-Loveland’s ranking on Forbes magazine’s list of the smartest cities in the nation. Boulder took the top slot. 500 – The number of jobs Vestas Wind Systems could bring to Northern Colorado if it chooses to build a wind turbine plant in Windsor. 8.2% – The vacancy rate for Loveland’s affordable apartments, compared with a statewide rate of 4.7%, according to the Colorado Affordable Housing Vacancy and Rent study. 959,324 – The number of acres in Colorado land trusts as of 2005, ranking the state No. 3 for conservation in the nation. $700 million – How much Donald Trump sold his luxury hotel-condominium project in Waikiki for, with a variety of celebrities and investors from around the world buying the 460 suites. Trump sold out within hours, and the developers claim the sales set a record for the amount of residential property – in dollar and unit volume – sold in a day. 400 million – The U.S. population by 2040, according to government statistics, up from 300 million in 2006. The increase will create 73 million new jobs, 70 million new homes and a billion square feet of nonresidential space, according to Arthur C. Nelson, co-director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. 29,000 – The net loss of people living in California in 2005. Experts suggest the cost of housing is behind the exodus: Only 24% of Californians could comfortably pay the mortgage on an entry-level home in the 3Q of ’05.

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Economists predict impressive job growth in Northern Colorado in ’07
Martin Shields, regional economist at Colorado State University, and David Keyser, research economist, predict employers will add 2.8% new jobs in the region this year – the fastest expansion since the 2001 recession. That equates to 6,100 jobs added in Larimer and Weld counties, with the most growth in the areas of health care, social assistance, and professional and business services. If their predictions prove true, the number of new jobs added in ’07 will surpass that of ’05’s 2.6%. The region added 5,643 jobs between 1Q ’05 and 1Q ’06 – a gain of 2.9%. The real estate market lags changes in jobs by 12-18 months. Here are Shield’s and Keyser’s predictions for growth in different sectors in Northern Colorado:
1,200 1,000 800 740 700 Job Growth per Sector Predicted for Northern Colorado in ‘07
Source: Colorado State University


Leisure & Hospitality Private Education (Particularly in & Health Services restaurants) (Mostly in health services)

Local Government (Mostly in K-12 education)

Natural Resources, Mining & Construction (Mostly in oil & gas)

Professional & Business Services

Retail Trade

Growing number of fitness clubs help area residents stay slim and trim
The Center for Disease Control recently reported Colorado as having one of the lowest levels of heart disease prevalence in the nation, and the Trust for America’s Health last year said 16.9% of Coloradans were obese – the lowest percentage in the U.S. Though the availability of a plethora of outdoor activities is surely a big contributor to Coloradans’ health and fitness level, the increasing number of places to work out may deserve some of the credit, too. According to The Group, Inc.’s count, Northern Colorado alone has at least 40 health-and-fitness facilities, Northern Colorado’s Health Club Count with many of them opening in the last few years. And Fort Collins/Wellington 16 more are on their way, including Club Colorado Fitness, Greeley/Evans/Milliken 12 which will open with a temporary location in Loveland’s Johnstown 1 Centerra development this spring while a 60,000-squareLoveland/Berthoud 7 foot facility is built. Here’s a glance at the number of Windsor 4 health or fitness clubs currently in the region:

’07 home buyers: Don’t miss out on the mortgage insurance premiums tax deduction
People buying homes this year and with household incomes of $100,000 or less should keep in mind that they can deduct all of their mortgage insurance premiums on their federal tax returns in 2008, which should also allow them to get a low down-payment mortgage. The deduction applies to private mortgage insurance, FHA, VA and Rural Housing Service premiums as well. However, the deduction is good only for this year, unless Congress extends it.

Interesting housing trivia identifies world’s biggest, smallest houses
The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the world’s largest residence is Istana Nurul Palace, the home to the Sultan of Brunei. With more than 200,000 square feet of floor space, including 257 bathrooms, it dwarfs Aaron Spelling’s little 36,500-square-foot shack, which is the largest house in Hollywood. The smallest house is a wee cottage in Conway, Wales, which measures roughly 6 feet by 10 feet by 8 feet. It’s so tiny that it has no bathroom, and its most modern feature is a faucet.

Remodeling, adding to home is more valuable to owner than buyer
Denver homeowners will not likely recoup what they spend on remodeling projects, according to Remodeling magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value report. A Denver homeowner will recoup only 76.7% of a minor kitchen remodel, 77.6% of a bathroom remodel, 54.6% of a home-office remodel or 75.4% of a basement remodel. Only homeowners in only a few cities across the nation could expect a 100% or more return on their remodeling investments. The full report can be viewed at

Seven Colorado counties have highest life expectancy
The PLoS Medicine journal recently named the top 10 U.S. counties with the highest life expectancy, with Colorado counties filling the 1st 7 slots. Coincidentally, they were mostly 7 mountain counties: Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Park and Summit.

A monthly snapshot of Northern Colorado’s economic health
Likely Direction in Next Six Months Forecast
More pressure for rates to fall than to rise, but not much movement in either direction. Despite unseasonable weather, home sales are generally in line with the last two years.

Mortgage Rates
Feb 15, 2007 Feb. 16, 2006 Feb. 17, 2005 6.30% 6.28% 5.62% Fort Collins Area 193 182 201 Fort Collins 28 63 53 Fort Collins Area $269,753 $284,147 $279,107 Greeley Area 210 179 215 Greeley/Evans 18 24 61 Greeley Area $205,589 $196,652 $204,024 Weld County 110,434 113,039 105,361 Weld County 4.0% 4.5% 4.7% Greeley Area 7.3% 8.8% Loveland Area 77 87 106 Loveland 17 53 55 Loveland Area $245,661 $246,900 $255,935 Colorado 2.54m 2.56m 2.45m Colorado 4.2% 4.6% 4.8% Loveland Area 8.0% 8.6% Windsor Area 4.5% 15.5% 7.5% Windsor Area 42 40 26 Windsor 20 42 38 Windsor Area $342,530 $350,150 $302,028

Existing Home Sales
YTD Jan. ‘07 YTD Jan. ‘06 YTD Jan. ‘05

Housing Starts
YTD Jan. ‘07 YTD Jan. ‘06 YTD Jan. ‘05

Builders are concentrating on selling off inventory.

Average Single-Family Sales Price
YTD Jan. ‘07 YTD Jan. ‘06 YTD Jan. ‘05

Windsor still has more expensive homes on average.

Dec. ‘06* Nov. ‘06 Dec. ‘05

Larimer County 164,409 167,442 158,492 Larimer County 3.6% 4.1% 4.0% Fort Collins Area 8.9% 9.5%

*Not seasonally adjusted.

Primary jobs sector showing strength.

Dec. ‘06* Nov. ‘06 Dec. ‘05

*Not seasonally adjusted.

Educated work force is finding employment opportunities.

Apartment Vacancy Rates
3Q 2006 3Q 2005

Demographic and cost-of-housing fundamentals favor lowering vacancy rates.

Commercial Vacancy Rates

Jan. ‘07 Fort Collins Greeley Loveland Area Area Area Industrial 9% 16% 9% Retail 9% 9% 9% Office 13% 9% 9%

Jan. ‘06 Windsor Fort Collins Greeley Loveland Area Area Area Area 6% 8.5% 16.5% 6.5% 16% 6.7% 5.5% 4.5% 7% 13.0% 11.5% 9.5% Loveland $3.97m $3.61m $3.39m

New properties will increase vacancies until absorption catches up.

Sales and Use Tax*

Fort Collins Greeley YTD Jan. ‘07 $7.71m $4.75m YTD Jan. ‘06 $7.98m $5.22m YTD Jan. ‘05 $7.45m $4.91m *Represents taxes collected in January for December’s receipts.

Windsor Not Available $576,804 $492,613

New retail projects will help anchor sales-tax receipts.

Sources: Freddie Mac; cities of Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and Evans; town of Windsor; The Group, Inc. Real Estate research; Gordon E. Von Stroh; State of Colorado; IRES.

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