It is amazing, they just called the last races in Colorado a few weeks…
Wow, 2022 has been quite the year in real estate. In Denver, the average home price peaked at $913,000, a whopping 52% increase from 2019. In Summit County (home to Breckenridge, Keystone, etc..) the average home is 1.2m up 116% since the pandemic.
Even with higher interest rates, most areas in Colorado continued to show appreciation over last year, but the winds are definitely changing. Where does Colorado real estate go in 2023? Will the staggering appreciation continue?
Residential throughout Colorado
I categorized residential real estate into three buckets 1. Front Range/Denver 2. Ski towns 3. Rural I know these are large buckets, but wanted to highlight some important trends in each one
Front range/Denver 2023 real estate predictions
Denver in the past was always a top pick of places to relocate to but things have changed quickly. Now Denver is commonly on the list of best places to move out of. The number one driver is cost. Denver has gotten expensive and as rates have doubled it has gotten even more expensive. This change is evident in the recent sales data with Denver down 11% on the median home price since the peak.
Due to the high prices in Denver, the market is in store for a reset in 2023. Best case prices will be down around 10% year over year in 2023, but this could be as high as 20%. Look for a huge increase in inventory come the spring as there was a lot of speculation on future appreciation that will ultimately hit the market in the coming year. Keep in mind, even with a 20% decrease, Denver will still be up over 30% since the pandemic buying spree.
Note, the front range suburbs will likely perform better than Denver due to their lower price points along with lower tax bills.
Ski towns (Steamboat, Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, Winter Park, Telluride) 2023 real estate predictions
The ski towns will come off their highs. Look for drive up resorts like Breckenridge and Winter Park to come off around 10-15% as the Denver market softens. The destination resorts will fare better with prices staying flat to coming off around 5%.
The assumptions above could be drastically altered if the stock market corrects more than is predicted and the recession is deeper than anticipated. I don’t foresee a major wild card in 2023, but depending on when the next recession is and depth, 2024 will get more interesting.
Other/rural/smaller markets in Colorado real estate predictions
I think the flight to the exurbs/rural areas will be a passing phenomenon in 2023 as people get back into the office and into old patterns. These are the highest risk areas as local income is not high enough to support the prices with the current interest rates. This will lead to a reset in the 10-20% range. Look for considerable inventory to come on the second half of the year as the employment rate increases and employees lose their leverage on work from home.
2023 Colorado commercial real estate predictions
Overall Commercial real estate will have a tough run in 2023 as interest rates remain elevated, many deals no longer make sense. Furthermore, there is a glut in certain property types like office and large industrial that will take some time to adjust
Office: A space will do okay in 2023, B/C space will struggle as the rents cannot keep pace with rising cap rates. I don’t think the bottom will fall out until 23 as the economy resets and companies start dumping old space as their leases renew.
Multifamily: This sector should do okay even as rent increases begin to slow. The big upside will be in lower priced B/C units where there is no new construction and tons of demand at the lower price points.
Industrial: This sector will languish in 23 as warehousing/distribution slows down with the shift of consumer buying preferences. It could take a few years to work through the large amounts of space which will put pressure on new rents. Long term Denver is well positioned as a hub for the intermountain west.
Retail: Class A retail will do fine, big box/lower tiered retail will struggle as consumers revert to traditional buying patterns and shift their spending to travel as opposed to goods. Furthermore, rising wages will make in person retail more expensive and force another pivot to selling online especially in the lower tier sections.
2023 is going to be a bumpy year in real estate. We are already seeing signs of this on the residential side with the median prices off 11% since the may peak. This is just the beginning of the reset in real estate throughout Colorado.
Whatever happens in Denver eventually spreads throughout the state albeit sometimes with a lag. 2023 will be challenging as volumes drop and values reset. Fortunately I don’t see a 2008 repeat, but it will still be painful for anyone who bought in the last year or so or who has to sell for whatever reason.
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Written by Glen Weinberg, Owner Fairview Commercial Lending. Glen has been published as an expert in hard money lending, real estate valuation, financing, and various other real estate topics in Bloomberg, Businessweek ,the Colorado Real Estate Journal, National Association of Realtors Magazine, The Real Deal real estate news, the CO Biz Magazine, The Denver Post, The Scotsman mortgage broker guide, Mortgage Professional America and various other national publications.
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