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What a few weeks it has been. The stock markets have been up, then down. Interest rates have also spiked only to fall shortly thereafter. I’ve been asked by several realtors in various ski towns, what is the impact of Ukraine and real estate prices in Colorado. Will there be a surge in prices as buyers search for “safe places” and safe assets like we saw during COVID?
What has happened economically since the invasion of Ukraine?
- Fed on track for rate increases: the federal reserve has confirmed that rate increases are on track and they might need to have larger increases in subsequent meetings as inflation remains stubbornly high
- 10 year treasury declined / mortgage rates declined: It is interesting that the federal reserve is clear that they are raising rates, but at the same time interest rates are falling. Remember the fed only controls the short term markets and not long term treasuries, which mortgages are pegged off. Treasuries are “set” by market forces, in this case, there is a huge flight to safe assets like US treasuries during times of war and uncertainty. As more people buy treasuries their prices go up, and in turn yields (long term rates) go down. This creates a whole new problem for the federal reserve and could force them to increase rates even more.
- Stock market has declined substantially: As mortgage rates went down due to a flight to safer assets, the stock market has also gone down substantially as investors are nervous about riskier assets. As stocks go down, wealth decreases which at some point decreases consumer confidence.
Will there be a flight to “safety” in Colorado ski towns?
With everything going on since the Ukraine invasion, it makes me wonder if we will see another Covid type repeat in Colorado ski towns where there is an insatiable demand. During Covid, there was a huge “flight to safety” as people wanted to be in smaller, safer markets. This led to huge price jumps in every ski market in Colorado with some topping 50% increases year over year.
With the war in Ukraine continuing, will Colorado ski towns see the same response in real estate to the current crisis? I think the factors today are a bit different, I don’t think there is the same perception of personal “safety” from the crisis in Ukraine but there is now a big push out of risky assets into safer assets which fits with Colorado ski real estate.
Will there be an increase or a decrease in Colorado ski real estate prices?
Although we will not see another huge increase in real estate prices in the mountains like the Covid bump, it will remain desirable as buyers look for safe places to park assets as opposed to the stock market. This will keep Mountain real estate a desirable asset to own which will keep prices high albeit the appreciation rates will be slower than the past 3 years.
I don’t think that the Ukraine invasion is market moving unto itself for Colorado ski real estate, but the invasion does put further pressure on other assets which will drive high net worth individuals to diversify their portfolio into safer assets. From a real estate perspective, mountain real estate will continue to be a “haven” for investors looking to hedge against downside risk. Although I don’t think we will see the same appreciation we saw during Covid, the mountain communities look to stay at their highs with little respite in sight for buyers as prices look to increase a bit further.
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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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