REAL ESTATE INSIDER Vol. 45, No. 4 | May 2021


First a roaring housing market, then a recession, then a housing crash. That was 2008. But this is now.

Today’s hot market is prompting some pundits to forecast that a housing bubble is about to burst. However, the evidence points to a different kind of story.

Here are three reasons to believe that 2021 won’t deliver a repeat performance of the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Lending Standards

In the years leading up to the 2008-2009 housing bust, many mortgage lenders were issuing loans to high-risk borrowers. When so-called subprime borrowers couldn’t keep up with payments, they walked away from their homes. Defaults led to a surge in foreclosures, contributing to oversupply and causing the housing market to go into free fall.

Since 2011, tougher lending standards mean far fewer at-risk borrowers to face financial challenges.

Home Affordability

National home price appreciation is robust these days, reaching 9.2 percent in 2020 after years of 6.4 percent (2017), 4.8 percent (2018), and 4.7 percent (2019).

What about the early 2000s? Between 2002 and 2005, appreciation never dipped below 8.5 percent and reached as high as 12.5 percent in 2004. This unsustainable surge in appreciation, plus other factors such as higher mortgage rates (6 percent compared to 3 percent) and lower wage growth, made homes much less affordable.

Housing Supply

The fact is, even if the pace of home sales slows down in 2021, there will be a shortage of homes available for many months or even years. That compares to a drastic oversupply at the time when the Great Recession took hold.

In 2007, when the housing market was beginning to fray, the nation’s housing inventory totaled 9.6 months of supply. A balanced market – when neither seller nor buyer is favored – is six months of supply. At the end of 2020, the national inventory was 2.1 months.

A related point: in the early and mid-2000s, home builders were turning out new single-family units at a record pace, ultimately exacerbating the supply imbalance. Not so today. Since 2008, annual new home construction has remained below the 50-year average for 13 straight years.


While U.S. homeowners were mostly staying at home in 2020, they were mostly building equity at the same time. According to real estate analytics firm CoreLogic, U.S. homeowners gained almost $1.5 trillion in equity last year, up 16.2 percent or $26,300 per household on average.

Close to home and coast to coast, home equity was spurred by rising home prices, which were stimulated by the combination of high demand, low supply, and low interest rates. Overall, the average sale price for homes in the U.S. increased 10.8 percent last year, based on the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index

Colorado homeowners did even better than the national average, gaining $32,000 per household in new equity last year. Boulder homeowners topped all Colorado markets, averaging $46,673 in equity. But the rest of the Front Range markets were still sizzling. Colorado Springs owners averaged $33,284 in equity growth, followed by Denver at $31,895, Fort Collins at $23,934, and Greeley at $20,118.

Nationally, the average homeowner now holds more than $200,000 in home equity, according to CoreLogic Chief Economist Rank Nothaft.


Northern Colorado is recognized as one of the top places to retire. Unlike their peers in the Midwest and Northeast, older residents here are not so compelled to fly south for their senior years.

And we’re also one of the healthiest communities in the country, so many people are able to stay in their homes longer.

Most of us understand that adding safety features can make it easier to live in our homes longer, but homeowners may avoid incorporating these features for the fear that they will be unattractive. Aging-in-place upgrades in a home should be durable, provide safety, and still be aesthetically pleasing.

InSite Builders & Remodeling in Bethesda, Md., offers these suggestions:

Five Design-Friendly Options for Aging in Place

1. Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring: This monolithic material comes in wood-look finishes, is waterproof and nonskid, and stands up to wear and tear.

2. Accessible appliances: Ovens at countertop height and refrigerators with French doors are more accessible and easier to open and close.

3. Lighted bathroom mirrors: This type of bathroom mirror provides dual purposes, including lighting and the ability to angle the mirror.

4. Linear shower drains: With a linear shower drain, there is less slope in the floor than in a typical shower drain system, which accommodates more stability when standing. A bonus? A sleek, modern look.

5. Folding shower bench: A teak or wood folding bench in the shower, especially one with a stainless-steel frame, offers a warmer finish for sitting on than tile or stone, as well as creating a more luxurious appearance.



Whether you are moving up, moving down, or just moving around – The Group’s Guaranteed Move will make certain you get into your next home. If your home qualifies for the program, The Group will offer to buy your home – in cash – so you’ll be able to move on your schedule. For example, if you find a home you want to buy, but the Seller won’t accept your contingency, we can help. Or, if you’re worried about a Buyer getting to closing on your home, the Guaranteed Move program can act as an insurance policy in today’s fast-moving real estate market.

We’ve been earning your trust since 1976 and I invite you to contact me to learn more about our Guaranteed Move program.


$36.2 million. Purchase price for a 236-unit apartment complex in Johnstown. The one-year-old Rise at 25/34, near the interchange of Interstate 25 and U.S. Highway 34 is billed as a luxury rental property.

180. Number of apartment units planned for 2908 S. Timberline Road in south Fort Collins. The developer is proposing seven buildings on a nine-acre property.

$20.35 million. Purchase price for the St. Vrain Village Mobile Home Park, a 139-space park located at 446 S. Francis St. in southwest Longmont.

$150 million. Investment that the city of Denver plans to make to upgrade the 16th Street Mall retail district. The improvements will include infrastructure improvements, widening sidewalks, reconfiguring bus lanes.

$30.65 million. Price that investors paid to buy two office-industrial buildings currently occupied by Advanced Energy Industries. The two buildings, totaling 115,627 square feet, are located at 1625 Sharp Point Drive and 2424 Midpoint Drive in east Fort Collins.

10.8 percent. Average increase in U.S. home sale prices between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index (HPI).

$506 million. Total that the city of Greeley has agreed to spend on acquisition of the Terry Ranch aquifer. The deal represents 1.2 million acre-feet of water, which would meet Greeley’s water needs for 48 years based on its current water usage.

620,000. Square footage of the Foothills Mall in Fort Collins, which is in foreclosure for falling behind on its construction loan. A state judge recently approved a request by Loveland-based McWhinney Real Estate group to start negotiations to buy the mall.

$23.92 million. Price that the Missouri-based Kroenke Group paid to buy the University Square shopping center in south Greeley, a 237,128-square-foot retail center anchored by King Soopers.

68 percent. Share of “tiny house” owners without a mortgage, compared to 29.3 percent of all U.S. homeowners, according to TheTinyLife.com.

$83.65 million. Value of the foreclosure demand that a lender has issued for The Promenade Shops at Centerra shopping district, a 495,037-square-foot retail property in east Loveland.

$420,000. Investment that is proposed to renovate the Budweiser Events Center at The Ranch in Loveland. Plans call for a new $300,000 sound system, along with NHL-quality acrylic hockey glass and a new rail system to mitigate the force of player impact.

$39.5 million. Price tag that actor Tom Cruise has placed on his 320-acre ranch near Telluride. The listing includes a 10,000-square-foot main house and a three-bedroom guest house.

$1.75 million. Sale price for a 26,400-square-foot industrial property at 1 Park Street in Broomfield. Boulder-based Tepuy Properties purchased the building, which is partially occupied by a gun range.

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