REAL ESTATE NEWS
Fell Out of Escrow? Why Not Buy a Chateau?!
January is a time of quiet reflection, and a great time to set new goals. At Your Castle, we are no different. We calculate the top fifty real estate agents for the year, figure out the average home price appreciation in the Metro Denver, and wrap up our year-end taxes. But with so much serious accounting going on, it is also nice to reflect on some of the more fun and outrageous stories from the past year. Recently, we focused on the record shattering sale of Mike Shanahan’s mansion and got great feedback. So we thought, “What was the 2nd most expensive home sale in the area last year?” Surely Mr. and Mrs. Shanahan’s mansion could not be the only groundbreaking sale in this crazy market. In fact, the Denver area saw the highest number of million-dollar home sales ever last year. So many that DMAR (Denver Metro Association of Realtors) was strongly considering redefining their definition of what qualifies as a luxury property. After deliberating, they decided to keep their current threshold of $1MM, set arbitrarily back in 2013, since their research let them know they were not far off the $1.2MM threshold relative to other metros.
Anyway, we found a recent article from the Denver Post that helped answered our question above. The second most expensive home sale in 2021 was a literal castle called “Chateau V” in Evergreen, Colorado. After sitting on the market for 5 long years, the castle finally sold in November. It is a massive 21,692 square foot, four-story chateau, featuring six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, and sits on a 35-acre parcel of land. If that was not enough to excite or astound you, the castle also features a 2-story library, a great room with 25-foot ceilings, 126 custom chandeliers, four fireplaces, and wrought iron accents throughout. According to the Post, the design was inspired by the Biltmore Mansion in North Carolina. It took Boulder’s BVZ Architects 9 years to build and was completed in 2016.
A Year-End Review of the Market
Rising Inflation & Interest Rates Spell Higher Prices
The 2021 real estate market was like 2020 in some ways: the high demand for homes, low inventory, and even the overall showing traffic patterns. But a couple of elements that were markedly different were skyrocketing inflation and rising interest rates. In the last newsletter we focused on inflation, which essentially measures what consumers pay for goods and services. The headline there is that inflation in the U.S. hit its fastest pace since 1982, rising 7% in December. This marked the third straight month that inflation exceeded 6%. The main driver for these dramatic inflation increases is pandemic-related supply chain issues.
The other major difference about 2021 was that mortgage interest rates, kept artificially low by the Federal Reserve as an attempt to lessen the pandemic’s blow to the economy in 2020, started to see an uptick once they announced they would gradually discontinue those measures. As of the time this newsletter is being written, mortgage interest rates just hit pre-Covid levels for the first time in 2 years, around 3.8%. Although that rate is still low compared to historical levels, the rates are sharply rising since the year began.
What does all of this mean for the 2022 market? The net result of housing supply and demand imbalances, rising inflation, and rising mortgage interest rates is that home values are set to sharply rise again this year. There is no immediate way to curb to these issues without drastic changes and improvements to existing trade and infrastructure. With Washington politics in a seemingly perpetual gridlock, it is unlikely there will be relief from these issues in the short term. If you are a current home buyer, now may be your last chance to lock in a low mortgage rate before things get out of control. As our in-house mortgage affiliates will tell you, there is a lot more room for interest rates to rise than to fall. These rate changes may seem insignificant, but they can amount to hundreds of additional dollars per month on your mortgage payment, on top of the sticker shock from now higher home prices due to low inventory.