DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado homes could lose some of their value in the coming year. The market has risen so dramatically in the last few years, however, even a housing market slump would not chip away at home values.
National economists put Colorado’s Front Range near the top of a U.S. list of overvalued housing markets.
According to an analysis of Moody’s Analytics data by Fortune, the national housing market is roughly 25% overvalued. “Overvalued” in Moody’s language means home prices aren’t tethered to price anchors such as the area’s income. Instead, prices have shot beyond what the area’s buyers can sustain.
Colorado’s Front Range has one of the nation’s highest concentrations of overvalued metro markets.
The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area is 42.7% over the value its market indicators would predict. Colorado Springs is 49.1% overvalued, Lakewood 42.5%, Greeley 41.2%, Grand Junction 39%, Boulder 35.1% and Fort Collins 32.5% overvalued.
Moody’s chief economist, Mark Zandi, explained that the nation’s most overvalued markets could lose between 15% and 20% of their current value if the nation enters a recession. Were that to happen, the Denver metro’s median sales price could fall from $660,000 to $528,000.
Local experts said such a price correction is unlikely, however.
Bret Weinstein, CEO of Guide Real Estate, said there simply isn’t anywhere for the Colorado market to go. Unlike the housing bubble of the late 2000s, there is no oversupply of homes. Rather, Colorado still has extremely low inventory and steady demand.
There is no “cliff” for Colorado’s housing market to fall from. Rather, Weinstein said rising interest rates and other factors will bring the market to a plateau. Even if prices fall, he said, home values have risen so much in the last few years that homeowners will still come out ahead.
“If we say we’re going to, on average, drop 10%, in the next six months – and I think that’s a realistic statement – we went up 21% in the first four months,” said Weinstein. “So, for us to drop 8% to 10% still brings us up to double-digit appreciation.”