Recently the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) released a report on housing markets in the US and highlighting areas of decline and appreciation.
In the last Colorado is staying steady, with an statewide overall appreciation rate of 1%. Grand Junction is seeing much stronger growth according to the study and the Denver/Aurora area is right at 1% growth for the 1st quarter.
Of course these are general numbers and you can go to any neighborhood and find that some areas are stronger and some are declining faster than the 1%, however I think this is a good indicator of the Denver Metro area at this time.
Reading the local newspapers you have to be very careful where the story is generated. If it is a national story than it talks about declines and a difficult housing market. While they market isn't anywhere near what it was in 2000, we are seeing small recoveries which can be overlooked in when reading national stories.
According to the OFHEO the top 20 declining cities are all located in California and Nevada. These are markets that saw double digit growth earlier in this decade. Lots of people had to get interest only loans just to be able to afford monthly payments, or have a 40 -50 year mortgage. These people don't have equity in their homes and now owe more than it is worth.
In the Denver Metro area there are people that find themselves in this same situation. Owing more, unable to refinance or sell and having a difficult time paying the mortgage. With the busiest time of the year to purchase real estate upon us, hopefully we will continue to see a slow and steady increase in prices. This will allow people some options that they might not have had a few months ago to either sell or refinance. The next 3 months will be interesting to see how the market can correct itself.