Listening to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” is not only a great way to start a weekend but also makes a great introduction for this week’s show. It seems like I have spent the last several months being ‘thunderstruck’ every time I turn on the television, read the news, or talk with friends and associates. Practically every day some new event—whether local or national, professional or personal— causes me to be both shocked and puzzled. You may have been feeling the same way lately. That’s why I wanted to spend today’s show discussing these events. Even if we can’t make sense of these events, we can at least take comfort in knowing we’re not alone here.
One puzzling event came courtesy of Empire Title’s Bill McAfee, in which he explained that Denver is still the hottest real estate market in the country, beating out perennial favorites New York City and San Francisco. As great as Denver is, I can’t figure out what is compelling people to move there at an even more feverish pace than people are moving to New York (one of the world’s greatest financial and cultural capitals) or San Francisco, the nearest city to the white-hot innovation hub of Silicon Valley. One theory is that the people who are moving to Denver are the tech entrepreneurs, bankers, and writers that New York or San Francisco would attract if New York or California had passed their own Prop. 64. Who knows?
Another event that leaves me thunderstruck is Colorado Spring’s austere housing inventory. It was strange bicycling and driving through neighborhoods this spring and summer and seeing almost no “For Sale” signs in people’s yards. Our housing inventory is at a 15-year low, and what few houses come on the market are being snapped up instantly. Granted, this has helped drive an 11% rise in house prices versus a year before. But what is causing this city-wide, nearly instantaneous collapse in housing inventory? People seem so desperate to keep the house they’re living in that I’ve even seen a puzzling number of renters coming through my mortgage company to look into buying the houses they’re presently renting.
Then there’s Janet Yellen, whom I just can’t make heads or tails of. She has been signaling for years that the Fed would be raising rates. The market had been pricing in higher interest rates all spring and summer. She had laid out a series of conditions under which the Fed would finally raise rates, and even though the economy has met virtually every one of those conditions, she let her September meeting pass without raising rates. I am baffled by everything she does and have given up hope of ever predicting when she will raise rates and by how much. I’m sure she will raise rates when it makes the least sense to do so, and I’ll have one more thing to feel thunderstruck by!
Speaking of my mortgage company, that has been another source of constant thunder-strikes! If you haven’t heard, we have officially become a branch of the Dave Ramsey-endorsed Churchill Mortgage out of Tennessee. The last several months have been a whirlwind as I’ve met some incredibly talented and successful individuals in the mortgage industry, all while navigating my company and team through the transition. Seeing how larger companies handle their people and pipelines has been an eye-opening experience, and I have been surprised every step of the way—but in a good way. This is one area where I look forward to discovering what will next cause me to feel thunderstruck.