Denver International Named Top Airport in America

Denver International Airport ranked No. 1 in the U.S, reports international air transport researchers at Skytrax in the 2018 annual airport awards.

In a separate Skytrax ranking of regional airports by continent, Denver is the No. 1 airport in North America and No. 5 regional airport in the world.

More than 13 million international air travelers around the world surveyed for the awards voted Singapore Changi the top airport in the world for the third year in a row. Denver – ranking 29th in the world – claimed the top ranking spot for U.S. airports. Denver is followed by No. 34 Cincinnati, No. 48 Houston International, and Nos. 50 and 51 Atlanta and San Francisco, respectively.

Travelers were surveyed from August 2017 to February 2018, covering 550 airports worldwide and evaluating traveler experiences including check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security, and immigration through to departure at the gate.

But that’s not all. In a separate airport satisfaction survey conducted by J.D. Power Ratings in 2017, DIA pulled a score of 763 out of 1,000, ranking fourth. Orlando International Airport ranks highest in satisfaction among mega airports, with a score of 778. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (767) ranks second, and McCarran International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (765) tied for third.

The survey found overall passenger satisfaction with North American airports has reached an all-time high.

“Capacity has become a huge challenge for North American airports, with many reporting 100% of available parking spots being filled and large airports, such as Orlando International, setting passenger volume records each month for more than three years straight,” said Michael Taylor, Travel Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “Despite these difficulties, airports are responding with new technology and old-fashioned personal skills to win over harried travelers. These range from smartphone apps that tell travelers where to find a parking spot to therapy dogs—and in one case, a therapy pig—mingling with travelers to relieve stress and improve the overall airport experience.”

Nearly every U.S. airport – faced with high passenger capacity and ongoing construction projects to address increased demand – is using technology to help address these issues. Sacramento International Airport developed a smartphone app that tells travelers where to find a parking spot, and airports nationwide have invested heavily in improving phone-charging stations and internet access in their terminals.

The J.D. Powers study, now in its 12th year, measures overall traveler satisfaction by examining six factors: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; food, beverage and retail. It is based on responses from 34,695 North American travelers who traveled through at least one domestic airport with both departure and arrival experiences during the past three months.

For more on the Skytrax Awards see: http://www.worldairportawards.com/Awards/world_airport_rating.html and http://www.worldairportawards.com/Awards/worlds_best_regional_airports.html

For the full J.D. Power ratings see: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/jd-power-2017-north-america-airport-satisfaction-study

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, May 14th, 2018 at 2:49pm.

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm
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Boulder County Home Sales Spring Ahead

March home sales signaled a robust and active home buying season ahead for Boulder County.

“The Boulder-area market rocketed forward in March with strong sales that improved significantly,” says Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.

Following modest positive movement in February, housing surged forward in March, according to March sales statistics. Boulder Valley buyers showed up strong, undeterred by a market pattern of low inventory and rising prices. This pattern has characterized the countywide housing market for several years running.

Single-family home sales in the Boulder-area jumped 43.3 percent in March compared to February 2018 – 344 units sold vs. 240. Condominium and townhome sales also rose, marking 28.4 percent growth month-over-month with 122 units sold vs. 95.

Year-to-date, single-family home sales increased 8.7 percent through March 2018, with 829 Boulder-area homes sold vs. 763. Sales of condominiums and townhomes increased 1.6 percent year-to-date with 312 units sold compared to 307 for the same period in 2017.

Inventory also improved, though modestly. The number of single-family homes for sale grew by 10 percent – 651 units compared to 592 – while townhome and condo inventory grew 5.3 percent – 140 units vs. 133 – month-over-month.

“The inventory level is about a two-month supply of single-family homes and a one-month supply of condominiums and townhomes. A healthy market is thought of as a five- to six-month inventory supply,” says Hotard.

Nationally 40 percent of housing sales occur during March, April, May and June.

Hotard says the consistent buying activity we see in our housing market speaks volumes for the desirability of the area and health of the market.

“It’s a strong, positive market for sellers. We need a significant amount of new product in the market to meet the demand, particularly the demand for housing suited for young people and a broad demographic of ages and incomes.”

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 at 11:31am.

Posted on April 26, 2018 at 6:52 pm
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Boulder One of Most Fitness-Friendly Cities for 2018

With Boulder’s walking, biking and hiking trails, it’s no surprise the city made the SmartAsset top 10 list of places for physical fitness.

But here’s what is surprising: as fitness and healthy-eating oriented as Boulder’s culture is, the city ranked only No. 10 on SmartAsset’s fourth annual study of the most fitness-friendly places in America.

According to the study, nine other cities are more fitness-friendly than this biking-hiking-running-skiing-walking-climbing loving town.

SmartAsset describes fitness-friendly cities as those that tend to be walkable, offer few fast food eateries and plenty of healthier eating restaurants, and present plenty of places to workout in. Having ample workout facilities overcomes crowded or far away gyms that can deter people from exercising regularly.

Boulder scores in the top 15 for the percent of residents who walk or bike to work and the number of fitness professionals per 10,000 residents. In fact, Boulder has a top 25 score in the number of fitness businesses. However, the cost of getting fitness help from a professional lowered Boulder’s overall score. The city ranks 337 out of 340 for the affordability of professional fitness help.

In No.1-ranked Missoula, Montana, residents walk or bike to work at a rate of around one in 11. The city’s transportation design makes walking or biking not only possible, but enjoyable.

With two Iowa cities in the top 10 – No. 3 Iowa City and No. 9 Ames – it’s clear that Iowans are doing a lot right when it comes to fitness. Around 11 percent of Iowa City residents walk or bike to work – the fifth-highest rate in the study, according to SmartAsset.

The top 10 cities are:

  1.       Missoula, Montana
  2.       La Crosse-Onalaska, Wisconsin-Minnesota
  3.       Iowa City, Iowa
  4.       Ocean City, New Jersey
  5.       Bend-Redmond, Oregon
  6.       Napa, California
  7.       State College, Pennsylvania
  8.       Harrisonburg, Virginia
  9.       Ames, Iowa
  10.      Boulder, Colorado

Data for 340 metros was analyzed by SmartAsset to determine America’s most fitness-friendly cities. Metrics include the percent of those who walk or bike to work, number of fitness jobs, cost of hiring a personal fitness instructor, number of fitness establishments and prevalence of fast food restaurants. The final factor – fast food eateries – is calculated as a negative.

Get all the details on each city at https://smartasset.com/mortgage/fitness-friendly-places-2018

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, April 20th, 2018 at 10:40am.

Posted on April 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm
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What Not to Do Once Your Mortgage Is Approved

The real estate market in Boulder County is red hot, which makes maintaining your mortgage approval a must if you’re shopping for a home.

“It can be a lot of work to get your mortgage approved. Once it is approved, it is important not to make any major financial changes until you sign your final disclosure and the loan is closed,” says Jessica Shanahan, loan officer with Premier Lending.

To keep your mortgage approval, you need to know the financial moves not to make.

Your mortgage approval is primarily based on documenting your income and assets, your equity stake or down payment, your credit history and the cash you’ll have left over after the deal is done, according to Tuttle’s Real Estate Update.

After your mortgage is approved, don’t change any one of those qualifiers without first consulting your loan officer or you could lose your mortgage.

Here’s Real Estate Update’s list of what not to do:

Avoid Big Purchases

Don’t buy a new car or another large possession, or change the lease on your current car. It could show up on your credit report or bank statement. The new loan or purchase amount could tilt the debt-to-income ratio the lender used to approve your home loan, and your mortgage could vaporize.

Don’t Get New Credit

Don’t sign up for any new credit cards or other lines of credit, even for a zero interest rate. Resist all of those credit card offers that flow in after you get your mortgage approval.

Don’t Miss a Bill Payment or Pay Late

Pay your bills on time without fail, even if you dispute the charge. If you stop paying a bill, it can end up on your credit report and cause a problem with your mortgage.

Don’t Change Jobs

Now isn’t the time to start a new job or lose the job you have. It is okay to take a second job, as long as you keep the job you have. However, if you should be so fortunate as to get a promotion and raise, your mortgage shouldn’t be jeopardized.

Don’t Spend Your Cash

Don’t use your cash reserves, transfer large sums between bank accounts, or make undocumented transactions in your back account – either deposits or withdrawals. This activity can cause your mortgage approval to be reversed.

Just remember to control items that affect your financial picture, and barring any uncontrollable life events, your mortgage should be fine.

For more information see: https://bit.ly/2JzU2lx

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, April 13th, 2018 at 12:09pm.

Posted on April 17, 2018 at 5:29 pm
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Colorado Labor Force Grows Fastest Since 1998

Labor statistics are officially confirming what we all know – Colorado’s population is on the rise, with newcomers lured by a strong job market.

By the end of 2017, Colorado had a record year with its fastest rate of growth in almost 20 years, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Statistics.

Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 141,700 for the year, adding 5,100 nonfarm payroll jobs from November to December for a total of 2,671,500 jobs.

The increase was noticeable compared to the previous month when employers added 1,800 jobs. In fact, November’s gain was higher than the state’s 12-month average gain of 3,817 jobs, and higher than the previous four months average gain of 4,800, according to CDLE data.

By sector, most of November’s added jobs are private sector payroll jobs, which increased 4,300 and government increased 800. Average hourly earnings also rose, going from $26.93 to $28.09.

Even so, the state’s unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point from November to December to 3.1 percent. The rise in the unemployment rate correlated with an increase in the number of people actively participating in the labor force, which grew 14,800 over the month.

Colorado’s unemployment rate is still lower than the nation’s December rate of 4.1 percent, which declined from 4.7 percent from December 2016 to December 2017.

The biggest private sector job gains in November 2017 were in construction and education and health services, while over the course of the year, the largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and construction.

The jobs added resulted in a 2 percent job growth rate, with Colorado outpacing the U.S. growth rate of 1.4 percent, as it has for the past seven years.

Colorado Department of Labor measures the unemployment rate, labor force, labor force participation, total employment and the number of unemployed is based on a survey of households. The total employment estimate derived from this survey is intended to measure the number of people employed.

All Colorado estimates from the establishment and household surveys, including greater geographic detail, are available at: http://www.colmigateway.com.

Estimates for all states and the nation are available at: http://www.bls.gov

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 at 1:19pm.

Posted on April 4, 2018 at 7:41 pm
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First Signs of Spring Home Sales Show Promise

‘Home for Sale’ signs are popping up like spring tulips in Boulder County, showing early indications the selling season is likely to emerge strong this year.

Those early positive signs are supported by February’s Boulder Area Realtor® Association sales stats that mark improvement in inventory and sales for single-family and attached dwellings.

“February showed good recovery in sales and inventory from last month’s slow start to the year,” says Ken Hotard, vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association. “It sets buyers and sellers up well going into the top home-selling months of March, April, May and June.”

Inventory increased for single-family and attached Boulder County dwellings in February compared to January. Single-family home inventory increased 7.6 percent – 592 units versus 550 – while townhome and condominium inventory improved 2.3 percent – 138 units versus 130 – month-over-month.

Month-over-month sales of single-family homes in the Boulder-area improved 9 percent compared to January – 240 units versus 220. Condominium and townhome sales rose 7.9 percent month-over-month – 95 units versus 88.

Year-to-date, single-family home sales in the Boulder-area increased 12.3 percent through February 2018, with 467 homes sold versus 416. The number of condominiums and townhomes sold also rose, marking a 26.2 percent year-to-date jump with 183 units sold versus 145 units for the same period in 2017.

Hotard says Boulder County’s real estate market hasn’t changed from last year, noting that “given the market we have, there is no denying demand is strong and there continue to be active buyers.”

The one shifting fundamental is increasing interest rates.

“Interest rates are over 4.5 percent now and projected to go higher. The question is just how high they will go,” explains Hotard.

He says it’s too soon to tell if rising interest rates will put a damper on home sales or the area’s ever-rising real estate prices.

All told, not much has changed in Hotard’s view. “We still live in a beautiful place that offers an exceptional quality of life, Colorado job growth continues to be strong, and the areas surrounding Boulder County are experiencing rising real estate prices.”

So bring on the 2018 home selling season, it’s budding with promise.

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 at 1:21pm.
Posted on April 3, 2018 at 7:34 pm
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Boulder Selected Finalist in Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

Boulder is readying to change the paradigm of transportation mobility as a result of being named one of 35 Champion Cities selected as finalists in the 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge. The competition is based on city leaders proposing bold solutions to each city’s toughest problems.

Three Colorado cities – Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins – were selected from a pool of more than 320 applicants. Selected cities now begin a six-month testing phase supported by a grant award of up to $100,000 for each to conduct a public prototype.

In Boulder’s application, the city proposed to combat climate change through accessible and affordable transportation alternatives for low- and middle-income residents.  City officials will conduct experiments on mobility options – including ridesharing, subsidies, and an electric car loan program – to determine the most effective way to improve low-income residents’ mobility.

Currently, more than half of Boulder’s low- and middle-income residents depend on fossil-fuel, single-occupancy vehicles.

Denver will use cutting-edge air pollution sensors to create a city-wide air quality monitoring program at public school buildings to make better informed decisions on policies. The city aims to address the negative economic and health impact of air pollution. Denver families spend an average $3,100 a year on asthma-related medical costs.

Fort Collins will make more energy efficient rental housing for low and middle-income households to reduce health and economic disparities. Nearly 50,000 Fort Collins households are energy-inefficient.

“We received hundreds of bold and creative ideas from cities around the country in response to the 2018 Mayors Challenge, and these 35 really stood out for their potential to improve people’s lives. The next six months are a great opportunity for the cities to test their ideas and make them even more innovative and effective,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

During the six-month “Test, Learn, and Adapt” phase of the competition, Boulder and the other Champion Cities will refine their ideas, and then submit new applications in August. In October, five selected cities will be awarded funding to put their ideas into action – four will receive $1 million and one will receive $5 million.

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people.  In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million.

For more information and a list of all 35 Champion Cities, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 9:37am.

Posted on March 22, 2018 at 4:35 pm
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Boulder Real Estate Market Holds Steady, Despite Pressure

 

Early in 2018 the real estate outlook for Boulder County looks strong, even while sailing into the same headwinds that prevailed last year: low inventory and rising prices.

But this year promises additional gusts in the form of rising interest rates.

“None of the fundamentals in the market have changed, except a small rise in interest rates and the anticipation of additional increases,” says Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.

“January data shows year over year single-family home sales are about the same as last year, and condos and townhomes are up significantly.”

Single-family home sales for Boulder County are down a single unit or .05 percent with 220 units sold in January 2018 compared with 221 in January 2017. Month-over-month, January sales dropped 39 percent for the first month of 2018 compared to December’s 363 units sold.

In condominium/townhomes, 88 units sold in January 2018, a 44.3 percent improvement compared with 61 units sold a year ago, but a 26.7 percent drop compared with the 120 units sold in December.

“December finished strong and the totals for 2017 pushed over and above 2016 slightly, which makes having a strong January challenging,” says Hotard.

Inventory continued its persistent decline. Single-family homes for sale in the Boulder-area declined 1.3 percent in January 2018 compared to December 2017 – 550 units vs. 557.

Meanwhile, condominium and townhome inventory improved 8.3 percent in January compared to December – 130 units versus 120.

Hotard notes that rising mortgage rates is a new factor for real estate markets that have seen a long run of low interest rates. He says the question is whether rising rates, while still historically low, will have a dampening effect on pricing or sales.

“Affordability is already an issue in Boulder, Louisville and Niwot. If interest rates go up people may have greater difficulty affording higher priced homes,” he adds. For 2017, Boulder’s median sales price came in over $800,000, Niwot’s roughly $750,000 and Louisville’s nearing $575,000.

With minimal data to consider this early in the year, Hotard is reluctant to predict this year’s market.

“For now, the data is over a small number of sales, so it’s difficult to identify trends. But this market has been strong for years and it is likely to continue to be strong.”

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, March 5th, 2018 at 9:37am.

Posted on March 9, 2018 at 7:59 pm
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Boulder Happiest City in America

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, February 23rd, 2018 at 1:44pm.

If you live in Boulder and laugh a lot, pat yourself on the back. You – and 100,000 of your neighbors – put Boulder on the happiness chart.

Fact is, Boulder is the happiest city in America, based on the Gallup-Sharecare Well Being Index.

Using their experience studying the world’s most thriving populations, National Geographic bestselling author Dan Buettner and Gallup’s social scientists developed an index to assess happiness and identify where Americans are living their happiest lives.

Boulder and two other Colorado cities fare well in that assessment, with Boulder at No. 1, Fort Collins No. 4, and Colorado Springs No. 18.

In a recent National Geographic story and newly-published The Blue Zones of Happiness, Buettner explained the environmental and lifestyle factors that contribute to the overall happiness.

“If you want to get happy, don’t try and change your belief system. Change your environment,” says Buettner.

According to Buettner, happiness is greatest when living in cities that excel in 15 metrics including civic engagement, walkability and healthy food options. In happier places, residents smile and laugh often, socialize daily, spend time in green spaces, and feel they are progressing toward achieving life goals.

Boulder aces all of these categories. As a result, Boulderites overwhelmingly feel “active and productive every day.”

For those of us who live here, we know why Boulder makes us so happy. Here are the factors described in the 25 Happiest Cities report:

Walkability, bike-ability and access to nature

Located in at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder abounds in beautiful vistas, frequent sunshine, and an excellent climate. The combination lures residents to spend lots of time outdoors, enjoying hiking and biking on 300 miles of trails.

In fact, more people walk to work in Boulder than in any other city in the U.S. And the study found a high correlation between the bike-ability of a city and residents’ happiness levels.

Low rates of smoking and obesity, and high rates of exercise also contribute to happiness.

Sense of community

Boulder residents actively engage in community, whether it’s socializing a couple of hours every day or fighting to maintain the characteristics that make Boulder a ‘happy place’ and a highly desirable place to live.

But, even with all of that happiness, Boulder residents reported higher stress levels than the national average, with 49 percent saying they felt stress.

The National Geographic Gallup Special/Blue Zones Index draws on nearly 250,000 interviews conducted with adults from 2014 to 2015 in 190 metropolitan areas across the U.S.

The top 10 cities are:

1. Boulder, CO

2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA

3. Charlottesville, VA

4. Fort Collins, CO

5. San Luis Obispo, CA

6. San Jose, CA

7. Provo, UT

8. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

9. Barnstable Town, MA

10. Anchorage, AK

For the full story and list of all 25 cities, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/united-states/happiest-cities-united-states-2017/

and

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/boulder-colorado-is-the-happiest-city-in-the-us-here-s-why/

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 7:39 pm
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Colorado Among Top 10 Predicted to Have Strong Housing Market

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 at 4:22pm.

Ranked the No. 7 strongest housing market in the U.S., real estate sales in Colorado will remain robust in 2018, according to analysis by credit.com.

The predicted increase is around 3.1 percent. Colorado Springs is emerging as the top city for growth and median home prices are predicted to rise 5.7 percent through 2018.

Colorado’s home prices saw the sharpest increase in the U.S. over the past two years, reports credit.com. That’s quite a mark, given that 2016 existing home sales nationwide were the strongest they’ve been in a decade, following the worst housing crisis in U.S. history. In 2018, the nation’s housing market’s strength is expected to continue with U.S. home prices expected to rise 4.6 percent.

Here are 10 states that are predicted to be among the top performers in 2018:

  1.       Nevada

Median home values in Las Vegas are expected to rise approximately 5.8 percent over the next 12 months. The median home price is approximately $285,045.

  1.       Texas

Lower taxes and a lower cost of living continue to lure profitable companies to relocate, expand or launch businesses inTexas. As a result, housing has boomed in Dallas and many other areas. In 2018, home sales are expected to gown 6 percent. The median home price in North Texas is $339,950.

  1.       Florida

Florida cities Deltona and Lakeland lead Florida’s strong housing market. With the appeal of ocean-side living, warm weather, and the ability to live an active lifestyle, Florida’s most popular areas are expected to see a more than 5% boost. The median home price in Deltona is $275,050.

  1.       California

Stockton – one of California’s fastest-growing cities – is predicted to grow its housing market by 4.6 percent. With a median home price of $385,050, Stockton is far more affordable than the state’s most desirable areas. For example, the median price of a home in San Francisco has increased $100,000 in the past year.

  1.       Utah

The Provo/Orem region was recently ranked as the best-performing city by the Miliken Institute, due to a robust high-tech sector and broad-based job and wage growth. Salt Lake City’s median home price averages $360,000, and housing sales are predicted to grow 3.2 percent in 2018.

  1.       North Carolina

People are moving into North Carolina from other states, driving a strong housing market with home sales predicted to grow 6 percent in 2018. The median home price averages $325,000.

  1.       Colorado

With the several year surge in housing prices, affordability is a growing issue in the Mile High City. Even so, the market is predicted to remain strong, leveling out a bit in 2018 to around 3.1 percent. Colorado Springs tops the cities for growth and the median home price there is slated to rise 5.7 percent this year.

Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia round out the list of the top 10 strongest housing markets in the U.S. for 2018, says Credit.Com. Nashville, Oklahoma City and Atlanta all bring the secret sauce that bolster home values. Median prices are $385,000; $99,000; and $218,350, respectively.

Read the full article at https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/10-states-predicted-strong-housing-markets-2018

Posted on March 6, 2018 at 7:29 pm
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