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DENVER-Veteran residential broker Larry D. McGee knows what economic indicator to watch in order to tell him when the home sales market will pick up—office vacancy rates.

McGee, principal broker with the Berkshire Group, a Metro Brokers affiliate, tells GlobeSt.com that in the past, when the city had a high office vacancy rate, as it does now, home sales sagged.

“But what happened in the past is that companies start taking advantage of our cheap lease rates and our huge supply of office space,” McGee tells GlobeSt.com. “As companies start filling up the office space, it means people start moving here again. And then they start buying houses.”McGee notes that he was active in the local market in 1987 to 1989, during the oil boom-bust, when the city had some of the lowest office rates in the world and people were desperately slashing home prices, often to no avail.

At that time, there were so many housing foreclosures that HUD became the city’s largest landlord.

“I was here in ’87-’89 and I tell you, it was a lot worse then than it is today,” McGee tells GlobeSt.com.

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