Denver Real Estate Market Review
Denver is breaking records this year, but it’s not necessarily the right types of records we want to be breaking. Once again, the Denver Metro area has broken the record for month-end inventory numbers, an all-time low of 2,024 active listings to start off March. This is the second month in a row that we’ve achieved this new benchmark. The good news here is that March is traditionally the month that sees sellers returning to the market, but that holds its own bundle of caveats. For the first time, ever, the average price of attached homes (condominiums/ townhomes) rose over $400k! The gap between sales of attached and single-family homes also dropped dramatically starting in February, due in large part to the record low inventory present across the Front Range. But as we’ve seen ever since the initial effects of COVID began: housing prices are rising quickly, list-days-on-market are dropping, more and more people continue to move to Colorado, and less people are willing to sell their homes right now.
The record breaking average townhome and condo price of $401,552 is still quite short of the average single-family home in Denver, currently at $632,581. Both are rising at astonishing rates, an overall average of roughly 19.5%. That’s up 4% from last month and up 16% from the same time last year. If prices continue to rise at this pace 2021 could break many records, mirroring some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. As you know, homes are flying off MLS almost as fast as we can list them. On average, detached dwellings are selling 19 days after they’re listed. In previous years we would be waiting well over a month on average to sell homes. Today, even fixer-uppers are selling faster than we’d imagine, but with minimal investment they’re turned into a valuable and comfortable asset.
Boulder County followed these trends perfectly. We opened March with a grand total of 114 listings on MLS. That’s down nearly 80% from last year! One major difference between the greater Denver area and Boulder County on it’s own are the number of sellers putting their houses up for sale. Overall, there are a fair number of homes coming on the market, they’re just selling faster than they’re arriving creating a shortage for buyers. In Boulder County, however, homeowners are holding onto their properties, pushing closing numbers down 43% (compared to Denver Metro Area’s closing numbers only being down 5%). This has pushed the average sales price of a single family home to over $826,000 – and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop there.
Longmont is no special case when it comes to real estate. The trends are following the rest of the Front Range with impeccable succinctness. On average homes are selling around $517,000 and spending a whopping 41 days on MLS. This is over twice as long as the rest of the Denver Metro Area, indicating buyers are hesitant to choose our great city – probably due to its proximity to Denver or the age of our homes. Make no mistake, though, there is still a shortage of active listings and housing prices are rising in Longmont. The reasons for choosing Longmont still make this town an extremely competitive market for homebuyers.
As I mentioned before, we start to see sellers re-enter the market after the winter slump. This winter we went as low as we’ve ever been in terms of active listings, but that didn’t hamper sales at all, breaking records in prices and volume. A lot of people ask if this is a bubble, or should we be worried. Quite frankly, it’s hard to say with so many factors in play. This summer should be a telling summer, but we may not know the full ramifications of a market low on inventory during a pandemic, record unemployment, and a new level of economic stimulus. What we do know in the short term is that these trends will continue for a few more months. Once we see sellers return to the real estate market and the next steps of the Federal Reserve on interest rates, then we’ll know what sort of future the Denver Real Estate Market will hold. I am fairly confident we’ll continue to have a strong housing market for a long while yet.
As a homebuyer approaching this daunting real estate market there are several things you need to know. First, you need to know your budget. Then you need to know what areas that you want to live in, and then the house hunting can begin. Here’s the Wise Tip, shop for houses $25-$50 thousand below your budget. This becomes your bargaining power. If you find a home you’re really interested in, then places a bid several thousand dollars higher than the asking price. This will increase your chances of finding your next home in the Denver Metro Area. When you’re ready to take the next steps in securing your home, make sure to work with the best realtors in town: The Wise Team. We’re keeping a close eye on the pulse of our neighborhoods.Get in touch today!