DMAR Real Estate Market Trends | FEB. '16

February 2, 2016

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Homebuyer Demand Remains Strong and Housing Remains Scarce in Metro-Denver. January ended the month with a total of 4,221 active listings (single family and condos). Looking back at the last three decades (1985-2015), January has averaged 14,426 available listings with a record-high in January 2006 of 24,387 - nearly six times more than today.

"As the city finds itself buried in a foot of snow, my fellow REALTORS® find ourselves wondering when the avalanche of new listings will make their way into our marketplace,” said Anthony Rael, Chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and Denver real estate agent. “While it sounds redundant for me to talk about the ongoing lack of inventory and rapidly increasing home prices each month, it is what it is. Simply put, we have to keep finding ways to do more with less.”

The 11-County Denver-area real estate market continues to thrive and 2016 is shaping up to repeat last year's record-breaking totals.

Digging into January MLS housing stats: Month over month, for the entire residential market (single family and condos), 3,853 new listings came on the market (up 69 percent), 3,603 homes were placed under contract (up 30 percent) and 2,705 homes sold and closed (down 40 percent). For year-over-year perspective, active, sold, average/median prices and sales volume in January 2016 were all well ahead of January 2015. Sales volume was just over $1 billion last month.

For the month-over-month detached single-family home market, new listings spiked 68 percent over the previous month and three percent year over year. Average and median sold prices remained relatively flat from the previous month with a slight increase of 0.26 percent to $413,995 and a decrease of 0.57 percent to $346,000 respectively. The condo market showed the supply of new listings skyrocketed 72 percent over the previous month and two percent year over year, while the average and median sold prices dropped two percent to $270,963 and dropped four percent to $215,000 respectively.

Our monthly report also includes statistics and analyses in its supplemental “Luxury Market Report” (properties sold for $1 million or greater), “Signature Market Report” (properties sold between $750,000 and $999,999) and “Premier Market Report” (properties sold between $500,000 and $749,999). In January 68 homes sold and closed for $1 million or greater – down 44 percent from the previous month and up 84 percent year over year. The closed dollar volume last month in the luxury segment was approximately $110 million, down 40 percent from the previous month and up 117 percent year over year.

“Along with the rest of the city, the higher end real estate market went into a deep freeze at the beginning of this year,” said Brooke Livingston, DMAR Market Trends Committee member and Denver real estate agent. “Keeping in mind the seasonal impact, it's still an unexpected and unsettling occurrence for those who were sure the heat of last summer's market had no end in sight.”

The number of sold properties in January in the Luxury, Signature and the Premiere markets dropped from nearly 39 percent to 50 percent from December to January. Luxury condo statistics are starting to trail as Cherry Creek North's 250 Columbine's impact peters out with 53 units closed in the last few months of 2015, and only three that closed in January. The difference in high-end condo inventory from December to January is stark, with a 69 percent increase along with a 13 percent price increase.

“Move-up buyers are waiting for the city and prices to thaw out before they strike, and while the inventory on paper looks adequate, from actual market experience we can surmise that homes staying on the market tend to be over-priced and under-updated," adds Livingston. “Homebuyers are uncertain that a jump in price range will garner them more amenities, exemplified by the fact that of the 240 listings sold in the $500,000 to $749,000 range, more than half were remodeled, but 73 percent of those still on the market do not list updated or remodeling. That means those that are updated or remodeled are selling first and the others are languishing.”

"For sellers to get the most out of this still predominantly hot market, they'll need to price their properties at or slightly below true market value to capitalize on multiple buyer interest,” states Jill Schafer, DMAR Market Trends Committee member and Denver real estate agent. “Buyers in this mid- to upper-price range may want to open their options to homes that need updating, as well as look at loans that allow them to make improvements.”

The highest priced single family home sold in January was $6,530,000 representing seven bedrooms, 15 bathrooms and 14,275 above ground square feet in Cherry Hills Village (Buell Mansion neighborhood). Both the listing and selling agents are DMAR members. The highest priced condo sold in January was $4,325,000 representing four bedrooms, eight bathrooms and 6,078 above ground square feet in Cherry Creek North. The listing agent is a DMAR member.

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The DMAR Market Trends Committee releases reports monthly, highlighting important trends and market activity emerging across the Denver metropolitan area. Reports include data for Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park counties. Data for the report was sourced from REcolorado® and interpreted by DMAR.