DMAR Real Estate Market Trends Report | MAY '17

Price of Denver-area housing is on a higher trajectory than wages, and the affordability gap in the middle is getting wider.

May 3, 2017

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The average price of a home that sold in April in metro Denver climbed to $439,161, up 3.41 percent from the month prior and up 10.53 percent year over year – reaching a new record high.

“The price of housing is on a higher trajectory than wages, and the affordability gap in the middle is getting wider,” said Steve Danyliw, Chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and Denver real estate agent. “Is this sustainable? In my opinion, no. A healthy market needs a good balance of buyers and sellers combined with modest price growth.”

Year-to-date average sold prices of homes in metro Denver through April has increased by 6.05 percent compared to last year, 9.53 from 2015 to 2016, and 12.99 percent from 2014 to 2015.

“It now appears that we are entering a ‘high plateau’ as prices will continue a gradual leveling,” adds Danyliw. “Part of the reasoning for the high plateau is the dramatic increase in the prices of low-end properties. The gap between lower and higher priced homes has been shrinking. This will eventually start to curtail demand to some extent. All in all, though, we are still experiencing a pretty strong market.”

Danyliw comments that strong increases in active listings, under contracts, and median and average sold prices of homes continued to add fuel to Denver area’s “hot” real estate market last month.

Active listings in the residential market (single family and condos) increased 8.94 percent from March and 2.68 percent year over year to 5,361 total units. The number of sold listings decreased by 7.39 percent compared to the previous month, however April’s number was slightly higher than metro Denver’s 10-year average for this time of the year. New listings came up short in matching the surge in March with a decrease month over month of 3.49 percent, and an increase of 2.96 percent from April of last year. Like March, April saw a healthy increase in properties placed under contract. Homes under contract increased 6.3 percent from last month and 7.14 percent year over year. April saw a noteworthy increase in inventory of 9.44 percent in the single-family segment. The condo market showed a 6.37 percent decrease in sales from the previous month, while average and median sales prices rose to $318,478 and $270,000 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 April 139 homes sold and closed for $1 million or greater – up 2.96 percent from the previous month, and up 37.62 percent year over year. The closed dollar volume in April for all luxury residential was $209,315,652, up 8.43 percent month over month and up 34.11 percent year over year.

The highest priced single-family home sold in April was $3,475,000 representing four bedrooms, eight bathrooms and 4,521 above ground square feet in Denver. The highest priced condo sold was $2,450,000 representing three bedrooms, six bathrooms and 3,885 above ground square feet in Denver. Listing and selling agents for both transactions are DMAR members.

“The distinction in luxury is the variation in price per square foot,” stated Elaine Stucy, DMAR Market Trends Committee member and metro Denver real estate agent. “Homes are not necessarily larger, but the price per square foot often reflects desirable locations, specific architecture, extraordinary amenities, attention to detail and specialized finishes.”

The cost and demand for these differentiations is seen in the comparison in price per square foot with other price ranges. Price per square foot of homes in the single-family Luxury Market was $279, whereas in the $500,000 to $749,999 price range it was $184. For Luxury Market condos price per square foot was $420, compared with $303 in the $500,000 to $749,999 segment. The pricing in the Luxury Market is reflective of the value and differentiation in the residences.

According to Stucy, the number of buyers in the $1 million and up category is still increasing, although a bit slower in April with an increase of only 2.96 percent compared to March; yet a mammoth 30.8 percent increase year to date - for a total of 420 sales already this year - over the same period last year. Sales of homes priced over $1 million accounted for 10.8 percent of the sales volume of the entire market in April.

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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.