The number of homes sold in the Denver metro area dipped a little in April, according to the latest Denver Metro Association of Realtors report, which is actually a good thing for both buyers and sellers. The market’s perfect-storm conditions give buyers a little more time to find their dream home, and listings with a longer shelf-life mean there are more options to choose from—all without prices dropping one iota.
“Last year was such a crazy year that while we’ve gone down on the sales, [the 7 percent decrease] is not a lot, in reality,” says Kentwood real estate agent Jill Schafer.
Supply is (finally) increasing, yes, but it’s still nowhere near eclipsing demand. Homes now last about a month on the market, which elevates some pressure on buyers. The result is that buyers have more flexibility, and can do multiple visits to a house before making an offer, walk away from bidding wars, and decline to pay over asking price—especially for places that aren’t move-in ready, Schafer says.
Sellers should be advised to price their homes realistically, get them in tip-top shape to sell, and be prepared to wait (gasp) three or four weekends before sliding that “Under Contract” topper on their yard sign—but it’s still a good time to sell.
Homeowners are moving their homes for top dollar because prices are still increasing, just at a slower rate of about 1.5 percent on average when compared to April 2018. In other words, the value of area homes are still climbing—but at a slower and more reasonable pace.
We don’t have a crystal ball (although in 5280‘s May issue, we did make 11 predictions about where the market is headed)—and with an election year on the horizon, market conditions could be quite different by this time in 2021—but it’s possible your home will see the peak of its value before then. For the foreseeable future, expect to see the highest demand in Denver’s urban core and in the suburbs’ most walkable areas, like Olde Town Arvada.
“Even though [inventory] is higher than last year, it’s still such a small amount, compared to an equal market, that it’s still pushing prices up,” Schafer says. “I think a lot of people who had a home to sell, but didn’t want to because they didn’t know where they’d go, are kind of now looking at things and saying, ‘This might be the height of the market, and now there are more choices, so maybe it’s time for me to sell.’”
By Denver standards, it’s somehow, as if by magic, a good time both to sell and to buy.
“It’s a little bit odd, yes,” says Schafer. “Generally with an increase in supply comes softening prices, and they’ve softened, but they’re still increasing.” Just not by much.