Denver is building its way out of the housing crisis—at least for those who can afford luxury condos. The latest Denver Metro Association of Realtors report shows there is now 5.6 months of inventory of attached units worth between $750,000 and $1 million, meaning with Denver’s supply and the current rate of purchasing, it would take that long for every luxury condo on the market now to sell.
This is significant—if you’re wealthy and don’t need a yard—because it means the tables have turned in this subset of Denver housing. At long last, buyers of condos in the urban core have regained the upper hand; no need to offer more than asking price or rush to get offers in before you’ve had a night to sleep on the decision. Maybe putting up with all that confounded construction is finally paying off.
We’ve built ourselves out of the expensive condo shortage, “And that’s just the attempt to build out of [the housing shortage] in general,” says Kentwood Real Estate agent Jill Schafer. “But it’s just expensive to build because the land is expensive and everything gets added on top of that, like the cost of labor.”
Overall, the Denver metro area real estate market remains competitive and relatively expensive. Denver’s average sold-home price was $499,807 at the end of June, compared to the national average of $377,200, as of May. But there’s good news at lower ends of the market, too. The close-to-list-price ratio, or the percentage of asking price buyers actually pay, has held below 100 percent across the Denver metro area for nearly one year (since August 2018). On average, Denver metro home buyers pay 99.6 percent of what sellers ask for their homes. This means that buyers are less likely to battle it out over competing offers and overpay for their homes.
“It’s not like a big plummet, it’s more of a flattening out,” says Schafer. “It’s like when you’re driving down a road and you see the speed limit sign and you know you’re going 20 miles an hour over, slam on the breaks, and then it feels like you’re barely going.”
So does this flattening indicate a coming change in Denver’s real estate game? Are we approaching the proverbial top of the market? Schafer cautions against jumping to any such conclusions—it’s just too hard to suss out. And with an election year on the horizon, she says there’s no telling how the winds could change. If you want to buy or sell, Schafer says, now is not a bad time to do it.
“Our interest rates are so incredibly low, so it’s great time for people to buy, they have lots of choices,” Schafer says. “And our sellers are still getting top dollar. We haven’t seen a plummet. It’s still a great time to be transacting real estate.”
That is, if you have the coin.
“Affordability continues to be our biggest issue,” Schafer says.