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Denver’s Housing Inventory Is Up—Which Means Buyers Are Taking Their Time

The number of active listings in September increased by more than 5 percent from 2018, contributing to a continued slowdown in real estate sales.

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Although the month of September saw a slight dip in the residential real estate market, broker experts say it’s nothing more than a typical autumnal slowdown. 

According to the latest data from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, single-family homes are staying on the market an average of 33 days, an 18 percent increase from last year. Condos are also staying on the market for 33 days, a 38 percent increase from last year. 

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While Denver has not yet reached the status of a buyer’s market—except in the luxury condo segment—the city is seeing signs of slowdown. For one, the number of price reductions and the gap between list price and sold price has increased. For the first time in four years, the year-to-date close-price to list-price dipped below 100 percent to 99.31 percent in September. While home appreciation has slowed, the average sold price of a home in September was still up 6.06 percent (at $483,734) compared to last year, and 2.52 percent ($487,814) compared to the beginning of the year. 

 “I think people are looking at prices from the height of our market when they’re pricing their homes,” says Jill Schafer, chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and Kentwood Real Estate broker. “Buyers today have a lot more choices and are much pickier than they were in past years, and they want the home to be move-in ready and competitively priced, and that’s not what they’re getting.” 

In September, there were 9,286 active listings on the market, a 5.44 percent increase from last year. The days of potential buyers putting in an offer the first weekend have slowed, according to Schafer, but the tides have not turned into a buyer’s market yet. 

“With the increase in inventory, buyers have more things to look at. They go out and see three to four at a time,” Schafer says. “With more choices, it takes a little longer to go and compare and put in an offer.” 

Interest rates are 3.64 to 3.75 depending on the week, while mortgage applications are up 9 percent, according to the report

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Luxury market condos, priced between $750,000 and $999,999, and single family homes priced over $1 million, are seeing more of a shift to a buyer’s market, notes Schafer. 

“Buyers today really want new. We have an inventory of luxury homes that is now what buyers consider dated, and not moving quickly,” Schafer says. “It’s sad to say that homes that are 10 to 15 years old appear dated to today’s buyer.” 

Meanwhile, the slight dip in the market is pretty typical for a Colorado gearing up for the cold winter months. 

“Houses don’t look as pretty in the winter. You can’t see the flowers and the patios,” she says. “[Buyers] don’t like to trudge around in the snow unless they have to.” 

“The main things are: the home has to look current and ready, the prices have to be below comps, and buyers have to take advantage of our low interest rates,” Schafer says. 

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