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Real Estate

It’s Never Been Harder to Buy a Home in Denver

For the first time since July, Denver’s average single-family home price dipped below $600,000, but inventory remained at an all-time low.

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With little inventory and homes selling faster than normal, September was tough time to buy a home in the Denver Metro, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) Market Trends Report. By the end of September, there were 5,301 active listings—2,215 fewer than any other September on record. However, that didn’t stop buyers. A record 5,850 single-family homes and condos sold last month, and 6,376 homes were pending sale.

“The market in September was incredibly seller friendly and very tough on buyers,” says Andrew Abrams, chair of DMAR’s Market Trends Committee.

Homes are also selling faster. The median days on the market was at a record-low six days in September. The previous record low of nine days was set in September 2016, according to the report.

Limited days on the market coupled with low inventory left buyers with scarce options and often led to bidding wars. The average close-price for all residential properties sold for slightly above asking price last month, according to the report. “It is tough for buyers,” says Jill Schafer, member of DMAR’s Market Trends Committee. “They are having to make concessions on the size of the home or make concessions on the neighborhood. Buyers are just having to make concessions left and right to even land a property.”

The average single-family home price in September might be a bright spot for buyers, as it dropped slightly from $606,330 in August to $599,418. During normal, non-pandemic year, home prices generally decline into September and October, but this year the market is “coloring outside the lines” and not following typical trends, Abrams says. He doesn’t anticipate seeing a decline in the market anytime soon.

As the Denver metro seller’s market continues to gain steam, the luxury attached market—think condos and townhomes over $1 million—remains neutral but shows signs of picking up, according to the report. Year-over-year luxury condos sale were up nearly 32 percent and condos under contract were up nearly 58 percent. According to the report, buyers are still looking for luxury single-family homes rather than condos. Luxury single-family home sales were up approximately 87 percent from September 2019, and pending sales were up 125 percent year-over-year.

“Coloradans have the perseverance to overcome many obstacles. Whether it is working from home with our kids screaming in the background, sitting outside in the cold to support our local restaurant or hiking in the smoke, we have proven our resiliency,” Abrams said in the report. “The same is true for buyers in the greater Denver metro area.”

(MORE: The 25 Best Neighborhoods in Denver)

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