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So far, 2021 doesn’t look much different from 2020—and we’re not just talking about COVID-19 restrictions. Denver’s housing market, which has been scorching hot for the past year, shows no sign of slowing down. There are an abundance of buyers, homes are selling fast, and prices keep increasing.
Last month, 3,641 homes sold, up nearly four percent year-over-year. But the month ended with only 2,024 active listings—a 58 percent decline year-over-year, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtor’s Market Trends Report. Buyer demand is significantly outpacing the supply, says Andrew Abrams, chair of DMAR’s Market Trends Committee. “That’s why we’re seeing so many offers on every house,” he says.
Attached properties also became increasingly popular in February, with 1,242 properties selling, up 16 percent year-over-year. Single-family homes, on the other hand, saw a nearly two percent decline in sales from 2,443 last year to 2,399 last month. “When people wanted more space, there’s that sprawl to the suburbs. But now that the economy is starting to open up a little bit, I think that slow trickle of demand is coming back toward [the attached] market,” Abrams says.
Buyer demand is also causing prices to rise for both single-family and attached properties. February was another record-breaking month with single-family homes selling for an average of $632,581—up 23 percent year-over-year and exceeding the previous record of $626,159 set in January. And attached properties, such as condos and townhomes, sold for an average of $401,552, exceeding $400,000 for the first time. (The previous record for attached properties was set in January at $397,792.)
Homes are coming on the market, but they are selling fast. Last month, there were 4,507 new listings, up seven percent from January and down nearly 12 percent year-over-year. According to the report, homes are sitting on the market for an average of 23 days compared to 39 days in February 2020. “Homes are coming on and selling faster than you can sell chips at an edibles convention,” says Nicole Rueth, a DMAR Market Trends Committee member.
The average close-to-list price for all residential properties continues to be above asking, too. Abrams says in February he wrote two offers for $101,000 and $90,000 above asking price, yet still didn’t get either home. According to other realtors, this isn’t uncommon. “The name of the game is perseverance because it is very competitive,” Abrams says. “It’s very uncomfortable to continue to be pushed [to a higher price point] than you’re thinking. Everyone looks at the list prices as an anchor thought and that’s just not where a lot of these houses are actually landing.”
Most luxury homes priced over $1 million are also selling for higher than the list price, according to the report. More than 230 luxury homes sold in February, up 48 percent year-over-year. February also saw more new listings up nearly 25 percent from January. It’s still a seller’s market, but buyers can take more time to look at luxury homes. The average day on the market also declined from 71 days last year to 63 days, according to the report.
“There are plenty of houses being put on the market, but you’ve got to be very aggressive toward getting them,” Abrams says. “I think that makes people feel very uncomfortable. So just getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is part of the process.”