With increasingly more opinions on Denver’s housing market there have been varying reports of exactly where we stand. Has Denver finally shifted towards a buyer’s market, or is the market getting even tougher on home buyers?
For the housing market as a whole, the numbers present a not-quite-as-strong-but-still-very-strong seller’s market. But, it’s not quite that simple, as agent Megan Aller stated in her recent Westword interview. Within the Denver market, we’re seeing the luxury market soften significantly, while the median-priced homebuyer almost always has to compete with multiple offers.
Days on the Market
2019 went out just as it started with regards to days on market, averaging about 37 days on market in Q1 and Q4 of 2019. There were fewer days on market during the busy spring and summer season as expected.
Notable here is that even with slightly less inventory than 2018Q4, 2019Q4 homes took longer on average to sell. This is a nod to our theme this year, the market is not quite as competitive for buyers, but this change is marginal.
Inventory in Q4 was lower than in 2018, with about 200 less homes in October, November, and December on average. This is largely due to new homes becoming available towards the end of last year and this summer. Denver reached its peak this September with 2,605 units on the market! As a result, sales last quarter were higher than last year. Since September of 2019 you can see inventory on a downward slope.
November was an interesting month. Compared to 2018, the median sale price is up quite a bit. But compared to October, there was a slight drop in price, which is to be expected. Home inventory is down, but the average time spent on the market is up. Buyers look to be becoming more disciplined in their decision making. Multiple offers are still happening, but only on pristine, well-priced homes in hot neighborhoods. Buyers aren’t just buying because they’re worried about getting left out of the Denver market! They’re more calculated with their home selection and are using statistical data to justify their offer pricing. As we close out the decade and begin 2020, we’ll keep a close eye on inventory numbers. If year-over-year numbers are significantly lower for the first quarter, buckle up and expect a wild ride this summer!
Falling interest rates. Lower inventory. Higher sales volume. How much higher can prices go?
We’ve been reading again and again in the news about falling interest rates. Then, it finally happened: rates rose for the first time since October 2018. Does this mean interest rates are finally becoming stagnant? While the 30-year mortgage rate is down nearly 1% from last October, a small increase from September is notable. The increase can be partially attributed to a rising stock market and hints of a deal in the China trade war.
Denver home inventory was down 4.5% from last October while homes sales were up 9.4% for the same time periods. This equation has the potential to push prices higher during a season that typically sees steady to modest price increases. If you’re anticipating a deal during the winter season, keep an eye on interest rates. If they keep rising, you may see panicked buyers making rushed decisions in order to lock in a great interest rate.
Rezoning deal could make way for new skyscrapers on Denver’s Sherman Street if developers agree to build affordable housing
Source: Joe Rubino of the Denver Post
Three lots on Sherman Street, east of downtown, may be getting a makeover soon! The Dikeous family, who owns the lots, is lobbying the city to rezone to allow building over 155 feet, the current view plane restriction. The Dikeous family would agree to more than half a million dollars in sidewalk and street repairs, as well as including 211 affordable housing in their projects. The buildings could be as tall as 45 stories. So far the Dikeous family has put 18 months of work and over 75 neighborhood meetings into the proposed deal.
Reporter Joe Rubino dives into the details of the proposed project, community reaction, and history of the view plane restrictions in the full article below.
Rising national unemployment, declining large purchase sales and tumultuous securities markets have some economists forecasting a recession. Despite this, Cushman & Wakefield managing director Jon Hendrickson feels that safe lending practices and Denver’s growth in jobs show a recession is not near.
Hendrickson distinguishes recent recessions from today’s market condition, and why Denver is one of the top markets in the company in the full article.
Home sales slowed this August as the summer nears its end. In July, we saw high sales volume and sales price. August had a large dip in detached home median sales price while attached condos, townhomes, and duplexes rose in median sales price. Interest rates continue to fall, the lowest they’ve been since October 2016! The star player in Denver’s home market continues to be inventory, with the highest number of August active listings in the last six years. This is resulting in homes spending more time on the market, and lower home prices.
Source: Bill Hethcock and Denver Business Journal Staff of the Denver Business Journal
John Burns Real Estate Consulting has analyzed 130 metro areas in the United States for what percentage of their residents can afford an entry-level home in that metro. The report considered a home priced 20% lower than the median in that area as entry level and assumed a 5% down payment. It features an interactive infographic which allows you to compare Denver with other major metros across the country! Denver, with 50.2% of it’s residents able to afford a home in this range, is much more affordable than cities like San Francisco (11%), NYC (36%) and Boulder (40%), but less so than Boston (51%) and Chicago (59%) and several other metros.
Just how big is the barrier to entry to owning a home in Denver? Here are some numbers for the five most expensive zip codes in the city:
Cost of Entry in Denver's Most Expensive ZIP Codes
|ZIP Code||Denver Neighborhoods within ZIP Code||Median Home Value||Monthly Mortgage Payment||Minimum Salary Required|
Looking for a neighborhood that’s more friendly to your pocketbook? Reach out to our team and we’d love to help you find your next place.
Source: Aldo Svaldi of the Denver Post
Anyone with a “Native” bumper sticker can tell you how fast home prices have risen in the past decade. The median price is now over five times the median household income, a new record which has economists scratching their heads. This article touches on a frequently overlooked contributor to our current home prices: the size of new homes. With new homes going bigger and bigger in scale, some developers are focusing on building smaller homes to be able to reach the “median” Denver residents.
Read more about the reasons for the rise in Denver home prices and how one developer, Mission Homes, is thinking small in the full article below!
“There’s speculators buying up houses:” Denver’s East Colfax braces for transit, density and displacement
Source: Andrew Kenney of the Denver Post
Denver government and development reporter Andrew Kenney believes, “East Colfax is the next frontier.” From small-scale home-flippers, to development firms, to the City of Denver, investors have big plans for this neighborhood. The danger, as it always is with development, is displacement. Can the City of Denver and its housing market players revive this area’s businesses and public transportation? And, can they do it without destroying one of Denver’s last pockets of affordable housing? Read the full article below to learn more!
Curious what’s for sale in this neighborhood? Find out here:
Source: Aldo Svaldi of the Denver Post
Companies that buy homes directly from sellers in enormous quantities have surged in popularity by simplifying the process for the seller. One of the most prominent companies with this model is Opendoor, who collects data on what home buyers are looking for — and what they’re not. Carpeted floors are at the top of Opendoor’s “not” list. Read the full article to see how much money carpet could knock off your sale price and what else Opendoor recommends avoiding.