2017 was another wild year for Denver real estate. If there were three ways to describe it, it would be: low inventory, low days on market, and multiple offers. All three descriptors attributed to rising home prices and frustrated buyers who are getting priced out of the market.
The Most and Least Expensive Denver Neighborhoods
The median sales price for all of Denver County reached $395k in 2017; a number that has nearly doubled from $200,000, just ten years ago. Hilltop ranked the most expensive neighborhood, with a MSP of $1,115,000 and Goldsmith ranked the most affordable with an MSP of $143k. Breaking it out further:
- 31% of Denver’s neighborhoods have an MSP of greater than $500,000.
- 64% of Denver’s hoods landed in the $250k-$500k range, and
- 5% of neighborhoods had an MSP of less than $250,000, making it tough for buyers with a limited budget.
Map of Median Sale Price by Denver Neighborhood
$143,000 – $1,115,000 is a large spread, there are still some affordable neighborhoods (and even a few opportunities to score a deal in more expensive neighborhoods). Either route you go, fast action, well crafted offers, and of course, a strong offer price are required to come out on top of the negotiations when buying a place.
View map in larger screen here.
Denver Neighborhoods that Appreciated the Most + Least in the Last Year
One of the most common questions we get asked is, “which neighborhoods can we expect to appreciate the most in the upcoming years?” We can’t predict the future but we can rely on past market activity to give us a general direction of where we’re headed. (more…)
Let’s rewind, take a stroll down memory lane, and sift through 2017’s housing data…
Days on the Market and Inventory
The new year is here, but it forgot to bring new homes for sale along with it! The following two charts go hand in hand and help influence the median sale price. Notice any similarities? As buyer demand increases and the average days on the market decreases, inventory usually drops with it.
Dial back to 2012 and you can see we were in a neutral market and average days on the market were in the upper 60’s. Fast forward to the end of 2017 with inventory for detached, single-family homes at literally the all-time low. December saw a mere 800 detached and 839 attached homes (condos, townhomes) available for sale. That leaves Denver with a puny 1.5 months of inventory; still a strong seller’s market, with average days on the market lingering in the mid 20’s.
Inventory, nothing new here…
And the best real estate agent quote from the last five years goes to… “it’s a seller’s market!” Barring any domestic or global financial crisis, our inventory will remain low until Denver focuses on creating more “affordable” housing (i.e. dense condo projects). The city and state leaders need to make condo defect law reform a top priority for 2018. Stop putting bandaids on it. It’s time for a complete overhaul with both sides coming to the table to find a compromise that spurs condo development. If we can add 10-12k apartment units this year, there is absolutely no reason why we can’t increase our condo unit delivery rate to half that number by 2020.
There are two words to sum up the real estate market in November: seasonal slowdown.
Proof of this seasonal slowdown is in the amount of homes that were available for buyers to choose from, the average days that these homes stayed on the market, and the median price of a detached, single-family home.
Inventory was at an all time low, which is nothing new here! With only 1,427 homes listed in November, we had 1.3 months of inventory available in Denver. The average time that these homes stayed on the market was 30 days (in October it was 27).
And let’s talk about prices. The median sales price for a detached, single-family home was $438,500, a $7,450 decrease from October. Although, that’s a welcomed breather from the continual price climb, it’s hardly enough to move the median price to a more affordable level.
Usually the narrative about low inventory revolves around how quickly and how much over list price these homes sell, but this past month was a little different. Yes, we did see some awesome homes go quickly and over list price with multiple offers, but we also experienced our buyers not willing to pull the trigger on a home as quickly. Why? Because they just didn’t have many homes to compare them to. And since these homes stayed on the market longer, sellers were more willing to accept offers below the list price, which explains the decrease in median sales price.
So does this mean that Denver was in a real estate bubble after all and you should be worried about it finally bursting? We are pretty confident in saying no to that question. This seasonal slowdown is most likely just that: seasonal. And it is totally normal. We are in the busiest time of the year with all the holiday festivities of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. If this year’s seasonal slowdown is anything like last year, the market will most likely keep slowing down over the next couple of months and then pick back up around March or April.
Now, if we could just get the snow to fall a little like the real estate prices have!
Is it just us or has November been hot? We’re beginning to think Mother Nature has been basing temperatures on our “hot” real estate market. October’s median price is still hot, but the other four indicators are supporting a cool down. Better grab your coat!
Anyone else noticing a slowdown in the market? I bet those are words you didn’t think you’d read! But it’s true… we’re starting to see homes stay on the market longer and the median sale price is creeping down. If this fall/winter is anything like last year, then we expect the peak slowdown to happen in February. Oh, and the inventory… well, that’s low too (but that’s old news). Even though we’re seeing an uptick in homes for sale since August, we’re still under two months of inventory and holding steady in this sellers’ market.
Months of inventory dropped 5.5% year over year. Average days on the market went up 20%. The median price for single family homes are up 11.8%. Why are homes sitting longer but everything else is trending toward an even tighter seller’s market?
One word, extremes. Buyers are circling the inventory like sharks, waiting for homes to hit. Homes in desirable ‘hoods, priced well, and in great condition are gone in a matter of days — sometimes hours. If a home hits the market and is passed over during the first week, it will likely remain on the market until action is taken by the seller (price drop, improvement, enticement, etc). Some sellers are overzealous and think the market is so hot they can just toss any crazy number on the listing and they will get an offer. The savvy buyer these days will only consider homes that are hitting now and rarely go back for a second look unless there is a substantial change in the listing.
Denver is still in a deep seller’s market. Lack of new inventory and continued buyer demand are keeping things tight as we go into the third quarter. The only cool down coming in the second half of 2017 is fall!
The Most + Least Expensive Denver Neighborhoods
When compiling the most expensive and affordable Denver neighborhoods, we found it helpful to analyze the list two different ways: one based on the median sales price and the other based on price per square foot. Why? When you think Country Club, you think of large houses and decent size lots. While this neighborhood boasted the highest median sale prices in the city, it doesn’t have the highest price per square foot. Instead, if you want to know the most expensive prices per square foot of real estate, check out the second list. Think of more urban, densely populated neighborhoods for this. While these homes may not be as large, each square foot of them is more expensive.
Based on Median Sale Prices
Don’t feel bad if you are scratching your head and saying to yourself, “Auraria, really?” We did the same thing, so we dug into the numbers to see what was up. This hood only has a few housing options, all of which are loft/condo units. With only four sales in the last six months (and one of them going for $1.9 million), there isn’t enough data to give a great representation of this neighborhood. We don’t expect to see it on the list next quarter.
The map below sorts neighborhoods based on their median sale price for the second quarter of 2017. It’s a great tool to use when determining neighborhoods to focus on for your home search. Clicking on an individual neighborhood will show you the median sale price for that particular neighborhood.
View map in larger screen here.
Hot summer, hot market.
It’s hot, there aren’t a lot of homes available (some even without air conditioning), and buyers are frustrated. Sellers are continuing to make the rules and buyers are getting left out in the heat. Sound familiar?
Home prices are breaking records and would-be sellers are more worried about their replacement purchase than selling their current home. So, they opt to wait it out. The result: no inventory, increasing home prices, and homes continuing to fly off the shelf.
Inventory, yep I said it again
A quick glance at this chart doesn’t reveal much. From 2016 to 2017 the inventory numbers ticked down from 1.5 to 1.4 month. Not a huge surprise if you’ve recently been shopping for a home (you already know there aren’t many options out there). What caught my eye were June’s inventory numbers compared to 2016. The active (available) number of homes for sale in June 2017 compared to June 2016 was down 7.3% while the number of sold homes for the same time period went up 3.7%. That equates to 1.3 months of inventory for June which is putting pressure on our 1.4 month average for 2017. No surprise this is pushing median sale prices to record highs. (more…)
Temperatures aren’t the only thing heating up right now — the May real estate market was hotter than ever. The median price for a home in Denver was $410,000 in May, nearly $7,000 more than in April and over $36,000 more compared to the same time last year. The average number of days that homes stayed on the market dropped by 5 to 19 days in May from the previous month. This means the market is doing what we know it to do in the summer — move faster and for more money. The ray of sunshine for buyers? Mortgage rates were at their lowest for the year in May, which means more buying power!
- Properties were starting to stay on the market longer towards the beginning of the year as interest rates rose.
- Homes are starting to move faster again as rates have declined.
- The cool-down in prices toward the end of 2016 have all been erased.
- Prices for condos and single-family homes have all been on the rise since the beginning of the year.