Colorado Real Estate News

Love Was In The Air In February’s Real Estate Market

February's Real Estate MarketLove was in the air in February’s real estate market

In addition to the number of homes under contract being up nearly 16 percent month over month in metro Denver, the Luxury Market (homes priced $1 million plus) faired particularly well too. Last month, 119 homes in the luxury segment closed for a total of $178,766,560 in sales volume, accounting for an over 23 percent increase from January.

Of course, long-term home closings in the Luxury Market are down 6 percent year over year, making the start to 2019 slightly more challenging. But, with 6.58 months of housing inventory, March is a great time to take the market back in bullish fashion for this luxury buyer’s market.

Yes, the selling—and buying—season is back!

In fact, the average number of homes sold in February’s real estate market increased by nearly 5 percent month over month. The culprit? Potentially the 5.6 percent increase in listings from January, which is 47 percent stronger than buyer choices a year ago. And because more single-family homes went under contract than were listed in February, housing inventory surplus is eroding.

For the condo market, however, the number of listings continues its four-year upward trajectory. In fact, there was a notable 79 percent rise in active listings at the end of February.

Freddie Mac also tells a story of ascent in the housing market: With the strong job market and a gradual decline in mortgage rates for the second straight month, housing demand continues in 2019.

No better place to be than at a Mile High

According to Forbes, Denver is the most competitive housing market in the nation. What does this mean for you? That there are far fewer homes for sale than buyers in Denver, putting this market solidly in a compression phase of the housing cycle. And what can you expect? That this cycle will continue while prices rise steadily through June. If it’s anything like years past, we’ll start to see buyer fatigue and inventory hit an annual high in July.

In February, there was a 47 percent increase in active listings year over year for the residential market as a whole, generating a 5.6 percent increase in new listings compared to January.

Denver is still in a strong seller’s market for single-family homes in the non-luxury segment, with only 1.92 months of inventory available.

As an interesting aside, Denver is sixth on the national list of apartments completed, with 11,700 apartments built in 2018.

Colorado Real Estate News

Is it a Seller’s Market for Luxury Homes?

Sellers MarketIs it a Seller’s Market for Luxury Homes?

Has the pendulum officially swung in favor of a buyer’s market for luxury homes priced $1 million and up?

In January, there was 7.65 months of housing inventory for the luxury segment; so, technically speaking, the answer is yes. The industry’s standard definition of a seller’s market is six months or less of inventory currently available, and a buyer’s market is seven months or more.

However, coining the luxury market as a buyer’s market comes with a caveat as it is not so ‘black and white.’ The luxury market in sales velocity is very dependent on the type of property, neighborhood, year the home was built, how updated it is, and so forth.

In this high-end price segment, the Denver area has only just gone over seven months. And when you look at other factors, like days on market, conditions to sell are still great. From 2016 to 2018, the median days on market has ranged from 71 to 84 in the luxury segment. Last month, median days on market was at 41!

So, home sellers must be cautioned not to despair that they are no longer in a “seller’s market,” they just need to manage expectations and price their home right. Home sellers are still in a robust market, in a city with good in-migration, and a great lifestyle.

More Housing Choices is Good for Homebuyers and Sellers

In January, the number of new residential listings for all prices ranges increased 109.7 percent from December to 4,821, an increase of 13.6 percent year over year. Active listings were up just 5.45 percent from the month prior, and up 52 percent compared to 2018’s record-low January reaching 5,881. For comparison, the number of active listings is still significantly below the historic average in the month of January of 13,469 (1985-2018).

So, even though the Denver area is still a seller’s market in most price ranges, there’s no doubt this is the best time to buy in a long time. With more choices and interest rates lower than expected, homebuyers placed more contracts in January compared to December, so more sales are expected.

While buyers are taking advantage of their housing choices, home sellers are still seeing appreciation with the average sold price up from $448,132 in January 2018 to $461,101 in January 2019.

All in all, now is a good time for buyers and sellers.

Colorado Real Estate News

Home Sales Decline in Denver’s Housing Market

September Home SalesCooler days brought with it conditions of a cooler market too in the Denver-area. Is this shift in the market seasonal or something more? In fact, it’s a little bit of both.

Seasonally, we expect to see home prices and sales to drop this time of year. They have been down month over month for the last three months, but, again, this is normal. The outlier, however, is the significant 33 percent month-over-month decrease in sales of homes priced over $500,000. For comparison, metro Denver experienced a 17 percent drop during this same time period last year.

Looking at the housing market from a macro level, what is happening is that we are heading towards balance. Balance is where conditions favor the home-buyer and seller equally, which is not something we have experienced for some years now.

Market Adjustments Affecting Home Prices

In the single-family home market, the average sold price decreased 3.79 percent month over month to $502,034, while the median price decreased 2.73 percent to $428,000. The year-to-date average sold price stands at $523,224 for the single-family home market, up 9.16 percent from last year, with the median sold price at $445,000, up 8.54 percent. Condos continue to outperform single-family home prices with the average sold price of $350,766, representing an 11.38 percent increase over 2017. The median price of condos sold also increased by 12.34 percent to $299,900.

Seasonal Slowdown in the Luxury Market

As far as the luxury market goes, homes priced $1 million and greater, it was a record-breaking summer. While sales of residential homes priced over $1 million plummeted 44 percent from August to September, it is important to look at the whole picture. Year to date, 29 percent more homes priced $1 million and greater have sold this year compared to last year. Furthermore, year-to-date sales volume in this luxury segment is nearing $2.5 billion, a whopping 27 percent increase over last year.

Taking a deeper look at the numbers, in September, 115 homes sold and closed for $1 million or greater – down 44 percent from the previous month and down 4.17 percent year over year. The closed dollar volume in September in the luxury segment was approximately $173 million, down 45.02 percent from the previous month, and down 6.9 percent year over year. Notably, year-to-date sales volume in this segment is outperforming years past. Furthermore, year to date, September had the lowest median and average days on market on record.

Our ‘hot’ market is still thriving, yet it is going through a shift that is to be expected due to both seasonal adjustments and its move toward balance.

Colorado Real Estate News

Denver Housing Market Experiences Seasonal Slowdown

alexander-andrews-457319-unsplashAs the summer housing market starts to draw to a close and the expected seasonal slowdown starts to take root, prospective home buyers might find they have a few more choices before signing on the dotted line.

At the end of July, there were 7,643 single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums on the market. That’s almost a 4% increase in the active inventory from a year earlier. The last time there were more homes on the market in a July was in 2015. The increase in inventory comes at a time when mortgage rates and home prices continue to rise. Although, prices on an annual basis are increasing at a slower pace than in the past few years. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate is now hovering at about 4.5%. Which is still low by historic standards, but about a half of a percent higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile the average price of a single-family home sold last month was $529,124. Down 1.48% from July, but up 7.18% from July 2017. Buyer put 5,764 homes under contract last month, largely unchanged from June, but up 5.24% from a year earlier. Some 5,043 homes sold last month, a 15.65% plunge from July and an 8.54% drop from a year earlier. While the month-to-month may seem severe, it is not an unusual seasonal drop. In fact, in July 2017, home sales fell by almost 20% from June. The sales drop is likely largely due to the double whammy of rising mortgage rates and rising home prices.

On a month-to-month basis, even the luxury home market cooled in August. There were 206 sales of single-family homes and condos priced at $1 million or more in July, a 16.26% decline from June. Still, luxury home sales were up 17.71% from July 2017. The year-over-year increase of luxury homes in July, while the strongest of any price strata, was still substantially below the year-to-date 29.14% sales increase when you dig into seven months of DMAR data. Through July, buyers purchased 1,204 properties, compared with 1,002 in the first seven months of 2017. The total luxury sales volume this year is $1.95 billion, a 28.72% increase from the same period last year. And keep in mind that seasonal drops, are part of the natural cycle.

Despite slower sales and a rising inventory, the single-family home market ended with a 1.59-months of inventory, which is the equivalent of about 4.3 weeks. Meaning if no new supply was added to the market and the sales stayed the same, all the homes would be gone in a little over a month. Perhaps one of the strongest metrics that the sky is not falling is that the months-of-inventory, or MOI, was slightly lower in July than it was year earlier, according to DMAR. Such a low supply is a sign that Denver, overall, remains a strong seller’s market. And there are no signs that the end is near of the Denver bull market for housing.