Denver Real Estate ‘Slump’ May Be Over as Homes Under Contract Surge

After a rollercoaster few months, Denver’s real estate market is back on track—and then some.BY CASSIDY RITTER •  JULY 7, 2020

Honestly, I wouldn’t call it a slump by any means…. Buyer’s and Sellers were just a bit nervous with getting out in this C19 world. (JL)

Last month, 7,676 homes went under contract in the 11-county Denver Metro—approximately 300 more than the 7,364 new listings put up for sale, according a report by Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) last week.

The market was peaking in March—before COVID-19 hit and showings stopped. “Now we are back up like crazy [with] the highest number of pending contracts we’ve ever had in one month. So, apparently even with the restrictions, people are finding a way to get out there and put houses under contract,” says Jill Schafer, chair of DMAR’s Market Trends Committee. “It’s almost like the market took that couple of months break, but then picked right back up to where it was.”

There were 6,383 active listings at the end of June, nearing a record-low for what is normally a busy time for the real estate market. (June 2015 holds the record low at 6,197 active listings). This time last year, there were 9,520 active listings.

“Remember how fast toilet paper and personal protective equipment was selling when the coronavirus first hit the country a few months ago?” Schafer said in the report. “Apparently everyone stocked up on those necessary items because in June they turned to buying houses with the same level of frenzy.”

The average price of a home sold last month also increased from $494,214 in May to $509,736. For comparison, pre-COVID-19 homes in March sold for an average of $513,535, which is the highest-ever average price for residential real estate in Denver.

Home sales are also inching towards 2019 numbers. June had 5,581 home sales, up from approximately 3,500 in May, and nearing June 2019 sales of 5,819. Schafer says the rate homes are selling coupled with low inventory will cause prices to increase this summer with many seller’s receiving multiple offers.

As the metro continues facing a seller’s market, the luxury market for homes priced above $1 million is also picking up steam. “Year to date we are down in terms of sales and under contracts,” says Taylor Wilson, a member of DMAR’s Market Trends Committee. “However, month to month, we are seeing incredible growth. The market is surging back from the pause that we took when showings were restricted and when everyone was uncertain.”

Luxury home sales were up nearly 100 percent from May to June but down 6.84 percent year over year. A 100 percent increase in home sales month over month is not normal, but this indicates the market is recovering, Wilson says. Pending sales were also up 38 percent month over month, and up nearly 59 percent year over year.

Even with promising numbers, the luxury market is not back to what is was pre-COVID-19. “We have seen double-digit growth in new listings in the luxury market since 2016, so under two percent growth [year to date] is a shocking figure that depicts the true damage stemming from COVID-19,” Wilson said in the DMAR news release.

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