The start of a new calendar year may not bring any changes to those increasing numbers, either.
Though a pandemic riddled the state of Colorado and all across the country, Denver’s housing market saw record-breaking increases in 2020. Denver’s 11 county metro area saw multiple months of low inventory, groundbreaking price increases, and record-breaking sales. It’s no doubt that homeownership in Denver is on the more desirable side.
Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) released a year-end report that outlined the market was up 7% from 2019, and sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 63,000 homes in 2020. While the market saw a 2% decline in new listings, there was a 7% increased in closed listings.
Increasing in popularity and demand, the local market has been highly competitive for years. Chair of DMAR’s Market Trend Committee, Andrew Abrams, says 2020 was exceptional. “In January and February, we were seeing that the market was going to be very hot and competitive, and then we had a month of uncertainty” due to the pandemic, he says. “All we saw from that one month is that people just waited a month, and then there were twice as many buyers the next month.”
When the novel coronavirus hit the state of Colorado in March 2020 the market saw a dramatic increase in listings pulled from the market. April saw different movement; however, as prices held firm and houses began to sell faster than they had the previous year. And by May, the market had picked up 56% more new listings than the month prior, while still sitting 17% less than in May 2019.
It’s no secret the market heats up in the summer months, and last summer was hotter than usual. By the time summer hit Denver the number of pending sales was through the roof, surpassing the amount of new listings by 300 properties in June.
Not only did the number of listings on the market skyrocket, but for the first time in history the sale price of a single family home reached a record high of $600,000+ by July. And just three months later, reaching a new record of $625,100 on average for a single family home.
“My takeaway [from 2020] is that interest rates dictate more than anything else,” Abrams says. “With interest rates being low, no matter what’s happening—whether there’s a fire, a pandemic, or all of these really large macro problems—with low-interest rates and Colorado being an amazing place to live, the desire for homeownership will always be high.”
According to DMAR’s Market Trend Report, December continued to surprise buyers with fewer active listings than ever before. Traditionally seeing over 3,000 listings, there were only 2,541 active listings. Plaguing the shopping to fewer options. But that never stopped the process for buyers, or sellers. Buyers remained resilient and in December, 4,800 homes sold — the highest number on record and surpassing December of 2019 by 225 homes. “[We see] continued resiliency of buyers and their desire to buy, which is certainly driving this market,” Abrams says.
With a tight squeeze on active listings, sellers were able to take advantage with higher listing prices. Only adding to the hot market for the Denver metro area. According to the trends report, the average single family hold sold for $616,895, a nearly $90,000 increase from December 2019. A continued trend since August is the average close-to-list price, which is slightly above asking for all residential properties.
All across the board, Denver’s market is experiencing a ‘seller’s market’. Even in the luxury real estate dome. With luxury condos and townhomes priced over $1 million. Last month alone the luxury market saw a 15% increase in new listings, and a 36% increase in pending sales.
“The source of these numbers shows Denverites took advantage of historic low-interest rates and right-sized their home, whether that meant buying something larger or moving into something smaller that fit their needs” Libby Levinson, DMAR Market Trends Committee member, said in the report. “Additionally, there was a wave of Denver transplants who rushed to the Mile High City seeking a different lifestyle with virtual work opportunities that opened up new possibilities.”