The word from real estate insiders is that the local housing market is finally beginning to moderate after a year-plus of crazy price hikes — and the latest data from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors suggests the potential for prices starting to plateau. But the bottom line is still eye-popping: The average price for a detached home in the metro area set yet another new record last month, exceeding $725,000 for the first time ever.
Moreover, the price jump was actually higher than the one recorded a month earlier.
The cost spikes in metro Denver have largely been driven by demand outstripping supply. But the number of new listings for detached homes in June, the most recent month for which data is available, actually exceeded the May total: 5,663 to 4,543. The number of active listings at the end of June (2,137) was also higher than at the end of May(1,336), hinting that the advantage held by sellers over buyers may be narrowing.
At the same time, however, the number of sales that closed in June (4,370) easily topped the May amount (3,917). Pending sales at the end of June were also higher: 4,776, compared to 4,625 at the end of May.
A graphic from the DMAR report, which runs from the start of 2008 to April 2021, puts these factors in historic perspective. The yellow line corresponds to active listings at the end of each month, while the blue line shows sales that closed over the same periods:
The dynamic is similar when home sales are analyzed by their median price — the precise price midpoint of properties for sale in Denver. In May, that number was $592,200 (also recalibrated from the $595,000 cited in DMAR's last report); at the end of June, the median number landed at $600,000, representing a 1.32 percent increase over May and a 25 percent jump from the previous year.
The vast majority of detached homes in metro Denver are still going fast. The median gap between listing and sale in June was just four days, the same as in both April and May, and just over half of the seven days that were typical twelve months earlier. The June closing price average was 105.96 percent of the asking amount — the exact same percentage as in May, demonstrating that that list price remains a starting point in most cases.
In a statement about the June report, Andrew Abrams, chair of the DMAR market trends committee, accentuates the positive. "For the first time in what feels like a long time, buyers have to compete with less competition, and therefore, the extreme bidding wars have drastically decreased," he says. But while the number of homes for sale climbed from May to June, he notes, "We are still at less than one-third of the total inventory compared to 2019 at this time."
And that means bargains are very few and far between.
Click to read the Denver Metro Association of Realtors' July 2021 market trends report.