Business

Average Denver Home Price Goes Up at Time When It Always Goes Down

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,834 square foot home at 1573 South Lincoln Street is currently listed at $689,000, slightly over the average price for September. It's been on the market for twenty days at this writing.
This three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,834 square foot home at 1573 South Lincoln Street is currently listed at $689,000, slightly over the average price for September. It's been on the market for twenty days at this writing. Google Maps
The last market trends report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors offered some modest reasons for local house hunters battered by bidding wars to be hopeful — including a small dip in the average list price for a detached home.

That decline lasted all of one month. House prices traditionally drop in Denver as summer changes to fall for a variety of reasons — most prominently a slide in the number of people actively looking to buy. But as documented in DMAR's October trends survey, the average price for a detached home actually edged higher from August to September, the most recent period for which statistics are available.

Brigette Modglin, a local realtor and member of DMAR's market trends committee, puts the situation in perspective: "The big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not we will see the housing bubble burst, but the data continues to show that it’s simply not going to."

A case in point: The average closed price for a Denver-area detached home in September was $688,629, a 0.41 percent hike from $685,832 in August, and more than 15 percent higher than the average in September 2020, which was $597,867.


During 2021, the cost spikes in metro Denver have largely been driven by demand outstripping supply, but that category has moderated to some degree. There were 2,803 active listings for detached homes at the end of September, compared to 2,469 at August's close. But new listings were basically a wash: 4,392 in September, 4,303 in August.

A graphic from the DMAR report, which runs from the start of 2008 to July 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 higher average price flies in the face of a considerable slide in closed listings: 3,711 in September, down from 4,236 in August.

At least buyers have a little longer to consider a purchase. The average number of days that a property lingered on the MLS, or multiple listing service, in September was thirteen, up from ten in August. But that's still 40 percent less MLS time than in September 2020, when the average property stuck around for 22 days before going under contract or being pulled from the market.

Meanwhile, homes are still going for more than what sellers are asking. The average close price in September was 101.95 percent of list; in August, it was 102.77 percent.


In recent weeks, someone we know submitted a list-price bid for a lovely home in Park Hill, and the offer was actually accepted — so what seemed unfeasible a few months ago is now within the realm of possibility. Meanwhile, the least competitive market according to DMAR's calculations were attached properties — read apartments or condominiums — listing for over $1 million.

That's good news — if you're rolling in dough. Click to read the Denver Metro Association of Realtors' October 2021 market trends report.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts