Business

Denver Average Home Price Finally Goes Down, but Not by Much

This four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2.161 square foot home at 4200 Tejon Street is listed for $800,000, just under the new average price for a detached home in Denver.
This four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2.161 square foot home at 4200 Tejon Street is listed for $800,000, just under the new average price for a detached home in Denver. Google Maps
According to the newly released June 2022 market trends report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, the average price for a detached home in the Mile High City fell last month for the first time since January, as did the median sales price. But the dips are so modest they don't offer much relief to buyers.

The survey adjusts the average price for April down from the originally reported $825,073 to $821,258, and also drops the median sales price from $684,550 to $680,000. Both remain all-time records, though, and the May figures of $805,508 for the average sales price and $670,106 for the median sales price are down less than 2 percent from those peaks.

The DMAR stats reveal that 4,966 detached homes hit the market in May, a 1.13 percent decrease from 5,032 a month earlier. But that still represents a 10.28 percent hike from the same time in 2021. Closed sales of 3,666 in April (a figure revised upward by around 300 from the initial estimate) rose to 3,852 in May. That's a 5.07 percent month-over-month bump, but a 2.38 percent slide from last year.

A graphic from the report, which runs from January 2008 to April 2022, puts the situation in 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 average cost of a detached home in Denver surpassed $700,000 for the first time in May 2021, en route to a record-setting $728,385 in June. That was followed by some back-and-forth slippage: $687,176 in July, $685,832 in August, $688,629 in September and $684,700 in October.

But in both November and December, the average again broke the $700,000 barrier, landing at $703,847 and $704,716, respectively, before descending to $688,127 in January. This drop proved short-lived, however: The February 2022 average, adjusted to $738,472, was the highest ever recorded by DMAR, and March hit $793,836, which seemed like a stunning amount at the time. But April's figure left it in the dust, and May's remains well over the $800,000 mark — a far cry from the $699,396 average twelve months earlier.

The median price for a detached home in May 2021 was $593,250.

The average number of days that detached-home listings lasted in May was nine, the same as in April, and the median length of time held steady at four days. Meanwhile, the typical price at closing in May was 105.34 percent of list — better than the adjusted 107.15 percent figure for April, but not exactly an indication that bidding wars are a thing of the past.

Last month, realtor Andrew Abrams, chair of the DMAR market trends committee, saw signs that the Denver market might be coming back to earth soon despite the peak prices. Now he's predicting that "Denver metro’s housing market will be the story of two halves — the first of the year with unprecedented appreciation and the second half of the year with a return to normalization. The effects of higher interest rates have not been visible yet and most likely will not be seen until after the summer. This could translate to more inventory, lower or flat prices and longer days in the Multiple Listing Service." But for now, he adds, "because of the build-up of buyers and low inventory, buyer demand has continued to outpace supply."

As a result, bargains aren't yet in sight. Click to read the Denver Metro Association of Realtors' June 2022 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