Denver Housing Market

Denver Homes Spend Fewer Days on Market

moving 3Denver tops the list of more than 140 metros where homes are on the market for the fewest number of days,  according to®’s National Housing Trend Report for March. In the Denver area, the median number of days on the market is 25, far below the national average of 102 days.®’s report shows the following 10 metro areas with the lowest median days on the market:

  1. Denver: 25 days
  2. Oakland, Calif.: 27 days
  3. San Jose, Calif.: 31 days
  4. San Francisco: 33 days
  5. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.: 38 days
  6. Boulder-Longmont, Colo.: 42 days
  7. Anchorage, Alaska: 43 days
  8. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: 48 days
  9. San Diego: 51 days
  10. Austin-San Marcos, Texas: 52 days

Source: “® Report: Higher Inventory a Welcome Sign for Spring Buyers,”®(April 17, 2014)


Colorado’s Foreclosure Inventory is Very Low

Bidding WarThe foreclosure picture is improving across the country. According to new data released by CoreLogic, the national foreclosure inventory dropped 31 percent year-over-year in December (2013), the 12th consecutive month of declines. Thirty-six states now have foreclosure inventories that are below the national rate.

Here are nine states with the lowest foreclosure inventories in the country, all of which are less than 0.7 percent:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Alaska
  3. North Dakota
  4. Nebraska
  5. Colorado
  6. California
  7. Minnesota
  8. Montana
  9. South Dakota

Florida, New Jersey, and New York have the highest foreclosure inventories.


2013: a Record Setting Selling Season

According to Metrolist, the Denver area’s multiple listing service (MLS), home sales reached record levels in 2013, surpassing records previous set during the housing boom.up chart

  • There were 42,762 single-family detached homes sold last year, which surpassed the previous record of 41,682, set in 2004. Those homes sold for an average price of $336,831, which also was an annual high.
  • Sales of attached homes — condos and townhomes — hit 11,262, a 23 percent increase over 2012. Their average price was $198,220, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

A drop in 30-year mortgage rates to below 4 percent early in 2013 set off a wave of buying, but the number of homes listed for sale didn’t keep pace, causing prices to rise and triggering bidding wars. Some homes last spring were selling within hours of listing after receiving multiple bids. Later in the year, concerns that the Federal Reserve would end its bond purchases sent mortgage rates higher and restrained the overheated market.

Despite rising prices, the number of active listings for 2013 were down 16 percent compared with 2012.  Higher demand and a smaller inventory of homes resulted in faster selling times – an average of 58 days on the market compared with a 77-day average in 2012.

At the end of the year, homes in metro Denver were taking 57 days to sell on average, up from the 44-day average in November. Detached single family homes were selling at an average price of $336,857 as the year concluded.



3% Mortgages – A Thing of the Past?

Mortgage rates are on the rise!  Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae says “It’s unlikely that rates will ever be that low again.”  Here is what is finally pushing the interest rates up:

  • The Fed is no longer going to stop rates from rising.  The Fed has kept rates at their lowest levels by buying up billions of dollars in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.  This has allowed lenders to offer low interest rates and still make money on the loans.  It was expected that the Fed would slow its purchase of bonds and securities by the end of the year, it now looks like that could happen at any time.
  • The economy is not as bad as it once was.  During the recession the Fed lowered interest rates to stimulate the economy.  Since conditions have improved and the market believes the economy is getting stronger, the Fed will be less likely to lower the short term rates and they will start to creep up.
  • Jobs have also picked up.  This is another good marker for the economy, although slow, hiring is advancing rather than retreating.

These factors along with mortgage interest rates in the 3% range are just about unprecedented and will kick interest rates up.  Just today, rates have surpassed 4%.  The good news is that even if the rates rise a full point or two they will still be historically low.

Source: – Why 3% Mortgages are a Thing of the Past


Senior Property Tax Exemption Reinstated

Senior Property Tax Exemption Reinstated – Good news for seniors,  the Colorado State Legislature reinstated a property tax exemption for seniors.  Following a three-year suspension, this tax exemption is for the 2012 tax year, payable in 2013.  So mark your calendars for July 15th!  Applications for a Senior Property Tax Exemption  must be received by the Assessor’s Office by July 15th for the first year that you are applying for the exemption. 

Save 50%

Seniors Claim Your Property Tax Exemption

How Does The Senior Property Tax Exemption Work?

Qualifying residents who are 65 years or older will see 50% of the first $200,000 of actual value in their primary residence exempted from property tax.  One owner must be 65 years of age or older, and must have occupied the home as a primary residence for at least 10 consecutive years prior to Januay 1, of the year in which application is made.

What If  A Senior Has Already Applied Under A Previous Exemption? It will automatically carry over from year to year as long as nothing has changed in ownership or occupancy.  The County Assessor’s Office should be able to assist seniors with completing an application. They should also be able to verify if the senior’s property was already approved for the previous senior property tax exemption.

For an application form or more information?  Contact the Assessor’s Office for the County in which you live.


Home Prices Rise in July

This map displays the results of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index for July 2011. Seventeen of the 20 cities in the index saw home price increases. Denver remains flat, but flat is good – much better than the price decreases that Phoenix and Las Vegas experienced. Overall, the 20 cities combined for an increase of .9 percent from June to July.


Count Your Blessings

Things could be much worse. Inside Real Estate News reported today that the Denver-area’s housing market fell only 14.3 percent from its “peak to trough.” This is less than half of the overall decline for the 20 cities tracked in the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices which released a new report today. The report shows that homes in the 20 cities, overall lost an average of 33.1 percent from their peaks to low-point.

The Denver housing market hit its peak nearly five years ago in August 2006. At its peak, Denver prices were up 40.3 percent from January 2000. When Denver hit its trough in February 2009, prices had declined 14.1 percent from its peak. Only Dallas, with an 11.2 decline from the peak to the bottom, showed less of a drop than Denver

Other cities peaked in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Las Vegas was up 134.8 percent and Phoenix was up 127.4 percent. Miami showed the largest gain, rising by 180.9 percent at its peak, set in December 2006. But, as they say, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Miami is down 51.1 percent from its peak, Las Vegas is down 58.6 percent, and Phoenix is down 55.9 percent from its peak.

“Denver’s boom wasn’t as big, and its bust wasn’t as painful,” said Jeff Thredgold, corporate economist for Vectra Bank Colorado. “Denver did not participate in the boom of 2006 and 2007, like a lot of other markets, so it is not having the substantial declines as other markets. Denver is not correcting as much. Denver is not as much pain as other housing markets. In Las Vegas, for example, 75 percent of the homes are under water. That is real pain.”

This is small consolation for lowered home values, but its nice to know we’re in better shape than most of the country.