December. The end of the year. The end of the line?
Not really. December was another interesting month in Denver Real Estate. Inventory was naturally down, as it typically is this time of year. We’re down to 16,456 active listings. That’s the lowest number of homes on the market since before 2006 when the available MLS records stop. Meaning buyers have less to choose from than in the past 5 years.
The highest number of listings was in July of 2006 with 31,989 homes on the market. We’re almost 50% off that number.
I remember one day back in 2006 pulling up listings in Highlands Ranch to show to buyers I was working with. I had a match of over 500 homes for their criteria. It was a chore to eliminate properties to get a rational number to view. First everything with an unfinished basement was tossed. Then the small yards, then homes that were near busy streets.
Only the creme de la creme made it to a showing.
This month, we’re struggling to find properties to show to buyers. There are some great homes still on the market, but many are stale for a variety of reasons. Some have location issues, many are still over priced, some aren’t finished as nicely as their competition.
Sellers have an opportunity. Right now! They need to get their house in top showing condition and get it on the market.
Average sold price is up: 7.13% since November and 13.59% since this time last year. This number has been driven up by the sales in the lower price points. High end homes are still lagging.
Sellers – now is your time. Buyers want to take advantage of the home buyer tax credits. They have pent up demand. They don’t want to miss out on low rates. Get your house ready and get it on the market.
Buyers who were worried that the tax creidt was expiring in November hurried up their closings, and November sales were way up. December closings were down, but with the tax credit extended, the holidays over and rates still low – sales will undoubtedly begin to increase this month. The contracts written in January will close in February and March, so watch for closed properties to increase in those months.
The state of the economy is still in debate, but what is the average Joe doing? Joe the Plumber? Joe the Snowboarder? They’re starting to think this might be a good time to move.
Check out all the Denver area listings on my website; www.GretchenRosenberg.com and let me know when you want to buy a new house!