The March 2010 market statistics have arrived! What does the past foretell about the future? Not much, but we certainly do learn from patterns and trends.
Denver, Colorado’s real estate market has been exhibiting signs of stability in certain price points for several months. The Case Shiller report, out two weeks ago, put Denver at #6 in housing price increases, year-over-year for January.
This wasn’t too much of a surprise to the real estate brokers in Denver who are feet-on-the-ground every day. More contracts and more closings are in 90 days or less and brokers are busy. One surprise is the increase of sales in the million dollar plus price point. I’ve said for months that when we see stability in the lower prices, there will begin to be a trickle-up effect to the higher prices. But it’s also the price reductions high end sellers realize are a must to get their houses sold.
Negatively impacting our recovery in high-end prices is the continued expense and difficulty in obtaining jumbo loans. Without competitive jumbo mortgages and with appraisals still dicey, sellers are feeling the pinch.
Look at our under contract numbers. An increase of 22 1/2% from last year and nearly 34% since last month is nothing to sneeze at. This will portend well for closings this month and next.
What then? The tax credit will end and most bets are on a gradual interest rate increase over the next several months. A lender I know told me of 3 rate increases in one day last week. Unheard of in the past couple of years.
But prices are up in Denver. Over 7% since this time last year, and our inventory of available properties is still down by nearly 3%. And look at Days on Market. Way down! Homes are selling faster and for more money.
If your house has been on the market for months and isn’t getting a bite – time to face some tough decisions. Is it price? Probably. The buyers are out there and they’re placing value on something. Is it location? Could be. Is it the size of the yard or the living room? Perhaps. But at the end of the day – those are just disguised price objections. A buyer who values your property compared with what else she’s seeing will make an offer. If you’re not getting offers, then you’re justifying to buyers why they’re making an offer on your competitor’s listing.
Colorado offers an easy-going western lifestyle. Denver’s housing market continues to shine a light on our local real estate recovery.
Gretchen Rosenberg is a broker with Kentwood Real Estate in Cherry Creek, Denver, Colorado. Visit www.GretchenRosenberg.com for the latest inventory in the Denver real estate market.