Off the grid.
I haven’t stopped by here since Thanksgiving. Real estate in Denver has been sailing along these last couple of months in 2010. It’s been a busier than usual fourth quarter. The November market statistics for Denver real estate have been out for a few weeks, my take on it has been delayed by a busy December and the holidays.
So before we hit 2011, let’s talk about November 2010.
City-wide, sales dropped off from last year by nearly 26%. That’s interesting, considering we have 10% more inventory. Properties under contract have dropped by nearly 10% since November 2009, and over 16% since last month.
Most interesting – average price is up year-over-year. Sellers may think this translates to increasing prices. It’s really an indication of which price-point is selling, and less an indication that overall prices are heading up.
In November 2009, the first-time homebuyer tax credit was about to expire (for the first time.) Buyers in the entry-level price-point were rushing to complete their transactions to make sure they qualified. That activity drove down the average price in Denver and throughout the nation.
This year, sales have slowed due to the natural holiday pull-back. The average homes selling are more in the mid-range and even higher-end than last year.
Buyers? You have more to choose from than buyers did a year ago. Rates are bouncing around, but lower than any other time in recent memory. Prices will be firming up, but there’s still negotiating opportunity.
Sellers? You’re already competing against more inventory than you would have been last year. In January and February, sellers who decided to wait out the holidays will be placing their houses on the market too. Expect to see an increase in inventory through Spring. Increases in inventory generally translate into pricing pressure. This will happen on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, and may not be reflected in the city-wide statistics. It’s all dependent on the mix of homes that will be selling. Higher end sales will translate into a higher average sale price, even if those high-end sellers have drastically reduced their prices to effect a sale.
With Days-On-Market increasing by over 37 days, plan to wait a bit for your buyer to walk through the door, and plan to price your house so that it’s the one that gets noticed and sold. Prepping, painting, staging are all helpful in making your house the one that gets an offer in January.
Best wishes for a terrific 2011!