The market statistics for residential real estate in Denver came out while I was on vacation. A Disney Cruise with 11 family members is a fabulous way to kick off the summer! Luckily, our family plays together nicely.
When I returned, I learned that resales of existing homes increased again month-over-month. This is the fourth consecutive month that number of sold properties increased. We’ve seen the bottom, it would appear.
While we may have seen the bottom, we’re still sitting on the floor. 70% of the homes sold were priced under $300,000. That signals a market pick-up in the lower price ranges, but we’re only just beginning to see houses in higher price points getting offers.
Today, I processed all of the office files that were piled up on my desk waiting for my return. In that pile were a few sales between $1mm and $1.5mm. That has been a rare occurrence since early 2008.
It is nice to see the average sold price creeping back up. April to May it increased over 4%. The high was in 2006 at $303,000. We also aren’t adding a tremendous amount of new inventory. I was hopeful that the number of active listings would stay steady through the spring to give us the chance to sell off the inventory we already have. That’s another strong indicator that the market is much healthier than 6 months ago.
Deals are tough to keep together. Real estate agents are working 10 times harder to get transactions to closings. Things seem to come apart at inspection and appraisal much more often than they used to.
Sellers – consider pre-inspecting their home before putting it on the market. Then, get the major safety and habitability issues taken care of before a buyer makes an offer.
Buyers – ask to see the sold comparables in the neighborhood surrounding the house you want to make an offer on. That way, you can make an educated offer and avoid appraisal issues.
Now is the time to jump in – you could be looking back over your shoulder in a year or two and wish you had gotten off the fence. Rates are surely going to continue to rise through the end of the year. We still have a great combination of low prices and low rates – a combination that will wind down as the recession ends.