By James Rodriguez – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Downtown Denver’s condo market has struggled in recent months to keep pace with the rest of the metro, where homes have been flying off the market in record numbers.
In Denver’s 80202 ZIP code, which encompasses much of downtown, a little more than a quarter of active condo listings dropped their prices in a two-week span in August, according to an analysis by brokerage firm Denver High-Rise Living, which specializes in downtown condo transactions.
At the end of July, active condo listings for all price ranges in the 80202 ZIP code totaled 113, up from roughly 80 units at the same time in 2018 and 2019, according to data from REcolorado.
The ZIP code had 5.1 months of supply in the condo segment — still a seller’s market, but up from 3.2 in 2019 and 2.8 in 2018.
Downtown condo sales did surge mid-June through early August, said Scott Leggett, managing broker of Slifer Smith & Frampton’s Denver office. But that delayed busy season was still slower than typical years, he said.
“Outside of the downtown condo market, everything else — single-family homes, anything non-condo — is going crazy, going under contract in 48 hours, multiple offers over list price,” Leggett said. “Metrowide, the market has been super strong, with tons of activity. The condo market has rebounded more slowly than the single-family home market.”
Regardless, Leggett and other experts who spoke with Denver Business Journal were adamant that they view the slowdown in the downtown condo market as temporary. The fact remains that Denver is thousands of condo units short of meeting demand in the city, and the continued influx of residents and high-profile companies bodes well for continued demand for downtown living, they said.
Whether it’s this fall or next year, they anticipate the condo market in Denver will return in full force.
“I really believe downtown is simply paused,” said Lori Greenly, founder of Denver High-Rise Living.
Downtown condo owners are typically drawn to the area for its restaurants, sporting events, offices and entertainment options, all of which they can find within walking distance. As those amenities closed down due to coronavirus restrictions, high-rise condos temporarily lost some of their appeal, experts told DBJ.
“When you look at the personality who lives in a condo, they don’t buy their home to live in their home,” Greenly said. “They buy their home and they want to lock and leave. It’s because they have some kind of active lifestyle. Maybe because they love the restaurants in the area, or they love to travel.”