Why is Denver’s housing inventory so low ahead of spring buying season?

In Condo Trackerby Andrew DodsonLeave a Comment

We weren’t alone this week in sending out an email to our Condo Club members and taking to social media to ask for help in finding one of our clients a condo in their generous price-point. Other real estate firms were doing the same thing. And internal real estate-focused Facebook groups are littered with messages that start with, “Can you help me find a home for my buyer.”

Inventory across metro Denver was tight to start the year and it hasn’t gotten any better. The latest report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors shows that active listings across the 11-county region was down 2.15% from January to February — and is down nearly 20% from the prior year. There is about 4,800 active listings today.

So, what gives? Spring is around the corner, but the supply just isn’t there. It’s especially infuriating for buyers who watched mortgage rates drop to a record low, due to economic concerns over the coronavirus. And at the same time, the low supply is making prices increase. The average close price for single-family and condominium residences combined is up 5% from the previous year to $487,009.

It’s great, though, for sellers who can almost guarantee multiple offers on their listing and a relatively quick sale.

For condo buyers, it’s even more difficult. Denver is already roughly 18,000 condo units behind demand for that housing product. According to the DMAR report, there is about 1,600 active listings on the market. If developers can bring more for-sale condo product downtown and in the surrounding neighborhoods, it could greatly alleviate the rising costs of condos.

Proposed construction defect laws could make things worse by placing more risk on developers who, in return, pass that price down to buyers.

If you’ve been considering selling your home, there’s no better time to list as the seller remains in the driver’s seat.

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