As the Denver market spins up at full steam, the tale of two markets continues, and move-up buyers win

We made it through the slower winter to find what we expected: a spring selling season in full bloom. Things are moving along at a healthy clip.

Despite reports of a slowing market, we’re seeing multiple offers on homes priced right, especially on those priced under $1 million. However, even higher-priced homes are going under contract quickly, if priced right.

[Reach out for insight on how to price your home correctly or to get a feel of whether your neighbor’s home is overpriced or just right.

Sellers — be aware, buyers do not come as hard or as quick as year’s past. They’re exercising some restraint on the overbidding we saw in recent years. Also, not as many buyers are waiving inspection contingencies or submitting offers on homes in “as-is” condition.

935 S Downing Street in Washington Park listed for $1.495 million. (Source: REColorado)

Digging into the stats

Inventory is definitely up this year. February active listings have jumped by nearly 50 percent (47.33 percent) from a year ago!

This reflects what I’m seeing in the market with my clients — homes are easier to find for buyers. Don’t get me wrong — there are still multiple offers, which go over asking, but there aren’t as many and they aren’t climbing as high.

A starter home, at about the $450,000 price point, for example, might fetch five offers this year, as opposed to eight or nine offers in years past.

[See all Cherry Creek North homes for sale!]

Inventory is still low, however, with only 1.92 months of single-family home inventory (meaning at the current rate, inventory would dry up in that time). A balanced market is six months of inventory.

In our core neighborhoods — Cherry Creek, Washington Park, Bonnie Brae and Cory-Merrill — inventory has jumped 7.28 percent in 2019 through March 26, compared to the same period a year ago.

The tale of two markets

Denver really has two distinct markets right now: homes above $1 million and those below.

This line roughly divides luxury sellers and buyers versus the rest.

[See all Washington Park homes for sale under $1 million]

Move-up buyers have it made this spring.

For example, while all detached single-family Denver homes have just 1.92 months of inventory, detached Denver single-family homes priced above $1 million show 6.58 months of inventory — making it officially a buyer’s market.

Takeaways — move-up buyers in the cat-bird seat

Move-up buyers sit in the cat-bird seat.

They’ll see incredible demand for their home in the $450,000-$850,000 range (a seller’s market) and have leverage to negotiate a good price on a larger home at a price point above $1 million.