The real estate break we were all waiting for — still waiting

You all know the Denver real estate market, as in most markets throughout the country, has absolutely been on fire since the brief pandemic-induced pause in mid-2020.

However, real estate has always been a seasonal business — and the quietest time of the year tends to run from mid-November to late January. Everyone focuses on family, travel, holidays, real estate agents take a breather.

Not last year, not this year.

We wanted a break in December after an intense 18-month sprint, and didn’t get one. We’re delighted to keep helping our clients’ dreams come true, genuinely, but we kept expecting a slowdown, and it has not happened yet.

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Inventory remains crazy low.

Aside from March and April, 2021, November month’s end Denver metro active listing count of 2,248, ranked the lowest of any month in over a decade, according to Denver Metro Association of Realtors data.

The 1,444 single-family home active listings at November’s end represent a 17.7 percent drop from the year previous and a 38.6 percent drop from October.

New single-family Denver metro listings in 2021 through November of 44,756 represent a 3.3 percent drop from the same period in 2020, which, itself, represented a 4.5 percent drop from 2019.

And, based on my on-the-ground experience with some of the savviest clients, investors and colleagues in the business, 2022 will likely bring more of the extreme real estate conditions of the past several years — record-low inventory, bidding wars, imbalanced supply and demand, price increases.

Interest rates might spike in 2022, but not enough to make a difference.

On the ground perspective

A Wash Park listing came on the market last week at $1.2 million and sold, with five offers, within a few days for $1.5 million.

The answer in this market is to get creative, and proactive. Many buyers, for example, are looking for new construction or presale opportunities to skip the bidding wars that accompany an overheated market like Denver’s is now.

In addition, it’s always important to have a connected, experienced real estate agent, now perhaps more than ever.

One evening last week I received a call from a buyer’s agent asking if the great Denver neighborhood real estate developer I partner with, Milwaukee Development, had any listings coming up or a presale available. They were looking to make an offer that night.

This is a perfect example of the market’s heat, and the invaluable network good agents bring to the table.

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