Denver home prices jump in February, but still down from a year ago

I’m seeing signs that the market is stabilizing — that Denver buyers are wrapping their heads around the new reality of mortgage rates higher than the all-time lows from a little over a year ago.

As the spring selling season gets under way, activity — and prices — are picking up. The number of February closings of single-family Denver metro homes rose 25.3% from January, and the average close price was up 4.3% to $731,318, according to Denver Metro Association of Realtors data.

While the average close price rose from the month before, prices are still down 11.0% from the Denver metro single-family all-time average close price high of $821,258 last April, and 1.4% below last February.

Source: Denver Metro Association of Realtors

Inventory remains low, especially for those would-be move-up sellers who are staying in their current home because the have locked in low interest rates. For example, the number of new single-family Denver metro listings in January and February this year is lower than any January-and-February over the previous four years!

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The activity on the ground makes it clear, especially in the central Denver neighborhood area where I live and close a lot of homes — buyers are out there making offers.

The especially hot market segment are homes priced at $1.5 million and below. There is a ton of movement in that price range.

I am seeing multiple offers, but, as noted above, in a more balanced way than last year.

For example, I have a buyer under contract on a home in City Park listed at $1.05 million. The listing received four or five offers, and we ended up getting our offer accepted at $50,000 over list. Last year, a property like that would have fetched in the ballpark of 50 offers and $150,000 over asking!

I’m also seeing lenders do insanely fast closing, as they have more bandwidth with relatively lower refinance and purchase activity. Some are closing in as fast as two weeks, which is blazing fast.

Lenders are competing for business. I’m advising my clients that they have some leverage in working with lenders at the moment.