Anticipating a strong Denver selling season despite slow December
As the year ramps up, I’m anticipating for Denver real estate, and particularly the central Denver neighborhoods I focus on, to have a strong season. They won’t be as heated as in years’ past, but think demand and activity will remain relatively high.
However, the new normal will take some getting used to for Denver sellers and buyers who have experienced record-low inventory and sustained intense demand for the last few years.
December data shows just how much things have changed: The average price of Denver metro single-family homes of $707,997 represents just a 0.08 percent increase from December 2021, and three consecutive months of month-over-month declines.
Source: January 2023 Denver Metro Association of Realtors report.
This shift is perhaps most clearly seen in the average days on market for Denver homes. The average of 45 days on market for single-family homes in the metro in December represents more than double the 19 days from the year previous.
I’m seeing buyers take their time on homes, visiting three or four times in some cases before making an offer — a practice that would have been unheard of just a year ago.
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Selling in 2023
For Denver homesellers looking to maximize their opportunities in 2023, timing and price should take precedent. Based on my conversations with colleagues and clients in recent months, and tracking the data, I suspect that Denver will see prices really peak in the first half of the year.
That doesn’t mean that prices will drop after June, but that the appreciation seen in years past after this time will be relatively flat.
That means, I’m advising my sellers to list in the first half of the year, which means those interested in selling should be taking steps now.
If I were selling my house, I would have it on the market on March 1.
In addition, sellers should be thinking carefully about price and work with an agent who knows their neighborhood and just how quickly prices are changing. For example, I now incorporate active and pending listings into recommending pricing for clients. In past years I could use closed sales, but with the speed of the changing market, I’ve found we need the most current data to get the best results.
And pricing really, really matters. Just $25,000 over the optimum price can mean the difference between languishing on the market and doing a price reduction and selling quickly.
Buying in 2023
For buyers, it’s good to keep in mind that the best homes are still going off the market quick. Especially in my core market of central Denver neighborhoods, well-appointed homes in good locations attract buyers who know what they want and are ready to act.
For the right house, you have to move quick.
In addition, I’m seeing an increasing number of homes hit the market that are not in great condition. So buyers are having to wade through more sub-par inventory and adding renovations and updates to their buying process more than in the recent past.