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Million dollar home sales continue rise in Denver area

The Denver metro area’s luxury housing market continued to rebound in April with sales of million-dollar properties up sharply from the previous month and from the same period a year ago, according to a report released today by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado.

A total of 58 homes sold for more than $1 million in April, up more than 70 percent from March and 18 percent from April 2009 when the nation’s economy was just beginning to pull out of its long downturn. Last month’s sales were the most for any month since June of 2009.

While sales surged, the median sale price last month declined to $1.2 million, down 12 percent from the previous month and 9.4 percent from a year ago.

Other market indicators were mixed. Home sales that closed in April were on the market an average of 140 days, down from 146 a year ago but up from 101 in March. And sellers received nearly 90 percent of their asking price, up from 85 percent last year but down from nearly 92 percent the previous month.

The figures were based on an analysis of Multiple Listing Service data of all million-dollar-plus homes sold market wide.

“Sales in the entry level market have been strong for some time now, and it appears that the mid and upper ends of the market are gaining some momentum as well,” said Chris Mygatt, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. “But the housing market recovery has been gradual and that could continue for a while as the economy fights its way back to normalcy.”

Mygatt said the April 30 deadline for first-time homebuyer and repeat-buyer federal tax credits helped sales last month, even in the million-dollar market. Although the credits primarily benefited entry-level buyers, the chain effect likely spurred more move-up buyers looking to take advantage of lower prices in the million dollar-plus market, he said.

Additionally, the mix of homes selling in the area has been steadily changing with fewer foreclosures and distressed property sales and more mid and high-end home sales, helping revive the luxury market.

Not out of the woods yet

Despite the improvement, Mygatt warned that there are still hurdles ahead for the local housing market.

“The economic recovery is still quite fragile, unemployment remains high and we’re still battling macro economic issues here in the U.S. and worldwide with the debt crisis in Europe,” Mygatt  said. “This all affects consumer confidence here at home, which is critical for the financial markets and housing market.”

Still,  Mygatt said he’s encouraged by the steady improvement in all segments of the Denver metro area’s real estate market.

Some key findings from this month’s Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage luxury report:

* The most expensive sale in the Denver metro area in April was an eight-bedroom, nine-bath 9,740-square-foot home in Cherry Hills Village that sold for $4.95 million.

* Boulder boasted the most million-dollar sales in April with 15, followed by Denver with seven, Greenwood Village with six and Cherry Hills Village with five.

* It took an average of 140 days to sell a million-dollar home in the region, down from 146 days a year ago but up from 101 days the previous month.

Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.