Buyers paid $178.9 million for homes and condos that cost at least $1 million each in the 11-county Denver area during the first quarter, 18 percent more than the $151.6 million during the first three months of 2011, according to a report released today by Gary Bauer.
A similar report was released last week by the Kentwood Real Estate, which tracked sales in the five main counties in the metro area – Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson. Bauer, an independent Realtor, also included Boulder, Clear Creek, Elbert, Gilpin and Park counties in his report. Both reports were based on Metrolist data.
Bauer’s report showed that the number of homes sold in the first quarter rose by 21.2 percent to 120 from 99 during the same period last year.
March was the strongest month so far this year.
There were a total of 49 single-family, detached homes selling, compared with 30 in March 2011, a 48.4 percent jump. Closed dollar volume rose 47 percent to $74.9 million from $50.9 million. A lone condo sold for $1.31 million last month. However, that sale represented two units purchased by Bell Tower Homes LLC at 2267 Ogden St. Together, the units have 15,632 square feet of space, eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms.
“It was better than I expected,” said Bauer, an independent Realtor, said about last month’s luxury home sales. “This is just an extension of the overall market. If we can continue this momentum, both for the overall market and the luxury market, we are going to have a great year.”
Bauer said he didn’t think that well-heeled buyers are necessarily feeling that they are getting great bargains, although there are a number of those available, especially in the highest price ranges. The most activity is in the $1.5 million range, he said.
“I wouldn’t go as far to say the luxury market is being driven by bargains,” Bauer said. “I think it is more of a case along the lines is that we have very educated buyers and very educated sellers coming together. Both sides know the market very well. Lines are not being drawn in the sand early in the game.”
He said increasingly the biggest concerns of many Realtors, for the overall and the top of the market, when buyers get financing on their purchases (buyers at the very top of the market often pay cash, and put a mortgage on their home later), is that appraisals are not keeping up with an appreciating market.
“Prices are only rising modestly now, but with the low inventory of available homes on the market, prices may very well rise more this summer,” Bauer said. “I think brokers really need to educate appraisers on why transactions can occur at the agreed upon price between the willing buyers and willing sellers.”
Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com