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Metrolist Snapshot of April



  • Metrolist releases April report
  • Report uses different methodology and geographic areas than DMAR report
  • Reports all show a low inventory.
Sofia Lock is finding a lack of inventory all along the Front Range.

Sofia Lock is finding a lack of inventory all along the Front Range.

It’s real estate report-mania.

On Monday, Metrolist released several reports, tracking homes sold by its members throughout the state. Last Friday, as previously reported by InsideRealEstateNews.com, the Denver Metro Association of Realtors released its inaugural report tracking the 11-county Denver area.

The numbers are different in the various reports not only because of geography, but because different methodologies are used.

The broadest Metrolist report tracked every sale by a Metrolist members no matter what part of the state it took place, whether it was in the Denver-area or Summit County or Colorado Springs.

That report showed that 7,034 homes were placed under contract in April, 7 percent fewer than the 7,530 in April 2013, but 7 percent more than the 6,544 in March.

By contrast, the DMAR report showed a 37.6 percent drop in under contracts. Both reports included foreclosures and short sales in the 2013 numbers, which at the time were counted separately.

There were other differences, too

In one of the more striking ones, Metrolist (working with 10-K Research and Marketing of Minneapolis) showed the active inventory grew by 29 percent in April from April 2013 to 7,323 from 5,678 in April 2013, while DMAR showed a 9.2 percent drop to 6,305 homes in April of this year from 6,945 in April 2013.

Meanwhile there were 6,855 new listings added to the market in April, 15 percent more than the 5,938 in March and 1 percent more than the 6,804 in April 2013, according to Metrolist.

Metrolist_April_stats_release_2“Inventory was higher in April than last year at this time, and we anticipate the number of available homes will continue to rise as we move farther into the spring selling season,” said Kirby Slunaker, CEO and president of Metrolist Inc. “We continue to see a high level of demand for properties and overall inventory is low, so we expect the market will remain very competitive.”

Continuing a 36-month trend, prices for all homes continued to increase in April, with the average sold price up 5 percent over March to $327,999 and 6 percent higher than the $308,011 average sales price in April 2013, according to Metrolist.

There were 3,341 townhomes and condos sold in April, 17 percent more than the 2,866 in March, but down 16 percent from the 3,979 record sales in April 2013.

The average single-family attached property spent just 30 days on the market in April, down 36 percent from the 47 days in April 2013.

The average sold price of a single-family detached home rose 8 percent to $363,028 from $335,005 in April 2013, while the median price rose 10 percent to $305,00 from $278,000, on a year-over-year basis.

Strong rental market

Rising rental rates apparently convinced some consumers they would be better off buying a home. Some apparently are renting, rather than selling, their current home, before buying another house.

“The rental vacancy rate in the Denver Metro area remains low,” Slunaker said. “We expect that’s what is driving a lot of the strong demand for single-family attached properties, which are often easy to rent.”

One thing all Realtors agree on is there are not enough homes on the market to meet demand. The housing shortage is leading to bidding wars and higher prices throughout the Front Range.

Sofia Lock, a broker associate with One Realty, for example, recently received 10 offers for one of her listings.

“It was in Longmont, not in one of Denver’s hot neighborhoods,” Lock said.

“There is such little inventory that it doesn’t matter whether the home in in Thornton or Longmont.”

The Longmont home was priced at $259,000 and the top bid was about $10,000 higher.

“I think every bid except for one was above the listing price,” Lock said. “We could have had more than 10 offers, but at some point you just have to say enough is enough,” and stop accepting bids.

However, she said not every house is going to command such interest.

“The house was immaculate,” Lock said. “People are mistaken to think every home is going will get multiple offers. It has to show really well.”

On the other hand, many homeowners do not know how much their homes are worth. If they did, she thinks there would be more homes on the market.

“I think a lot of folks out there do not realize quite how good of a market it is,” Lock said.

“It is such a difference from a year ago,” she continued.

A home that might have been priced at $250,000 a year ago now might sell for $270,000, she said.

That is a big jump,” Lock noted.

There also is a bit of a Catch-22, in that homes are selling so fast and there is so little inventory, “sellers are concerned will I be able to find anything? Where am I going to move?”

Also, because a seller’s home is selling for a premium, that often means the home they want to buy also is selling for top dollar.

Closings down

A shortage of homes is leading to increased bidding wars, says Paul Brunger.

A shortage of homes is leading to increased bidding wars, says Paul Brunger.

The Metrolist report showed there were 4,498 closings in April, down 9 percent from the 4,942 in April 2013. Every county in the Denver area also showed a drop in closings on a year-over-year basis.

“I think the reason closings are down is because the inventory is so tight,” said Paul Brunger, a broker with Keller Williams DTC.

That has led to increasingly common bidding wars, especially for lower-priced homes, he said.Last Saturday, for example, he took a client to see a condo in the Washington Park area priced in the low $200,000s.He joined brokers and their clients waiting in line to tour the condo.

“They ended up getting nine offers on a $215,000 condo,” Brunger said. “Two of them were over $240,000.”

He was surprised the top offers were not for cash, “because it is never going to appraise for that much.”

“We offered just over $216,000,” Brunger said. “My client didn’t want to overpay. I advised her not to.”

He said the winning bidder may be hoping to renegotiate to a lower price after the appraisal.

On the other hand, he said he and a lot of other brokers are putting in clauses in contracts saying the “appraisal doesn’t apply. Otherwise, you are wasting everyone’s time.”

CountyListings/YOY Change Contracts/YOY ChangeSales /YOY ChangeMedian Sales Price/YOY ChangeAverage Sales Price/YOY Change
Douglas 1,256/70.2%984/10.15598/(15.8%)$342,750/8.8%$387,520/6.7%

Source: Metrolist, 10-K

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.