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March Madness: Denver home sales over $500K soar




  • DMAR releases its March report.
  • Home shortage remains.
  • Sizzling sales above $500,000.
DMAR snapshot for March.

DMAR snapshot for March.

By John Rebchook

Denver-area home sales above $500,000 experienced a big jump in the first three months of this year, according to a report released today.

Single-family detached homes priced at $500,000 or more jumped by 34 percent at the end of the first quarter, compared with the first three months of 2014, according to a report released late this afternoon by the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

The 5,000-member group’s analysis also found that homes priced for less than a half-million dollars dropped by 10 percent, compared with the first three months of last year.

“This demonstration of ‘the mix’ – more units in higher price ranges selling than the lower range – affects the average price of sold homes,” said Anthony Rael, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee.

Meanwhile, the inventory of all home stood at 4,112 at the end of March.

That is a 32.6 percent drop from the 6,098 active listings at the end of March 2014. Active listings rose less than 1 percent from the all-time low of 4,079 in February.

Overall, there was a 1.2-month supply of unsold homes on the market in March, according to DMAR.

There is less than a month supply of homes priced from $100,000 to just under $400,000.

DMAR March snapshot.

DMAR March snapshot.


The shortage of homes has led to quick sales and bidding wars. Typically, buyers are offering $10,000 to $50,000 above the asking price to outbid competitors, according to Rael.

“Buyers run from listing to listing, trying to avoid being eaten by the competition,” Rael said.

“It’s certainly a challenging task since buyers must also avoid being trapped in a corner where they feel desperate to write offers well above list price, or opt to waive inspection and appraisal contingencies in order to compete,” Rael continued.

Homes that came on the market in March were snapped up quickly.

Some 5,823 new listings came on the market, 1.6 percent more than the 5,734 in March 2014 and a whopping 37.3 percent surge from 4,240 homes in February.

The number of new listings last month trumped the 5,139 homes that were placed under contract and the 3,904 home closings.

The under contract last month were 7.1 percent higher than the 4,796 homes placed under contract in March 2014.

The average sales price of a single-family home, meanwhile, set a record of $398,578. That is 14.6 percent higher than the average sales price of $347,767 in March 2014.

The median sales price of a single-family home also was a record at $345,000. That is 18.9 percent higher than the $290,00 in March 2014.

Total sales volume was $1.1 billion for single-family homes in March, 10.7 percent higher than the $996.7 million in March 2014.

DMAR 11-county overview.

DMAR 11-county overview.

When condos are included, the total sales volume was just under $1.4 billion, 34.9 percent higher than the $1.2 billion in March 2014.

The “Premier” market, defined as homes priced between $500,000 and $749,999, showed the bigger percentage gain.

There were 374 single-family Premier homes that traded hands last month, a 43.3 percent jump from the 261 in March 2014.

“Inventory below $500,000 is so tight that people have to move up in price to get something, and now this higher price range is getting tighter,” said Nicole Rufener, a member of DMAR’s Market Trends Committee.

Buyers with less expensive homes that are moving up are in a sweet spot, according to Rufener.

“The people who are going to do the best in this market are sellers who have a home valued less than $500,000 and are planning on moving up to a home worth more than $750,000,” Rufener said

“They’ll sell in the fastest moving segment of the market and buy in one that isn’t nearly as aggressive.”

The DMAR report tracks an 11-count area. Counties include Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park.

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