Denver Housing Market Picks Up Early in 2019

Denver Housing Market Picks Up Early in 2019

Projections for the upcoming year in Denver real estate were said to be a repeat performance of 2018. Slightly slower than the markets in previous years, but far from a complete downturn. While we are only one month into the new year, does it seem that the predictions are true?

What’s the Rush?
There is a faster pace in the real estate market which can be attributed to a couple of things. First, rising interest rates and the promise of more increases kept some buyers from moving forward in their search for a new home last year. While interest rates have come up slightly, they have dropped over the last couple of months, getting the attention of would-be buyers. Regardless of the slight bumps in the rates, we continue to see historically low interest and it remains a great time to buy. 

Second, the introduction of more inventory into the market has helped buyers make better decisions. Having more time to look at the property, and even getting a second showing, allows buyers to think about their purchase. The number of cancelled contracts is reported to be lower by some brokerages because buyers aren’t writing offers first and then taking a better look at the property. 

Home sales are still moving quickly, but the process has extended from hours to days, and sometimes even weeks depending on the price range, giving buyers more time to make their purchasing decisions. 

Is There Really a Jump Start into 2019?
The typical market pegs January and February as the slowest months in real estate transactions, with the high season starting in the Spring. With the interest rate decreases, some people began to correctly predict the season would begin earlier in the year.

January saw an increase in active listings of single family homes from 5,689 properties to 6,529 homes for sale. This is a 14.8% increase year over year, with a 11.8% increase in new listings the same month. However, there was a 7.8% decrease in sales from the same period a year ago. 

This is saying sellers are becoming more willing to sell, while buyers are taking advantage of more choices. But to be clear, Denver remains a strong seller’s market and interest rates are extremely low. A typical, “balanced” market would have homes selling in six months, not in six weeks.

Everyone Agrees
Real estate agents aren’t the only people in the industry seeing a faster than expected start to the new year. Lenders are seeing an uptick in the market, as well as industry vendors like inspectors and photographers. What is typically a slower period for these businesses, they are seeing a much more active year. 

The question then remains, has the entire year shifted, where the bulk of the activity happens now, and the latter part of the year slows down? Or will we see this level of activity into the Fall? Interest rates are likely the key in determining the course over the next several months.