Denver housing market has record year in 2015 but cools in final weeks

By Aldo Svaldi
The Denver Post

Metro Denver’s housing market had a record year in 2015, but it also showed signs of exhaustion in the final month as prices stayed flat and the number of listings dropped sharply, according to a report Tuesday from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

“The Denver metro area continues to be the number one real estate market in the country,” Anthony Rael, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee wrote in a monthly update.

Metro Denver posted 55,509 home sales worth a record $20.16 billion in 2015. That was split between $16 billion for single-family homes and $4.16 billion for condos and townhouses.

But in the past three months, the housing market has moderated.

The inventory of homes available for sale fell 22.9 percent in December from the previous month to 4,384. And the 2,275 new listings in December were down by nearly a third from November and were even below December 2014 levels.

Despite the sharp decline in inventory, the average number of days on the market rose to 40 in December, up from 36 in November. Usually a drop in inventory causes homes to sell more quickly.

Home sales still increased 14.75 percent in December, reflecting in part a backlog of closings from November that spilled over into the final weeks of the year.

Home prices didn’t move much from November to December, with the average price up 3.3 percent to $374,900 and the median price flat at $315,000.

But for the year, the average price of all homes sold was up 10.65 percent, while the median price was up 10.51 percent, making Denver a leading market for home price appreciation.

“December proved to be a great month for home buyers who were able to snatch up previously overpriced listings by making offers without competing offers, and without the same sense of urgency as in previous months,” the report said.

Rael also noted that some builders were facing lengthy delays in getting new homes to buyers, who are facing waits of 10 months to a year in some cases.

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