Denver metro area hit new home price peak in the 4th quarter of 2013

By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post

The Denver metro area reached a new home price peak in the fourth quarter of 2013 with a median price of $288,000, compared with the previous peak price of $259,000 in the first quarter of 2006, according to CoreLogic Case-Shiller.

Prices increased 9 percent between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013, according to the global property information company.

CoreLogic spokeswoman Andrea Hurst said metro Denver prices are expected to be up 2.9 percent by the fourth quarter of this year.

She added that from the most recent home price trough in Denver — which occurred in the first quarter of 2009 — and the end of 2013, prices were up 20.4 percent.

The report, released Tuesday, was an analysis of home price trends during the fourth quarter of 2013 in more than 380 U.S. markets based on the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes.

Houston, Dallas, Honolulu and Pittsburgh also reached new price peaks.

“These cities have never achieved price levels quite this high, not even in the record year of 2006,” CoreLogic Case-Shiller principal economist David Stiff said in a statement.

Stiff said that limited construction of new homes and low inventory of existing homes for sale contributed to the price jumps.

“Developers remain cautious about building too many new houses until they see a strong demand in their markets,” said Stiff.

The predicted slowing of price appreciation in Denver and throughout the country is attributed to slowing of investor interest, a drop foreclosures and only a slow return to the market of “traditional buyers.”

Tuesday’s report comes on the heels of a report Monday by Metrolist.

In the Denver metro area, Metrolist said, there was slightly more inventory available in April than the year-ago month.

Metrolist CEO Kirby Slunaker said in a statement that he expects the number of homes available in the Denver metro area to continue to rise as the spring selling season continues.

“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,” Slunaker said.

The pace of home sales in metro Denver was up 16 percent over March. In April, the number of active listings were up 29 percent and the number of properties sold was down 9 percent compared with the year-ago month.

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