By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post
The inventory of homes for sale dropped in metro Denver for the fifth consecutive month in April, falling 17.5 percent from April 2013, one of 21 metro markets where inventories dropped, according to Zillow.
Home values rose 7.4 percent over the same period, compared with a national increase of 5.3 percent, spokeswoman Alexa Fiander said Wednesday.
Zillow’s Home Value Forecast shows prices rising another 1 percent in the next 12 months, Fiander said.
The Zillow Home Value Index — the midpoint of estimated home values for an area — for metro Denver was $248,000 in April, compared with $170,200 nationally.
Home values were $257,900 in Denver; $175,000 in Aurora; $249,600 in Lakewood; $213,000 in Thornton; and $220,000 in Westminster.
Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said in a statement that first-time homebuyers are ready to buy, but they can’t because of the lack of homes for sale in their price range.
“This shortage of inventory is driven by a couple of factors, most notably by stubbornly high negative equity, particularly at the lower end of the market,” he said.
Rents skyrocketed in the Denver area during the year, posting a 6.8 percent increase to $1,673 while national rents increased 2.3 percent in the 12-month period to $1,311.