Metro Denver home buyers start 2014 with wallets open

By: Dennis Huspeni – Reporter- Denver Business Journal
The residential real estate market for metro Denver started 2014 a lot like 2013: with double-digit average price increases, according to the January Metrolist Inc. report released late Tuesday.
And though the number of homes available for sale ticked up from December, officials at the Greenwood Village-based provider of the area’s multiple listing service (MLS) still pointed to a low-inventory levels driving prices.
The average price for a single-family home stood at $302,251 in January, up 10 percent year over year but a 3 percent slide since December. Average days on the market continues to drop as buyers are snatching homes in 61 days, down 22 percent from January 2013, but up slightly from the 57-day average posted in December.
“We are optimistic about the 2014 real estate landscape,” said Kirby Slunaker, CEO and president of Metrolist Inc. “We’d advise any consumers who are planning on entering the market for a new home later this year to start looking early.”
There were 7,610 homes for sale last month, up a tad from December’s 7,275 and up 7 percent year over year. A year ago, the inventory levels reached a 23-year historic low at 7,094.
But the number of homes under contract jumped 29 percent in just one month, from 2,807 in December to 3,621 in January — so much for the supposed winter slow-down in sales.
Buyers grabbed 3,342 homes in January, up 3 percent from December and 13 percent from the 2,953 homes sold a year ago January.
In January 2013, the number of homes under contract jumped 43 percent from December 2012, showing Denver buyers start the new year itching to buy.

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