By: Russell Haythorn
DENVER – Labor Day weekend, everything changed.
That’s what experts are saying about the housing market in metro Denver.
After a white hot spring and summer, the hottest housing market in the nation has cooled quite a bit.
“We’ve seen a big slowdown,” said RE/MAX Unlimited realtor Ronda Courtney. “I have a listing that I’ve had to reduce twice in the past month.”
In the blink-of-an-eye, the market in metro Denver has turned on sellers.
“They have to price it right,” said Courtney. “They can’t overprice their homes in this market. Their homes have to show perfect.”
According to Zillow, in August metro Denver continued to lead the nation in annual home price gains, as home values started to fall in other parts of the country.
The Zillow Home Value Index for metro Denver was at $308,600 in August, up 16.3 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to the Denver Post.
The annual increase is the biggest that Zillow has captured for Denver in records dating back to 2001.
The next closest of 36 metros for home price gains, according to Zillow, was Dallas-Fort Worth, which saw a 13.8 percent gain in August to $168,000. San Jose was third with a 12.5 percent gain to $904,000, and San Francisco home values were up 11.8 percent to $764,600.
But local realtors say Denver’s boom appears to have taken a dramatic turn in the past two weeks.
“More inventory, the kids are back in school,” said Courtney. “The competition just isn’t there right now.”
That’s good news for buyers like Erika Nagle and her husband. They looked at 50-plus houses in metro Denver from April-August and came up empty. They put two offers in and lost them both… by a lot.
“On the second one, we decided to bid $40,000 over asking price,” said Nagle. “Well, there were 18 offers on that house and it sold at $80,000 over asking price.”
Nagle’s price-range is one of the most competitive according to realtors, in the neighborhood of $300,000.
They looked all across the metro area – including Denver, Littleton, Centennial and Lakewood.
“When a house popped on the market, we went and looked right away,” Nagle said.
Courtney says now is the time for buyers like the Nagles to jump right back in.
“It’s a great time for buyers to get back in,” she said. “We’re not seeing the multiple offers anymore.”
“We just have to remain hopeful,” Nagle said.