Despite widespread safety fears and strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus, the Denver metro housing market showed notable resiliency in April.
Although home listings and sales were down significantly from the previous month and year, the market remained viable and active, as noted in the Denver Metro Association of Realtors’ (DMAR) monthly report.
“Even with a stay-at-home order in place throughout most of April, REALTORS® proved we are an adaptable group as we found ways to help buyers and sellers who needed to buy or sell homes,” said Jill Schafer, Chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee. “With virtual showings, masks, booties, hand sanitizer and determination to help clients, 3,280 homes were put under contract and 4,679 listings came onto the market.”
This is remarkable, considering the dire coronavirus threat. As the pandemic became increasingly real to Denverites in early March, home showings dropped dramatically, hitting a low on April 18 that represented a 92.2% decrease from 2019, according to the DMAR’s report. But by the end of the month, the number had recovered and was only down 21.1% from the same day in 2019.
In fact, on April 27, the day Colorado’s stay-at-home order loosened into a safer-at-home plan, showings surged. “Approximately 3,500 showings were scheduled, more than any other Monday in 2020,” notes the DMAR. “The number of showings have continued to increase every day since.”
Furthermore, homes went under contract for an average of 99.96% of list price and sold quickly: in an average of 20 days (versus an average of 30 days the previous month and 29 days in April of 2019).
Additionally, prices remained relatively stable, with sold prices averaging $503,231 – a 1.79% drop from March but 1.52% increase over April of 2019.
What does the future hold for the housing market, both locally and across the nation?
“Things have definitely changed, but we’ve adapted,” notes Schafer. “Will the looser restrictions in May cause a flood of new listings from sellers who withdrew their homes or were holding back? Maybe…” she notes.
No matter what, “it’s likely we will continue to see real estate transacted with REALTORS® and their buyers wearing masks and booties and sellers sanitizing after every showing.”
Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, predicts that home sales volume nationally will drop 13.5% in total for 2020. An increase of 3% had been expected prior to the pandemic.