After rising mortgage interest rates sparked a slowdown in recent months, buyers are returning to the Denver-metro housing market.
“We’re seeing a definitive early push from buyers wanting to get under contract before the ‘spring rush’ begins in order to avoid the extra stress and competition,” noted the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) monthly report.
“Buyers are back in the market with bidding wars being reported again, much to the delight of sellers,” stated Libby Levinson-Katz, chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee in the report.
The report noted that active listings dipped 13.39% from December to January, to 4,120. That’s more than triple the average decrease of 2.86% from December to January and is the third largest percentage month-over-month change since record keeping began. But far from being a worrisome point, DMAR notes that the drop was caused because “new listings are getting gobbled up.”
The statistics underscore the point: While new listings were up 65% from December, active listings by the end of the month were down the above-mentioned 13.39%, showing that buyers were eager to land homes.
Pending home sales were also up – 51% from December. And, noted Nicole Rueth, a mortgage broker, in her DMAR Market Trends Report: “Mortgage purchase loan applications jumped 29% in just two weeks in mid-January as rates settled down from 7.25% to an average of 6.125%.”
While all these signs point to strong market activity, the frenzy buyers came to expect a year ago has calmed, as shown by the average number of days— 46 — that homes spent on the market, which “starkly contrasts to a year ago when the median was a meager five days,” noted Levinson-Katz.
It all points to an uptick in what had been considered a cooling market. Buyers “have wrapped their heads around higher interest rates, have factored in rate buydowns into their purchase costs and are simply taking their time to find the right home,” said Levinson-Katz.