The December housing market broke two more records in 2020, a year that shattered records throughout.
According to the monthly report from the Denver Metro Realtors Association (DMAR), the number of listings for residential properties hit a record low in December—even as sales for 2020 reached an all-time high.
There were 2,541 listings available at the end of December — 25.59% less than November and nearly 50% less than December 2019. Historically, the average listings for December are five times higher: 12,941.
When it comes to listings of single-family detached homes alone, the numbers are even starker: There were a scant 1,316 of these homes on the market by the end of December. This was nearly 40% less than December 2019.
While listings lagged, the number of sales soared, underscoring the ongoing heavy demand for homes in the Denver area. The number of closings on residential properties in December hit 4,807. When added to the year’s total, this brought homes sales to a record 62,985 in 2020, the first time more than 60,000 homes were sold in one year.
“Homes flew off the shelf and buyers unable to get a property under contract were handed a bag of coal and left clinging to a faint hope that 2021 might offer more supply,” notes the Denver Post.
The DMAR study also noted some of the conditions that have created an environment for a strong housing market. Despite a tumultuous year, the report shows, Denver fared relatively well in 2020.
- Eighty percent of the jobs lost due to the pandemic in the metro area have been recovered.
- People continued to migrate to the state last year. DMAR notes that 23% of the migrants came from Georgia, 19% from Florida, and 14% from California. “There was a wave of Denver transplants who rushed to the Mile High City seeking a different lifestyle with virtual work opportunities that opened up new possibilities,” notes DMAR Market Trends Committee member Libby Levinson.
- Sixty-two percent of those who moved here from a different state were millennials, who make up 30% of Denver’s population. “This is a very promising indicator for the local real estate market since millennials also represent the largest cohort of buyers,” notes DMAR.
Overall, it was a year of surprises, with the real estate market just one of them.
“When looking at the year in review, it is interesting to note how difficult it is to predict outcomes,” wrote Chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee Andrew Abrams in the report. “We have had to contend with a pandemic few of us have ever seen while experiencing social movements, wildfires, weather events and overall uncertainty. Somehow, this still translated into a record year for residential real estate. In almost every statistical category, we set a record.”
As for the future? Hold onto your hats.
“This could lead to another wild year in real estate with future unknowns of how the vaccine will impact human behavior,” Abrams added.