Sellers retain the upper hand in Denver’s housing market, notes recent report

by | May 8, 2019 | Blog, Denver Real Estate Market

Despite a growing number of homes on the Denver housing market, sellers are still in the driver’s seat.

That’s the finding of the Denver Metro Association of Realtor’s (DMAR) April market report.  “While there is some negotiating going on, the average seller is getting within one percent of the asking price,” notes Jill Schafer, chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee. It’s a seller’s market across every price point, she adds.

Residential home inventory rose 35.89% last month over April 2018, offering buyers greater choice. Still, at 7,012 homes on the market, that’s far short of historical averages, and demand continues to outstrip supply. “Overall, there is only 1.50 months of single-family inventory and 1.49 months of attached home inventory,” writes Schafer. “That is much lower than the five to six months of inventory needed to equalize the market between buyers and sellers.”

Because of demand, “multiple offers are still prevalent if a property is priced correctly,” notes the report, which also acknowledges a bit of a slowdown in the market overall. “Properties may not receive five offers, but will likely receive two to three, and that still puts sellers in the driver’s seat to pick the offer that works best for their needs.”

DMAR also reports that property valuation notices were recently sent out in the Denver metro area. Most Denver County homeowners, it notes, will find a lower increase this year compared to the average 26% increase in 2017. Those likely to see the highest increases are people living in Adams and Arapahoe counties (at 24% and 22% respectively), followed by Broomfield (20.4%), Westminster (17.2%), Arvada (14.9%), Douglas and Jefferson counties (14.5%), and Boulder (13%).

Homeowners in Cherry Creek, Goldsmith, Southmoor Park, and Windsor are on the lower end of the scale; these neighborhoods logged only single digit gains.

“A lack of affordable housing drove the biggest increases in the lower-end of the market,” Ken Musso, Adams County’s assessor, told the Denver Post.

Others observed that the increases, while still high, are actually moderating.  “In 2017, the median home price in Adams County was up 40% over two years,” reports the Post, “while homes in Arapahoe County were up 26%, 25.9% in Denver, 24% in Boulder and 22.8% in Jefferson County.”

Whatever the valuation, homeowners will be stuck with it for a while, as assessments are only made every two years. Homeowners can, however, appeal their valuation online, by phone or in person by June 3.

The Post suggests that a careful look at the notice should be the first step: “One quick check to make is if the physical characteristics of the property — say, the number of bedrooms or square footage — line up with what is in the county records. Most assessors also use automated valuation models, and those may not track as closely when a home has more customized features.”

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