Home listings and sales blossomed in metro Denver in February


Mortgage rates, now above 7%, could act as a late frost

Metro Denver’s housing market saw signs of an early spring last month, with both new listings and closings rising sharply, according to an update from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

New listings, a measure of seller activity, rose 29.1% month-over-month to 4,243, an increase of 22.6% from a year earlier. Closings were up 31.2% month-over-month to 2,864, but they remain down 0.45% from year-ago levels.

There were 5,511 homes and condos available for sale at the end of the month, an increase of 13.1% from January and 45.9% from February of 2023.

The median sales price for a single-family home in February was $633,000, up 1.28% from January’s median price of $625,000 and 5.5% from the median price a year earlier. Condo and townhome sales prices rose 4.13% month-over-month and 1.23% year-over-year to $410,000.

“All in all, the spring season is heating up. Prepared sellers can curb a second round of negotiations with buyers at inspection while strategic buyers know what they want before shopping and the options available to them,” said Libby Levinson-Katz, chairwoman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and metro Denver Realtor, in comments accompanying the report.

One of the most notable ways that is showing up is in how long listings are spending on the market. Listings went from a median of 36 days on the market in January to 23 days in February, a decrease of nearly two weeks.

Levinson-Katz noted difficulties around inspections have been on the rise over the last few months as buyers are pushing back more on problems.

“If buyers feel they are paying top dollar due to increasing mortgage rates, they want their new home to be in move-in-ready condition,” she said.

Home insurance also has become a concern across the country, including in metro Denver, she said. Some deals have fallen apart because buyers couldn’t get coverage or couldn’t obtain policies at a reasonable price.

Higher insurance costs are translating into higher homeowners association fees, which in turn appear to be motivating more owners of attached units to look for an exit. There were about 1,000 condos priced below $500,000 on sale at the end of February, according to the DMAR report.

Going forward, higher mortgage rates will likely pressure activity. Last month, the average rate on a 30-year loan rose from 6.67% to 7.13%, contributing to a 17% drop in applications for mortgages. Pending sales, a measure of future activity, rose, but at a 12.7% rate last month compared to a 42.6% monthly increase in January.

Article By  | asvaldi@denverpost.com | The Denver Post

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