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The Denver Metro real estate market made headlines throughout 2017, most notably for soaring home prices and sinking inventory. Sellers reigned supreme, as competition for homes saw prices soar above asking and the year closed with the lowest inventory on record. Entering 2018, the market will hold steady, but appreciation will likely remain in the single digits, with increased opportunities for buyers.
There has been more talk about the real estate market in the Denver Metro area this past year than once thought conceivable. While it would be nice to wax poetic about the woes of supply versus demand and the effect it has had on buyers and sellers individually, you’ve heard it all before so we’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves¹. In 2017 in the Denver Metro market (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park counties), we saw:
- 57,788 total homes sold; up 2.93 percent from 2016
- Average sold price in the single-family home market jumped to $480,140 (up 8.69 percent from 2016)
- Median sold price in the single-family home market jumped to $410,000 (up 7.89 percent from 2016)
- Average sold price in the condo market increased to $318,904 (up 10.04 percent from 2016)
- Median sold price in the condo market increased to $270,000 (up 12.15 percent from 2016)
- 3,854 active listings at the close of December, a record setting low
- 39.5 percent of all Denver homes last year sold above the original asking price²
Now mid-way through the first month of 2018, there is much speculation about what we can expect in the new year – but most agree that prices will continue to rise however at a pace that will likely mirror the rest of the country.
While it’s not expected that we’ll see increases in the double digits again, experts do agree the value of homes will continue to rise steadily. In fact, National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects the national median existing-home price to increase to around 5.5 percent in 2018.³ This is great news for current homeowners, though less so for home buyers; still with good market intelligence and persistence, some homes are not out of reach for buyers. The gains continue to demonstrate why real estate is a successful long-term investment strategy.
Construction of new detached single-family homes (condos) is increasing significantly as builders look to introduce more affordable options to the expensive Denver market. Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, has stated: “The markets that are going to grow are ones where builders can add that entry level product.”4
While it’s not known for sure, the Mortgage Bankers Association anticipates the Federal Reserve will raise rates three times in 2018, with Freddie Mac’s 30-year fixed rate mortgage reaching 4.8 percent by the end of Q4, up from around 4 percent at the end of 2017.5 Relatively speaking, interest rates in the 4 percent range are still low. Rising interest rates do have an impact on buyer’s purchasing power, so it is in their best interest to look for a home early in 2018 before interest hikes may occur.
- Data sourced from Denver Metro Association of Realtors Market Trends Committee: https://www.dmarealtors.com/dmar-real-estate-market-trends-report-jan-18
- Reported by Zillow: https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2018/01/11/in-denver-a-lot-of-homes-last-year-sold-above-the.html
- What to Expect from the 2018 Housing Market: https://www.inman.com/2017/11/03/what-to-expect-from-the-2018-housing-market/
- Mortgage Bankers Association: https://www.mba.org/news-research-and-resources/research-and-economics/forecasts-and-commentary
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2018 Home Buyer’s Checklist
If you plan to buy a home this year:
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. It is essential for you to know how much you can afford to borrow and how to budget accordingly. This will also help you get some of the paperwork ready in advance and give you an advantage over other buyers competing for a home.
- Develop a must have list. We can set up a customized search that meets your criteria to help you find the perfect home for you, but first it’s important that you know your priorities. Need 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, close to parks, etc? Write that down. What’s negotiable versus non-negotiable?
- Meet with an Atlas broker. Schedule an appointment with one of our associates. They will be happy to guide you through the home buying process in a way that meets your needs and budget. You can call 303.242.8980 or visit our Home Buyer’s Guide to fill out a form and schedule an appointment.
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2018 Home Seller’s Checklist
If you plan to sell a home this year:
- Contact an Atlas broker for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA gives you the current market value of your home, plus it will also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help us determine what actions may be required to get top dollar for your property.
- Prep your home for the market. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having to make extensive repairs and upgrades. We can help you determine which ones are worth the time and expense to deliver maximum results.
- Declutter your home. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up personal items and things you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or storage locker. This will make your home appear larger, make it easier for buyers to picture themselves living there and get you one step closer to moving when the time comes!
See more on our Seller’s Guide