That’s according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors’ report for September, which points to a slight leveling off of a market that has recently sparked buyers bidding against each other, paying well over asking price, and, on occasion, dropping normal requirements of sellers, such as home inspection contingency.
Among the DMAR’s monthly findings:
• The number of homes sold dropped 21.58% from August to September, to 4,427. That’s a 15.60% drop over last year at this time. This comes despite a modest rise (3.07%) in active listings over August, to 7,586.
• The average sold price dropped .52% from August to September. It is now $429,597. While that’s still nearly 9% higher than the average sold price last year, it’s well below the double-digit year-over-year increases seen in recent years.
• Homes spent 3.3% more days on the market than the previous month, taking an average of 32 days to sell.
The DMAR report also notes that showings “are slowing down and sellers are having to reduce prices in order to get more traction.” Additionally, it observes that “‘Back on Market’ and ‘Price Reductions’ seem to be more common than ‘New Listings’ in MLS (multi-list) searches.”
According to DMAR, many contracts are falling through, due to “escalating buyer demands during inspection.” As a result, the association is advising buyers to put in back-up offers on homes already under contract, as there is a good chance sellers will have to go back to the drawing board.
Experts debate whether this trend will continue or is simply seasonal. “As the cool air of autumn descends on Denver, so does the seasonal cooling upon our housing market,” notes Steve Danyliw, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee. But his observation is countered somewhat by the fact that September’s decrease in sold listings is more than double the seasonal norm of 10.1%. (vs. 21.58%).
In sum, while it might not be time for homebuyers to turn cartwheels in celebration, they can at least take a deep breath and relax…a little.