March came in like a lion when it comes to the Denver-metro* housing market, bringing a noteworthy upturn in inventory and sales.
The number of houses on the residential market jumped an eye-catching 36.22% over last March, according to the monthly report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR). At 6,292, that represents a more modest, but still significant, 4.57% increase over February. (The 20-year average change in active listings between February and March is a decrease of 5.95%.)
Meanwhile, sales increased 20.01% over February, and average sold prices rose to $480,486, a 3.57% increase over February.
“Despite the bomb cyclones and cold spells, the market saw a seasonal simmer as spring picked up steam with real estate transactions in March,” wrote DMAR Market Trends Committee Chair Jill Schafer in her analysis of the data.
“Buyers are out in full force,” notes the report.
Those hoping to find a home include many first-time buyers and millennials. But apparently, not all buyers are local. According to Denver 7, foreign investors are showing keen interest in Denver homes.
“Colorado has become a hot spot for international buyers,” reports the television station, noting that National Association of Realtors’ data shows that international investors spent $1 billion in Colorado last year.
These buyers appreciate the state’s climate as well as the upward trend and outlook in the housing market, reports Denver 7.
“The bad thing about it is they have a decent amount more money than your typical, everyday, average home buyer,” one real estate broker told the channel, which adds that foreign investors are willing to pay 10 to 30% over the property’s value.
“They do that knowing that our market is going in a positive direction,” notes the broker. “So, on a $500,000 house, they’re happy to pay $550,000 (snaps finger) just like that – without even thinking twice.”
Canada tops the list of foreign investors, followed by Singapore, France, China and Germany.
With this outside interest, as well as heavy demand from locals, the market continues to be competitive, despite some leveling off in recent months. Still, DMAR’s report warns sellers not to get too complacent. “[W]ith the increased inventory, [buyers] are more discerning and compelled towards homes that are turnkey,” it notes.
Adds Schafer: “Sellers need to be priced right from the very beginning and have homes in move-in ready condition to get full price or higher offers.”
*The DMAR report covers Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park counties.