Median Price of a Single-Family Home in Colorado Tops $500,000 for First Time
Above asking price trend reaches new highs as insatiable homebuyer appetite continues and sellers ask, “what’s a buyer willing to pay?”
ENGLEWOOD, CO – May 12, 2021 – Despite the first month-over-month increase in the inventory of active listings in nearly a year, an insatiable homebuyer appetite quickly offset those gains with increases in the number of properties under contract and closed in April, according to the latest data from the Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR).
Market conditions continue to drive pricing for all property types in the Denver-metro area and across the state to new record highs with the median price of a single-family home in Colorado topping $500,000 for the first time, a price point that has doubled in just over 7 years. Whether you’re looking in the Denver-metro area or any other market across the state, the median condo/townhome price has risen approximately 20% year-over-year to a record $380,000, while the Denver-area single-family home hit a median price record of $562,250 in April.
“In April, the average freestanding home in Denver sold for its highest percentage above asking price than ever before. The last three months, in fact, have broken records month-over-month with the average home in April selling for 105.5% of asking price,” said Denver-Area REALTOR® Matthew Leprino. The above-asking price trend, prevalent across the state in recent months, continued through April with record highs also set across all property types and markets. In the Denver-metro area, the percent of list price received came in just shy of 105% for single-family homes and 102.6%for condo/townhomes. Statewide, the numbers showed 103.6% for single-family and 102.1% for condo/townhomes. “Officially, sales price/list price comes in at 104%, but REALTORS® will explain their experience is closer to 10% over list price in the moderate price ranges,” said Boulder/Broomfield area REALTOR®, Kelly Moye.
For some, this furious market is raising questions about a bubble and the potential for a painful crash. Last week, Google reported that the search “When is the housing market going to crash?” had spiked 2,450% in the past month. The answer we’re seeing from economists: There’s no comparison.
“Many industry experts believe there is no bubble; instead, the demand for housing in the west, particularly in resort areas, is higher than ever due to the migration of people leaving big cities,” said Durango-Area REALTOR® Jarrod Nixon.
The struggle for prospective homebuyers doesn’t end with inventory as rising prices continue to negatively impact affordability. The CAR Housing Affordability Index, a measure of how affordable a region’s housing is for consumers based on interest rates, median sales price and median income by county, is down between 15-18% for all property types statewide from a year ago.
REALTORS® continue to look at the market and wonder is there a break? Will we ever see a slowdown? Will affordable housing be something we see again?
“Builders cannot break ground fast enough, so no reprieve there. Interest rates remain low, so that continues to push prices and buying. For the short term, there is no calm in site. It’s a real estate storm and buying frenzy that does not appear to be burning out soon,” said Colorado Springs-Area REALTOR® Patrick Muldoon.
METRO DENVER REPORT
Taking a look at some of the state’s local market conditions, Colorado Association of REALTORS® market trends spokespersons provided the following assessments:
“Looking to find a single-family residential home under $300,000 in Aurora? Unfortunately, there is not one to be found. Even the median price of an Aurora condo/townhome is now at $290,000, up 11% from April 2020. The median home price in Aurora is at $465,000, a 14.8% increase over last year. That said, our 80019 zip code has only 14 listings available at a median price of $512,639, up 12% over 2020. The 80015 zip code is now at a median price of $500,000, up 18.3% over last year while 80011, which encompasses original Aurora, now has a median price $401,000, a 19.7% increase. If you are looking in this area, understand that there are only 10 available listings. The Aurora condo/townhome inventory is down 76.9% over last year with just 81 condo/townhomes available compared to 351 this time last year.
“Centennial represents the same low inventory, down 68% over this time last year for single- family homes and a median price of $605,000, a 17% increase over April 2020. Townhomes/condo in Centennial show a median price of $430,000, but you will only find seven of those types of properties available today.
“Looking to zip code 80111, Greenwood Village and Englewood, we see a median price of $894,000, up 30% over April 2020. Inventory is down 75% and there are only 13 available properties. Townhome/condos in that same zip code are up in price 86% over last April at a median price of $465,000 – that is not a typo.
“It is important to note, that buyers are getting homes. Occasionally, offers fall out of contract giving potential buyers an added opportunity. Will this ever slow down? Yes, of course, the questions we all have are, when and why? For the immediate future, we have a housing shortage and a number of buyers looking to take advantage of low interest rates and join the ranks of home ownership. Stay vigilant. There is a house out there for you,” said Aurora-area REALTOR® Sunny Banka.
“In Boulder and Broomfield counties, we haven’t seen numbers like this, well……ever. Heading into the summer, Boulder County single-family homes have already experienced 28% appreciation, and we’re not even at the end of the summer when we typically see our biggest jump in prices for the year. ‘If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with,’ must be playing in homeowner’s heads as they discover it’s too expensive to move to suit their needs, so they end up staying where they are and making home improvements. This lack of fluid mobility in the market has kept inventory so low that the increased demand continues to push prices up.
“Officially, sales price/list price comes in at 104%, but REALTORS® will explain their experience is closer to 10% over list price in the moderate price ranges. Boulder’s neighbor, Broomfield, also puts up big numbers for the year with single-family homes up 16% and condos/townhomes keeping up at 15% so far for the year.
“The only soft spot here are condos and townhomes in Boulder. They have had a modest 4% appreciation and listings are up 4.7%. It is likely that the owners of these smaller properties in a more dense environment are moving to more space for work and play, leaving the Boulder condo market much softer than its single-family counterpart.
“Most professionals agree that this market is not sustainable. The question is, when will it end and what will happen to initiate it? This is not a market bubble that will burst but instead, it is likely the lack of affordability that will eventually affect the demand and the market will slow down and balance out,” said Boulder/Broomfield-area REALTOR® Kelly Moye.
“With the ability to work from home and the population increase in Denver suburbs, we are seeing an increase of people migrating out to the I-76 corridor. This area provides the ability to buy more home for the money the farther east you go. Sellers in this area are experiencing a great return on their real estate investment. From a year ago the average home sells prices have increased in Adams County by 13.5%, Weld County by 16.2%, Morgan County by 19.7%, and Washington County by 15%. With many people on the move, the stats are showing that it is a great time for homeowners along the I-76 corridor to list their homes and cash in on this market,” said Broomfield-area REALTOR® Jody Malone.
COLORADO SPRINGS/PIKES PEAK AREA
“Real estate has been a very interesting thing to follow for the last year. In one of the most trying times in our history, where an entire world economy was closed down, real estate brushed it off, hit they gym, and grew in strength. A year ago, we were trying to determine whether or not we were going to be actively selling at all. REALTORS® statewide were back and forth on new rules, regulations, and safety precautions. Looking back now it seems we pulled off the impossible. We continued to represent buyers and sellers safely and pushed through one of the hardest markets we have ever seen. And this shows in our stats locally. We are up 21% on all properties sold year-over-year. The housing market pushed up 19% on the medium price range and sadly, active properties dropped 56%.
“Is there a break? Will we ever see a slowdown? Will affordable housing be something we see again? It’s hard to say. Institutional investors are offering obscene amounts of money to gobble up homes and beat many individual homeowners out on purchases. One in five reported sales nationwide are going to institutional investors. And this isn’t just an American problem. Canada and other countries are also seeing these large corporations grabbing up inventory and turning those homes into rentals. Builders cannot break ground fast enough, so no reprieve there. Interest rates remain low, so that continues to push prices and buying. For the short term, there is no calm in site. It’s a real estate storm and buying frenzy that does not appear to be burning out soon.
“Economic numbers remain terrible nationally, the stimulus money the FED prints is leading to inflation, and the world continues to battle with COVID-19. Real estate remains a safe haven for money. As long as supply remains low and demand is high, housing market trajectory is heading north,” said Colorado Springs-area REALTOR® Patrick Muldoon.
“Today’s buyer has fundamentally shifted their methods and the effects are beginning to ripple through your neighborhood. While each transaction brings new tales of what worked and what didn’t, today’s consumer and yes, their REALTOR® are tasked with finding newer, more creative methods of standing out from the rest. Long ago, the ‘love letter’ was the way to romance a seller into accepting your offer – no more. Today, the love letter comes in the form of a larger overall check and, in most cases, paying significantly more than a house may be worth at that snapshot in time. We REALTORS® have and hopefully will always continue to advise against the practice but the fact of the matter is that if you want a home, you will likely need to show a seller just how much you want it. While the practice of paying more than a house is worth is certainly risky, the changing tides prove that that risk, in some circumstances, is short lived. Take for instance someone who offers to pay $20,000 more than a house is worth – and their offer gets accepted. That home then closes and the neighbor down the road now lists their home $5,000 higher than that. Not only has every other neighbor now appreciated in price by $25,000 but the homebuyer who paid $20,000 more than asking has gone from $20K in the hole to $5K in the black.
“Because of these practices, the latest data from the Colorado Association of REALTORS® shows that in April, the average freestanding home in Denver sold for its highest percentage above asking price than ever before. The last three months, in fact, have broken records month-over-month with the average home in April selling for 105.5% of asking price. The only time other than the last three months that the average went above 101% was during May 2016 and that number quickly fell back to the 100% just two months later and even below asking just a month after that. A direct reflection of the multiple offers and bidding above asking-saga we see today, buyers are looking at lower budgets as their opening bid as the asking price in today’s market is merely the reserve price and not entirely an indication of ending value,” said Denver-area REALTOR® Matthew Leprino.
DURANGO/LA PLATA COUNTY
“What is this house worth? That is the question all buyers and sellers are asking in today’s market. The answer is: what a buyer is willing to pay. La Plata County continues to see significant increases in both average sales price and number of units sold. The average sales price for a single-family home in 2020 was $565,678 compared to $704,112 in 2021, a 24.5% increase. Units sold are also up more than 24%. Prices are being driven by the complete scarcity of available product and low interest rates. Inventory of homes for sale dropped over 70% compared to April 2020 for single-family homes and more than 85% for townhomes and condos.
“Bidding wars are the new normal, with most new listings going under contract within days of hitting the market. As a result of sellers not wanting to endure the stress of multiple offers and countless showings, many homes are being sold off-market and never hit the open market. It is not unusual for a home to sell for tens of thousands over the asking price. Many buyers are using escalation clauses and few (if any) contingencies in their offers.
“The perception is that sellers are reaping all the benefits of this hot market, but unless they are leaving the area, sellers are finding themselves in the same shoes as their buyers when trying to find a suitable replacement property. The true winners are the second homeowners and investors that can sell today and wait for the market to cool down.
“There is talk of a housing bubble in our market. Many industry experts believe there is no bubble; instead, the demand for housing in the west, particularly in resort areas, is higher than ever due to the migration of people leaving big cities. Many locals believe Durango has been undervalued for decades compared to other resort markets in Colorado. Buyers, taking advantage of continued low interest rates and increased options for working remotely, are choosing Durango for its natural beauty and endless outdoor offerings. The forecast for the market is more of the same for the foreseeable future,” said Durango-area REALTOR® Jarrod Nixon.
“The highs and lows that our clients are feeling right now are comparable to the dramatic weather we are experiencing. Hot and cold, with a chance of rain, snow or lightning. What will they experience? Cold returns on offer after offer that are outbid? Heat when they are feeling the pressure to buy, but can’t find anything in their price range? The constant conversation about the inventory and where the next new listing may pop us is definitely a strike of lightning in the atmosphere. Where will the hot spot be? If only we had some sort of crystal ball to tell the future.
“In Larimer County, new listings are slowly arriving on the market, but only at a drizzle with year-to-date single-family homes down 7.6% compared to 2021. However, in the month of April, new listings exceeded April 2020 by 25.3%. Is that spring we are feeling in the air? Townhouse/condos are electrifying the market with 52.6% more listings this past month compared to April 2020, and year-to-date they have increased 10.7%.
Homes are selling almost as fast as they can be placed on the MLS. Days on market for single-family homes has been slashed to 42 days compared to 70 in April last year, a drop of 40%. Year-to-date days on market has also dropped 72 to 54, a 25% decrease in time. Townhouse/condos have again taken the lead with a whopping cut in days on market to 42 from 108, 61.1% less compared to April last year. Year-to-date townhouse/condos have been on the market 45 days less, a 42% decrease. As of August 2020, the average time from offer to close was 45 days (per Ellie Mae).
“The ‘climate’ out there is causing a clamor for the best value for the money, and fast, but this is also driving prices up at a feverish pace. The average sales price for a single-family home in Larimer County reached $543,754 in April, an 8.5% bump from April last year. Year-to-date, the average sales price climbed 12.3%. The percent of list price received, 103% for single-family in April, is directly affected by the short inventory and climbing prices. Townhouse/condos have been experiencing the same with the average sales price up 13.9% in April to $361,864. Percent of list price received has also gone over asking at 101.8%, a 2.1% increase from April 2020.
“Larimer County is currently running with almost no supply of inventory. In April, the months supply of single- family homes fell from 2.4 months to only 0.6. Townhouse/condos had an even larger dip in inventory from 3 months to 0.6, an 80% decrease.
“As we go from hot to cold with rain, lightning and ice, this is no different from the climate in the real estate market,” said Estes Park-area REALTOR® Abbey Pontius.
“Compound Appreciation. Most of us are familiar with the term Compound Interest. It is one of the single greatest wealth-building concepts of economics. The short version of this concept is that if you invest a principal sum (let’s say $10,000) in an interest-bearing account, stock, annuity, or commodity of some sort, the interest earned on that investment compounds on a set interval (let’s say monthly at 5%). The original $10k after one month of investment time at that growth rate is now worth $10,500. The investor has made $500 by doing nothing but leaving the principal in the investment portfolio. In the second month, the interest is now calculated on the new principal amount of $10,500 and earns $525. Total value in two months is now $11,025. When you parse out the compound interest calculation over the course of a year, the original 10,000 after 12 months is now worth over $18,000. The gains (if consistent) are exponential.
“The same kind of thing is happening in the real estate market, except it is more like Compound Appreciation. The combination of constrained inventory and high demand leads to competitive offers on homes for sale. The competitive offers on homes for sale leads to a purchase for over the asking price. As long as the buyer consummates that purchase, the sale price for that home now becomes a statistical comparable for similar homes for sale in the same market. The cycle continues and we see double-digit appreciation on homes compared to what the relative value was at the beginning of the year. Is this leapfrog in valuation sustainable? Probably not – but until demand abates, prices are likely to continue to climb.
“With median prices in Fort Collins for April sales pegged at $510,000, affordability is at a decade long low. With the average sales price of homes 3.4% over the asking price, Buyers are leveraging all their discretionary cash in the hopes that the home will appraise for close to the over-asking purchase price. In some cases, buyers are bringing tens of thousands of dollars to closing, in addition to a traditional down-payment of 5-20% of the purchase price. There are no signs of the demand for homes lessening any time soon. The average days to offer for homes listed on the market after March 1 is a grand total of four. Homes are being snapped up as quickly as they are being listed. New listings increased 24% year-over-year which is a great number but nearly every single house that came on is now sold. If nothing else came on the market in the next 3 weeks, everything currently for sale would be sold.
“This isn’t just a tale about sub-median priced homes. All segments of the market in northern Larimer County are seeing high demand and exponential growth in sales. Sales of homes between $1 million and $2 million have doubled year over year. Homes sold between $500k and $699k are up 71% compared to the same time frame last year. Yes, the COVID-19 shutdown of the real estate market is playing a role in making some of the housing data a bit noisy – but the sheer number of sales in those high-end price points remains stunning. The shifts of home buyers from detached homes to condos and townhomes continues as sales in the $400k range for townhomes/condos have more than tripled in the last 12 months.
“The momentum of this market appears to be full-steam ahead. Only time will tell as the summer months near to see if the pent-up drive to purchase a home will take a back seat to the pent-up need for family vacations in June, July, and August,” said Fort Collins-area REALTOR® Chris Hardy.
“We are continuing the frenzy here in Fremont and Custer counties. Every month, the new listings come in less than last year and there are more new sales. We are seeing more vacant lots selling than in our typical market and mountain property prices are rising and selling quickly. Our vacant mountain property inventory has seen a significant reduction in numbers in the last year.
“We are seeing buyers trying to negotiate with sellers before the property goes on the market, trying to get an edge. The ‘we will buy your home,’ postcards are out in force, looking for ‘uneducated’ sellers. It is a seller’s market, but sellers beware, the market changes on a daily basis,” said Fremont and Custer County-area REALTOR® David Madone.
Custer County by the Numbers:
Median price of $425,000 is up 53.2% year-over-year
Average price of $476,824 is up 49.7% year-over-year
New listings are down 1.3%
Sales are up 36.2%.
There is 2.3 months supply of inventory
GOLDEN/ARVADA – JEFFERSON COUNTY
“New listings in Jefferson County are up 50% from this time last year despite the fact that this past month had one of the lowest volumes of inventory on record, down 67% from a year prior. Days on market was down 50% and our months supply of inventory was down 73% from this time last year. With so little inventory, home prices continue to climb as the median price for a single-family home hit $610,000 in April. For condo/townhomes, the median sales price reached $340,000 with average days on market at 12.
“Buyers still need to be aggressive with their offers going over list price and covering the difference in cash from the appraised price and the purchase price. Homes for sale enter the market on Thursday or Friday and are under contract on Monday. For most offers, buyers are waiving the inspection and making their earnest money non-refundable at some point early on in the contract process,” said Golden/Jefferson County-area REALTOR® Barb Ecker.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS/GARFIELD COUNTY
“It looks like the secret is out, it is a seller’s market. New single-family listings increased 23% in Garfield County over April 2020. Not surprisingly, those listings were gobbled up in 3-4 days on market as buyers aggressively worked to outbid each other. The frustration level for buyers is at an unprecedented high with brokers pulling out all the stops to try to get their client into the home. Sold listings are up 39% with the average days on market down 46% to 46 days, just over what it takes to sell a home. The months supply in the single-family sector fell 67% to a ghastly 1.2 months. The average sale price of a single-family home in Garfield County topped out at a whopping $720,000, an increase of 35% over April of last year and likely the highest average of all time.
“Unlike some other counties in Colorado, the townhome/condo market showed good strides as well. New listings were up 66.7% and sold listings had an unbelievable 140% increase. Average sale price was up 39% with 100.7% percent of list-to-sale price. The current inventory was down almost 60% landing at 1.3 months of inventory. The townhome market did see longer days on market compared to last year, as the frustrated single-family buyer decided to settle into an attached unit instead of fighting the battle. The big question on everyone’s mind is ‘When will it end?’” said Glenwood Springs-area REALTOR® Erin Bassett.
“The Pueblo housing market has remained strong for sellers and builders through the month of April with buyers still having to fight over the small number of homes for sale. April saw new listings rise 23.1% over last year and are up 6.6% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2020. Pending sales jumped up 56.2% over last April and sold listings were up 19.2% over 2020 and are up 5.3% year to date.
“Median prices in April rose to $275,000, up 18.1% from last April with the percent of list to sale price up 4% in April to 101.9%. Sitting on less than one month’s supply of homes for sale, buyers are pushed to write contracts above listing price. This is the second consecutive month that contract price has exceeded list price.
“With just 192 active listings in April, we are down more than 50% over April 2020. Eighty new home permits were issued in April bringing the Pueblo County total for the first four months of 2021 to 268, about half of what was issues in all of 2020. Pueblo West leads the pack with 153 permits,” said Pueblo-area REALTOR® David Anderson.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS/ROUTT COUNTY
“Buying real estate in many markets including Steamboat, is kind of like playing the game, The Price is Right. Given the multiple offer scenarios, the seller is certainly determining which buyer-contestant has the right price. The biggest disparity is that in the game, whomever comes closest to the price without going over wins; whereas, with current real estate conditions, if you are not bidding over the (list) price you are likely going to lose.
“Looking back at April, two single-family home sales over $10 million skewed the average sales price to over $2 million with the median sales price sitting at about $1.3 million with average days on market at 35. New listings were basically the same as the prior year however, the townhouse-condo market saw an increase of 71%, which was devoured by the insatiable buyer demand resulting in a 200% increase in pending sales. The average sales price for multi-family was $846,918 in April with the median $715,000 and days on market at 23 days. The record low days on market reflects the high number of cash transactions and sellers taking a sure thing without appraisal delays or possibilities of appraisal objection- even though a buyer may be willing to absorb the appraisal gap.
“Active listings for single and multi-family were a low standing inventory of 45 for each category with a month or less supply. May and June typically bring a new crop of listings and we look forward to those just as we look forward to the new buds and flowers spring brings. As Edwin Way Teale said, ‘The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.’ It is possible to buy a home in the Yampa Valley – retain an experienced and dedicated real estate broker for your best chances of success and while competing might be stressful, keep your eye on the prize,” said Steamboat Springs-area REALTOR® Marci Valicenti.
SUMMIT, PARK AND LAKE COUNTY
“Buyers beware. Being a buyer in this market is competitive business. It takes a crazy mix of hurry up and wait to find that perfect property. Buyers have to be ready to write a seller friendly offer (statistically over list price) the moment a desirable property hits the market. Even as they express fatigue and frustration, there are still more buyers than sellers so, until that balances out, buyers have to eat their Wheaties to stay strong through the process.
“With prices rising, the percent of locals buying and selling has dropped to just 18% of sales in Summit while 47% come from the front range and 35% are from out of state, mostly Texas and Florida. About 35% of the transactions were cash. The good news for buyers is that more properties sold than ever before, up 146%. So, although the active inventory was down 55%, new listings were up 84%. Summer is usually our busiest selling season, and the unknown is if we will follow previous trends. If so, there may be more to buy soon,” said Summit-area REALTOR® Dana Cottrell.
“April 2021 sales were up 168% over April 2020 with buyers increasingly targeting the Mountain Village and the rural subdivisions west of Telluride due to the amount of inventory available in those market areas. April 2020 sales in the Mountain Village were $8.9 million compared to this April’s $57.3 million. We are seeing more sellers moving out of the market to locations in and out of Colorado. However, the buyer demand has not waned. In the first four months of this year, sales are up 108% over the same period last year.
“Based on what has happened in the Town of Telluride, the continued decline of available inventory might start to slow the Telluride regional market around the end of summer. Available inventory is so low in Telluride and asking prices have gone up so much in the last 12 months that sales are slowing down significantly,” said Telluride-area REALTOR® George Harvey.
Percent of List Price Received – Statewide
Percent of List Price Received – Seven-County Denver Metro Area
Median Sales Price – Seven-County Denver Metro Area
Median Sales Price – Statewide
Inventory of Active Listings – Seven-County Denver Metro
Inventory of Active Listings – Statewide
Pending/Under Contract – Statewide
Pending/Under Contract – Seven-County Denver Metro Area
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® Monthly Market Statistical Reports are prepared by Showing Time, a leading showing software and market stats service provider to the residential real estate industry and are based upon data provided by Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in Colorado. The April 2021 reports represent all MLS-listed residential real estate transactions in the state. The metrics do not include “For Sale by Owner” transactions or all new construction. CAR’s Housing Affordability Index, a measure of how affordable a region’s housing is to its consumers, is based on interest rates, median sales prices and median income by county.
The complete reports cited in this press release, as well as county reports are available online at: https://www.coloradorealtors.com/market-trends/
CAR/SHOWING TIME RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Monthly Market Statistical Reports are prepared by Showing Time, a Minneapolis-based real estate technology company, and are based on data provided by Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in Colorado. These reports represent all MLS-listed residential real estate transactions in the state. The metrics do not include “For Sale by Owner” transactions or all new construction. Showing Time uses its extensive resources and experience to scrub and validate the data before producing these reports.
The benefits of using MLS data (rather than Assessor Data or other sources) are:
- Accuracy and Timeliness – MLS data are managed and monitored carefully.
- Richness – MLS data can be segmented
- Comprehensiveness – No sampling is involved; all transactions are included.
- Oversight and Governance – MLS providers are accountable for the integrity of their systems.
- Trends and changes are reliable due to the large number of records used in each report.
- Late entries and status changes are accounted for as the historic record is updated each quarter.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® is the state’s largest real estate trade association representing more than 28,500 members statewide. The association supports private property rights, equal housing opportunities and is the “Voice of Real Estate” in Colorado. For more information, visit https://www.coloradorealtors.com.