Great question! Whether it is a buyer’s or a seller’s market depends on the number of days a home stays on the MLS market before it is sold. If it remains on the market for several months, it’s considered a buyer’s market. However, if the home sells quickly after being up for sale, it’s a seller’s market.
In today’s climate, it’s considered a seller’s market. The good news for those looking to buy is that the U.S. housing market has recently moved from a very hot sellers’ market to only a moderate one. For those considering purchasing a home in the Denver area, the average home costs $640,555. Since then, home values have gone up 13.7%, making Denver a moderate seller’s market.
If you’re looking to purchase a home in the Denver area, don’t panic just yet. Being a seller’s market is only one factor of many to consider when contemplating buying a home. That said, you can still find ways to save on costs.
National Interest Rates vs. Current Interest Rates in Denver
If you decide to buy a home, the national average rate for a 30-year fixed refinance is 6.32%. The current national average 15-year fixed refinance rate comes in at 5.66%. Both rates are a slight increase from this same time last week.
For Colorado, current mortgage rates are 6.15% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 5.27% for a 15-year fixed, which indicates a slightly lower rate than the national average.
You may also want to consider a loan program. These rates vary by state, so before you begin your home search, it’s best to get pre-qualified by a licensed Colorado lender. According to Bankrate.com, January is the prime month to get the best rates. If you take a loan in January, you’ll pay .02 percentage points (or 20 basis points) less than if you were to take that same loan in the pricier months of June and October. Check Colorado rates daily to ensure you are receiving the best rate possible.
Denver-A Sudden Surge for Home Buyers
With interest rates just so-so for a potential home buyer nationally and in the Denver area specifically, how is the home trend?
The fact is, more people are buying homes today than a year ago. Because of Covid-19, people may have been warier, but now that people are returning to work, they have the finances and are looking to find their perfect home. At the height of Covid-19, as remote work became more of a reality, Colorado saw a sudden surge. The Centennial State saw a 53% increase in residents from January 2021 to February 2022. Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins grew by approximately 17% in the last decade. This sudden increase helped the state to rank 20th in the U.S.
One of the likely factors influencing the state’s increase is new job opportunities. However, Denver’s lifestyle is also most likely a deciding factor. Colorado has over 300 days of sun, making outdoor activities appealing, which makes for a fit and healthy population.
The Number of Homes for Sale in the Denver Metro
The number of homes for sale in Denver has almost doubled since early 2021. This increase means that while certain areas are seeing a resurgence in population, others are leaving the state. In addition, some reported information has the median prices up by almost 13%. However, these numbers are believed to drop very soon. Here’s a breakdown of some of the housing numbers in Colorado.
- There are 6,042 condos and houses for sale in the Denver metro area:
- 1,953 homes
- 4,089 condos
- There are approximately 19,452 unoccupied homes in Denver (and across the state).
- Homes in Denver, on average, sell after 12-14 days on the market compared to 7-9 days last year.
- Denver’s housing market has increased by 133% since 2000. Denver is considered a top city for real estate appreciation, with an annual average of 4.28%.
Denver, Colorado – The Best Month
In Denver, the summers are hot and dry. The winters are frigid and snowy, with partly cloudy skies year-round. The temperature varies from -6𐩑C to 32𐩑C. It is rarely below -15𐩑C or above 35𐩑C. The hot weather lasts 3.5 months, from June 7 to September 16, with an average high temperature of approximately 28𐩑C. The warmest month in Denver is July, with an average temperature of 75𐩑F and a low of 57𐩑F.
The cold weather lasts for 3.6 months, from November 19 to March 3, with an average high temperature below 55𐩑F. December is the coldest month in the mile-high city, with an average low of 21.2𐩑F and a high of 47𐩑F.
The best time of the month for:
- Outdoor activities: Mid-June to early September is the best time for outdoor activities, like canoeing and swimming, depending on heat and humidity preference.
- Skiing activities: February is the best time for skiing activities. This month is when the base depth of snow on mountains is deepest, plus plenty of snow is still falling. During February, mountains are fully open, making this the best time for cross-country skiing.
- Hiking: Early July until late August is the best time for hiking. The weather is beautiful and sunny, and most trails are snow-free. During this time, trails are scenic, with plenty of colorful wildflowers in full bloom.
- Amusement Parks: Denver has plenty of tourist attractions, including amusement parks. The hot and steamy weather (July, August) is best for water parks like Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park. Big Air Aurora is an indoor amusement park, so it’s best all year round.
Housing Inventory in Denver
If you’re looking to move to Denver, you’ll want to know the housing inventory. In Denver, the current inventory is approximately double the number of available properties from one year ago. According to the Denver housing market, there were 6,062 available properties as of late June 2022, compared to 3.127 one year ago. However, even with the increase, the inventory is much lower than the average for June. That said, the best month for housing inventory is June, with 21.0% more homes to choose from.
The current active single-family and condo/townhomes in the below specified months are:
- June 2022- 4,804
- July 2022- 6,184
- April 2022- 2,298
- August 2022- 6,529
*These figures do not reflect pending listings
For a seller, the best month to list in the Denver metro area is between February, when sellers receive a 4.4% boost (or approximately $27,000) more on average for a Denver home. Another prime listing month for sellers is early May. During this month, a seller can get up to a 4.2% boost (or approximately $26,000).
As a buyer, February and May are the months to avoid when beginning your home search. A prime time to strike as a buyer is if a home has been listed in early May and is still on the market three weeks to a month later. The seller may be more motivated to lower the price. According to Zillow.com, a listing on a Monday may be at a 1.4% discount. A listing on Saturday can offer a 1.2% discount, so as a buyer, consider checking listings on those days.
Top 5 Neighborhoods in Denver
Are you still undecided on Denver? That’s okay. Check out these top 5 neighborhoods in the Denver area to help you decide.
- Cheeseman Park
- Country Club
- Eastridge Ptarmigan Park
- South Park Hill
Cheeseman Park is surrounded by Capitol Hill mansions in downtown Denver and contains a 155-mile panoramic view of botanical gardens and other beautiful scenery.
Cheeseman Park has a population of 5,898, with a median age of 36. Of this, 49.44% are males, and 50.56% are females. The breakdown is as follows:
- Female Population: 2,992
- Male Population: 2,906
In Cheeseman Park, there are 3,282 households with approximately 2 members. Additionally, 9.18% of households have children, and 90.82% of households do not have children. The average median average income is $122.797. The top school is Dsst: Byers High School, which has been named one of the state’s top 10 public high schools.
The average household income in the town of Country Club is just under $255,000 and has a 0.00% poverty rate. Schools in the area have a data school running of 3.2, and two main features of this highly acclaimed neighborhood include Denver Country Club and the Country Club Place subdivision, designed in 1909. Over 48% of families have children, and approximately 52% of families in the Country Club area do not have children.
Country Club, Colorado, has been named one of the top 10 cities, with a population of 3,175. Those under 18 make up 22.02%, while those over 65 make up 19.31%. The population is comprised of 55% male and 45% female.
Eastridge Ptarmigan Park
Located in Aurora, Colorado, Eastridge Ptarmigan Park has a population of 6,176, which breaks down to a male/female ratio of .08:1. The median age is 43.0, and the percentage of families with kids under 18 is 34%. The cost of living here is 2.3% lower than the Aurora average, and real estate prices are 1.4% lower than the Aurora average. The median home income is $69,176, with an unemployment rate of 4.6%.
According to the current residents, this location is known for transportation (highways, light rail, and buses), car washes, schools, and plenty of fast food/sit-down restaurants.
The city of Wellshire is home to an estimated 3,500 people and is considered one of the most sought-after places to live in Colorado because of its beautiful scenery and low crime rate. It’s also near many entertaining parts of town, including the University of Denver and Washington Park.
The population breakdown is as follows:
- 48.12% are males
- 51.88% are females
- The median age is 34.6
- White-collar workers make up 92.36% of the working population
- There are 2,537 entrepreneurs in Wellshire
The median household income is $102,535, and the number of people below the poverty level is 3.183. The number of housing units is 16,130, down 3.7% from the previous year. A large southern portion of the neighborhood includes the town’s 18-hole golf course, originally designed in 1926. Wellshire also features a large Skeel Reservoir.
South Park Hill
The total population for South Park Hill, Colorado, is 9,438, with approximately 21% under 18 and 16.06% over 65. About 47% are male, and 53% are female. The average household income is $141,539.74, with less than 7% of families in poverty. Families with children make up approximately 46% compared to 53% of families without children.
The development of South Park Hill exploded in the 1900s with many different housing styles built, including bungalows, Denver squares, Queen Anne and Tudor. The city is close to many downtown features, including the Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo. Additionally, South park Hill is considered a top-notch town when it comes to its economic and cultural diversity.
Tips on How to Get a Good Deal
You’ve done your research, and you’re ready to purchase a home in Denver, but with the situation currently being a seller’s market, you want to buy the home of your dreams without breaking the bank. Before making the offer, check out some tips to ensure you get a great deal.
As previously stated, there are better times than others when looking to purchase a house. Not only do months matter, but days are also a consideration. For instance, the best time to start your home search in Colorado is June, with 21% more homes listed to choose from. However, early May is the time to make an offer, and Mondays may secure you an additional 1.2%.
Looking at the information closely, you’ll see that June has the most listings, but early May is the time to secure a deal. If you’re simply browsing for a home but are not necessarily looking to invest at this time, June is the prime time to see what’s available. However, if you are looking to buy, yes, May is best (and don’t forget on a Monday). In other words, if you know the house you intend to purchase, make your offer in May.
Tips on how to “steal the deal” when you’re in the market for your new home include:
- Look for location: If the area you want to move to is too costly, consider moving slightly outside your choice. Many surrounding areas offer the same amenities for a lesser price.
- Check comparable properties in the area: The Internet is a handy tool for finding out if you’re getting a deal. Check online to see what other houses in your chosen area are being sold for. Additionally, check out unsold comparables.
- Steer clear of Sale-by-Owner properties: Sale-by-Owners often do not have an agent’s assistance in setting a reasonable market price, or the owner may have been upset with an agent’s set price, so they decide to go it alone. When this happens, the seller may overprice the property. Buying or selling a home is a big event, so be as knowledgeable as possible.
- Talk to your real estate agent: A real estate agent is there to guide you through the process, and many times without even looking at the data, an agent knows within their gut whether the property is reasonably priced. So, utilize your agent as much as possible because they’re there to help you.
- Is this a fair price? Ask yourself this question because, like an agent, instinctively, you know whether the price is reasonable. Would you be happy if you paid the asking price, or would you feel like the seller robbed you?
- Make YOUR offer: Sure, it may be a seller’s market, but you can test the waters by making an offer below the asking seller’s price to see the seller’s reaction. If he negotiates, you may be able to lower the list price. However, be wary of making an offer way below the list price. Making this type of offer is considered “lowballing” and may insult the seller, resulting in him refusing to even conduct business with you.
- Appraisals and Inspections: This may cost you additional money, but getting an appraisal and inspection is definitely worth it to protect your investment. If the estimate comes back considerably less than your offered amount, you may not be getting a good deal.
Quick Tips for Preparing to Buy
If you are considering or planning to buy a home soon, here are a few suggestions to help get you started.
- Begin saving early.
- Check your credit and adjust accordingly.
- Decide on a home price.
- Check out several mortgage options.
- Take advantage of assistance options for first-time buyers.
- Secure a preapproval level, so you know your budget.
- Compare mortgage rates.
- Carefully choose a real estate agent.
Finding the Best Realtor in Denver
Finding a realtor in any state is simple. However, when making a home purchase, you don’t want just any realtor. You want the best. But how do you go about that? When looking for a reputable realtor, start with the Internet. You can put in your information, like the area you would like to move to, pricing, and options (four bedrooms, three baths). You can even include the type of school you’d prefer. Some of the top online sites to easily navigate include:
In Denver, there are 17,345 active real estate agents, but out of those, you will want to get the top agents in your area. On average, the top 5% of buyer’s agents save clients approximately 0.7% more than the average Denver real estate agent.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of agents, this is the time to dig deeper into their sales records, both for buyers and sellers. You’ll want to get a complete picture of their history, including how many sales they made, the average time it takes to make a sale, and the average time it takes to get a buyer into a new home. Many agents offer client referrals, so once you narrow this down to 2-3 agents, check with current and previous clients. The online site Yelp is a helpful resource for this.
Layout Goals and Assess Your Needs
When it comes to achieving the goal of home ownership, it’s always best to write down a list of what you intend to accomplish. For instance, what is your goal when it comes to budget? Do you want to stay within your budget, or is there room for adjustment? What exactly are your needs in the home? How many garages do you prefer? What about schools? Are you looking for an area with nearby public transportation? The idea is first to determine the needs and make adjustments if needed. Some of the smarter goals for buying a home include:
Specifics: Detail precisely what you want from your home (split level, 4 bedrooms). You can always adjust at a later time. Figuring out these specifics helps you navigate through your other goals.
Timing: You’ve found the perfect realtor, saved a few dollars, and secured a loan. Now you can start shopping. But is this a good time? Of course, there will always be expenses, but you want to be as concrete as possible regarding financing. Timing is essential when purchasing a home because you never want to get financially in over your head when signing on the dotted line.
Achievable: Are your goals realistic? Do you plan to buy a $400,000 home in the next month when 1. You haven’t even found a realtor, and 2. You haven’t even secured a loan. Do you even have your downpayment? Setting realistic goals ensures you can achieve them. Otherwise, it makes for a more complex search for your perfect home.
People Also Ask
Why buy a home?
Real estate is a good investment because most homes appreciate annually.
When should I start saving to buy a home?
Now. It’s never too early to start saving to buy a home. Even if you’re not looking for a specific home, when you are ready, the funds will be available.
Will I need a huge downpayment?
No longer do you need 20%-%25 for a downpayment. There are resources to aid first-time buyers with assistance in purchasing a home. On average, 6% is a reasonable rate to have to pay. The state of Colorado helps borrowers with downpayment options that cater to a client’s needs.
What are the total costs when buying a home?
Typical costs include:
- The actual property
- Mortgage Insurance/interest
- Homeowners Insurance
- HOA fees: not every house has the Home Owner Association Insurance Fee. These fees typically come in at $250-$350 per month.
Can I ask about any additions or renovations?
Absolutely! In fact, you should ask about any upgrades and additions because a history of these activities can signify where you may need to pay extra attention when it comes to the home inspection. Additionally, ask about any provided warranties. Finally, if available, ask to view the original plans for the house. This may pinpoint any ongoing issues with the home.
Denver Housing Bubble-Will it Burst?
What is a real estate housing bubble? A real estate bubble is when home prices rise rather quickly due to boosts in demand, a shorter supply of houses, and investors who purchase and flip the house. These factors increase the demand for homes, creating a bubble.
That said, the question is, will the housing bubble in Denver pop? According to World Report and U.S. News, which named Denver as the second-best spot to live in 2021, the answer is no. Home prices in Denver may be high, but the comparatively lower cost of living and the decreased mortgage rates are two important reasons to consider buying in the area. If not the downtown Denver area, consider purchasing in the surrounding area, which is more affordable with many of the amenities you’re looking for
Housing markets, financing, national vs. current interest rates. Aaaaagh! There are so many components to research when looking to buy your first home, and it may seem like a daunting task. But don’t get discouraged. Take a deep breath and relax. Tons of resources will aid you in the purchase of your first home. Do the necessary research and confer with a real estate agent for any additional questions. Soon, you’ll be happy and peaceful in your very first home. Happy House Hunting!