July sees record number of local home sales, record-high average price

Some of the homes that were listed in July. (BizDen graphic; submitted photos)

It was a record-breaking July for the Denver-area residential real estate market.

According to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, buyers closed on an all-time high of 6,664 homes last month, up nearly 8 percent from June and more than 12 percent from July 2019.

The average price of a single-family home also set a record: $601,863. That’s nearly 8 percent higher than June and nearly 10 percent higher than July 2019.

“We expected to have record-breaking closings because of record-breaking pendings last month, but the surprise was how much we increased in price in one month’s time,” said Jill Schafer, chair of the market trends committee at DMAR and broker for Kentwood Real Estate. “Getting above $600,000 is a big jump and it just shows that prices are moving up fast and affordability continues to be an issue.”

Jill Schafer

The association’s numbers pertain to an 11-county region it considers the metro area. Those counties are Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic and a shaky economy, buyers continue to be hungry, Schafer said, and there’s not as much as normal for them to choose from.

“We were breaking records left and right this month, but we also have incredibly low inventory,” Schafer said.

The single-family luxury market, or homes priced $1 million and up, had one of its strongest months as well. New listings increased by 53 percent, and the number of pending transactions jumped 104 percent from 195 last year to 399 his year. Closings also increased by 61 percent.

“People have different needs and wants after COVID-19,” Schafer said. “Interest rates are low, so they can buy a home even with prices up, and more people are saving after having to cancel big events in their lives.”

The only market segment that remains in buyers’ hands is luxury condos priced at $1 million or more. Although the number of closed sales was up 50 percent month over month, it was not enough to make up for the number of new listings that have doubled from the previous year.

As the competition heats up, Schafer feels confident that August’s numbers will be just as strong.

“I think we’ll see a high number of closings in August as well because pending listings are very high,” Schafer said. “There’s not a ton of inventory on the market, so I think prices will continue to soar, and buyers and sellers will have to battle it out.”

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