March home sales data: Time on the market plummets for new listings

Denver homes stayed on the market for a median of four days last month. (BusinessDen file)

Denver homebuyers had to act fast in March, as new listings continued to get snapped up quickly.

Listings in the metro area spent a median of four days in MLS last month, compared to 12 last year and 15 in 2019, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors’ monthly market trend report.

“Even the number four is misleading because it’s not the right story to say it took a house four days to sell,” said Andrew Abrams, DMAR’s chair of the market trends committee and broker/owner of A-Squared Real Estate. “The real story is that it took a seller four days to review all of the offers. Say they list on a Thursday and show it over the weekend, they then review on Sunday or Monday and can almost immediately accept an offer.”

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.

At the end of March, there were only 1,120 single-family homes and 904 condos and detached properties available for sale across the metro area, according to the report.

With demand high, and supply low, it’s a good time to already own a home.

“March is normally a really good indicator of the direction we’re headed, and we normally see that month’s end inventory higher month-over-month,” Abrams said. “We haven’t seen it lower since 2014, and it happens very rarely. I would be willing to bet that unless something drastic happens, we’re going to see that appreciation and competition throughout the year.”

The value of Denver homes increased by 7 percent from an average close price of $551,542 to $589,587 month-over-month and by 15.3 percent year-over-year in March, according to the report. The close-price-to-list-price ratio also went up to 103.3 percent.

“We know house prices are going up and there are multiple offers and buyers competing. But on average, we see 6 percent appreciation in the course of the year. To exceed that in one month was pretty staggering,” Abrams said.

As appreciation rises, new homes that were previously priced at $900,000 have crossed the threshold into the luxury market, or homes priced at $1 million and up.

New detached luxury listings increased by 28 percent with 402 new homes on the market, up from 314 in February, according to the report. And 757 luxury homes closed in March, a 70.8 percent increase from 443 in March 2020.

But despite additional inventory, demand continues to outpace supply. Last month, there were 399 pending sales in the luxury market, which is a 26.3 percent increase month-over-month.

And median days in MLS dropped to just 11, which is a record low for this market, according to the report.

“There’s more inventory simply because prices have gone up, but there’s still that demand for more space in the face of the pandemic,” Abrams said.

Across the board, the market remains in the sellers’ hands.

Sales volume for the luxury condo segment of the market is up 62.6 percent year-over-year with $64 million and up 63.5 percent month-over-month from last month’s $39.2 million. As volume has gone up, median days in MLS have fallen from 27 days in 2020 and 35 days in February to only seven days in the month of March.

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