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Denver housing market showing signs of 'more normalization' and 'balance'

After breaking record after record for about two years, Denver’s housing market is finally hitting a turning point.

DENVER — It's been a wild few years for Denver’s housing market.

While prices remain high and inventory is still low by historical standards, realtors are starting to see some changes: more inventory, more power for buyers and some behavior that looks more like “normal” again.

“The market is shifting to a more normalized market, and that’s what we’re seeing,” said Andrew Abrams, Chair of the Market Trends Committee for the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR).

DMAR released its monthly report this week, which analyzes trends from June.

“I’ve had clients call and say ‘I want to sell at the peak,’ and I say, ‘Great, can we sell two months ago? The reason for that is – the peak is over," he said.

The median closing price for a detached property (single-family home) was $673,873 in June. That is the highest median closing price for any June on record. But, it's not a drastic price difference from the month before. The median closing price in May was $670,106 and April was $684,550.

The median closing price for an attached property (condo or townhome) in June was $430,000.

Inventory today is nearly double the number of available properties a year ago. There were 6,057 available properties at the end of June 2022, compared to 3,122 a year ago. Even with the increase, inventory is still much lower than the historical average for June (about 15,000 properties, according to DMAR).

“I think interest rates, without a doubt, is the biggest factor in pricing,” Abrams said.

According to Mortgage News Daily, the rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage is now 5.73%, compared to rates below 3% last year.

For many buyers, rising rates have decreased their purchasing power or even sidelined them altogether. Abrams said the housing market is starting to see the impacts.

“With more inventory out there, along with decreased buyer demand, there’s less activity per property,” Abrams said. “Therefore the supply and demand ratio have shifted.”

Abrams said some sellers have had to lower their initial list price. More properties are staying on the market a little longer. That means buyers have some power back that they haven’t had for about two years.

“The opportunities are for a buyer who can come in, be choosy, be patient and really get some inspection items taken care of – which really hasn’t been the case for the last few years,” he said.

“The seller is going to have to start fixing some items and making sure their house is staged and clean and looks good. It’s not just a ‘Put it up on the market and it’s going to sell,’” he said.

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