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Low mortgage rates drive record number of home sales in Denver

More than $33.1 billion of residential real estate was sold in 2020

DENVER — There have never been fewer "For Sale" signs on lawns in front of Denver homes.

There were only 2,541 active listings on the market in December, according to the Denver Metro Association of REALTORS (DMAR). That’s the first time ever Denver has seen under 3,000 listings.

"We don’t have enough houses to go around. We can’t keep up with the inventory," said Lane Lyon, a managing broker and realtor with Coldwell Banker. "Real estate has been a shining star during COVID because the feds stepped in and lowered mortgage rates."

For the first time in Denver’s history, there were nearly 63,000 homes purchased last year – nearly 7% higher than in 2019, according to DMAR. That adds up to $33.1 billion of residential real estate sold in 2020. The most ever.

So will this all continue into the new year? Lyon hopes so.

"We expect housing prices to be up, mortgage rates to be low. Two ingredients that create a recipe for a perfectly strong market," said Lyon. "A lot of people would like to live in Colorado. So when word got out that a lot of people won’t be working in the office and that they can go remote, our phones started ringing from people out of state who said, 'this is our chance to come to Colorado.'"

DMAR said the real estate market is a strong seller's market right now. On top of the low-interest rates, another factor contributing to this is people wanting to relocate because of the pandemic.

"I would call it an unprecedented hyperactive real estate market," said Andrew Abrams, who compiled the data released by DMAR. "The biggest factor is interest rates. Interest rates are incredibly low. That’s certainly incentivizing buyers to buy."

For perspective on how much Denver has grown, in 1990 the Denver real estate market closed only 25,619 homes, according to Abrams. In 2020, the number of homes closed is 145.9% higher.

RELATED: Aspen-area real estate sales top record $3 billion for 2020

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