Best October on record for Denver home sales


Dee ChirafisiLast month marked the best October since at least 1990 for home sales in the Denver.

There were 4,910 homes placed under contract in October, according to a report by independent broker Gary Bauer, who each month analyzes data supplied by Metrolist, which reflects homes sold by Denver-area Realtors. That eclipsed the previous October record of 4,839 homes placed under contract in 2005.

Based on demographics, it likely was the best October ever. The Denver-area population has grown by 49 percent from 1990 to 2007 (the latest numbers available), according to the Denver Regional Council of Governments. And the number of housing units from 1990 to 2007 in the area, grew by 40 percent. So with a much smaller base 19 years ago, it was unlikely that there were more sales in any October prior to 1990.

Bauer, at first, was even surprised by just how strong October was in terms of sales.

“Wow,” he said, when told by

“It was an exciting October,” Bauer said. “There is a lot of pent-up demand out there. A lot of the activity had been driven by the tax credits for first-time home buyers. And now that that $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers has been extended, and expanded to include some existing home owners, I think we will see more people entering the market.”

A strong housing market helps not only those directly involved with it, but the entire economy, he said.

“For every $1 directly generated by the real estate economy, another $4 is created in the service industry,” Bauer said. “By that I mean, you buy a house and you buy furniture, TVs, garage-door openers. The list just goes on and on.”

Dee Chirafisi, the top Realtor in the Denver area last year and the co-owner of Kentwood City Properties, said she thinks the trend continued in November.

“Just in our office, we have seen an unbelievable number of houses placed under contract in October and November,” Chirafisi said. “We have twice as many homes that are going to close in November than we had a year ago.”

She agreed with Bauer and others that the home buying tax credit has been  accelerating sales.

“Most of it is because of first-time home buyers and the tax credits,” she said. “”Most of our sales are under $400,000, although we have the occasional high-end sale. I just closed a home in Hilltop for $2.97 million, for example.”

She said the extension and expansion of the tax credit to include some existing home owners, will continue to fuel the market.

“If you wanted a reason to buy a home, and you needed a little push, this is it,” she said.

With 30-year fixed mortgage rates below 5 percent, homes reasonably priced, and an extension and expansion of the tax-credit, it hard to imagine a better time to buy a home, she said.

“This is the best time ever to buy  a home,” Chirafisi said. “And there’s still plenty of homes to choose from, but I don’t know how much longer that is going to last. I think a lot of people are going to take their homes off the market for seasonal reasons, and are going to put them back on the market in the spring.”

Contact John Rebchook at or 303-945-6865.

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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