January hot month for homes, DMAR, REcolorado report



  • January reports released by REcolorado, DMAR.
  •  Numbers different, but both reports show similar trends.
  • New listings soared last month from December, but much of it is seasonal.
A snapshot of sold homes and listings released in DMAR's January report.

A snapshot of sold homes and listings released in DMAR’s January report.

The Denver-area housing market began this year on a strong note, following a record-breaking year in 2015, according to two separate January reports released on Wednesday.

“If January is an indication of what to expect in 2016, we can look for a competitive and fast-paced market, with inventory remaining tight and prices holding strong,” said Kirby Slunaker president and CEO of REcolorado, the largest MLS in the state, which released one of the reports.

The Denver Metro Association of Realtors released the other report.

While the numbers were different, because of methodologies, the reports showed similar trends.

Both REcolorado and DMAR, for example, note that the market continues to be starved for new listings.

The active number of listings, while up from the record-low January in 2015, are far below historical averages.

“As the city finds itself buried in a foot of snow, my fellow Realtors find ourselves wondering when the avalanche of new listings will make their way into our marketplace,” said Anthony Rael, Chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and a Denver real estate agent.

Home prices also are up, by double digits, from January 2015.

A snapshot of sold homes and listings released in DMAR's January report.

A look at home prices in January. Source: REcolorado.

“While it sounds redundant for me to talk about the ongoing lack of inventory and rapidly increasing home prices each month, it is what it is,” Rael said.

“Simply put, we have to keep finding ways to do more with less,” according to Rael.

Both reports, however, showed huge jumps in new listings added to the market in January from December.

The DMAR report showed 5,853 new listings added to the market last month from 2,274 in December, a 69.4 percent increase.

REcolorado showed 4,148 new listings last month,  a 63.2 percent from 2,542 homes coming on the market in December.

“A solid influx of new listings gave the metro Denver housing market a boost of momentum to start off the New Year,” Slunaker said.

“It is a great time for sellers who have been waiting to put their home on the market,” he added.

However, for seasonal reasons, there usually is a big jump in new listings in January from December. For example, in January 2015, the market experienced a 57 percent increase, according to DMAR.

REcolorado showed the average sale price of a home last month at $370,378, a 13.3 percent increase from $327,008 in January 2015.

The median price of a home was $315,000, up 11.7 percent from $282,000, according to REcolorado

DMAR showed a similar trend.

Snapshot of new listings. Source: DMAR.

Snapshot of new listings. Source: DMAR.

The average price of all homes sold in December was $371,899, up 11.3 percent from $334,271, according to DMAR.

The median price of a home sold in January was $320,000, a 16.6 percent increase from $275,000, DMAR reported.

DMAR also reported that 3,502 homes were placed under contract last month, up 8.4 percent from 5,231 in January 2015.

REcolorado reported that 4,590 homes were placed under contract, 1.7 percent from 4,518 in January 2015.

“Given the competitiveness of the marketplace, it’s going to be critical for buyers and sellers to get the most up-to-date listings of homes for sale, and leverage the many resources that are available to them,” Slunaker said.

There were 5.282 active listings on the market last month, 2.6 percent more than the 5,150 available in January 2015, according to REcolorado.

DMAR showed 4,221 active listings of all homes on the market at the end of last month, nudging up 1.2 percent from the 4,171 a year earlier.

However, January has averaged 14,426 available listings in January from the three-decade period from 1985 to 2015, DMAR’s report notes.

The record high for a January was in 2006, with 24,387 homes on the market, almost six times more than today.

DMAR’s report also showed there were 68 luxury home sales of $1 million or more in January, an 84 percent year-over-year increase, but a 44 percent drop from December.

A historical look at new listings in January. Source: REcolorado.

A historical look at new listings in January. Source: REcolorado.

“Along with the rest of the city, the higher end real estate market went into a deep freeze at the beginning of this year,” said Brooke Livingston, DMAR Market Trends Committee member and Denver real estate agent.

“Keeping in mind the seasonal impact, it’s still an unexpected and unsettling occurrence for those who were sure the heat of last summer’s market had no end in sight,” Livingston said.

“Move-up buyers are waiting for the city and prices to thaw out before they strike,” Livingston added.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. DenverRealEstateWatch.com is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.


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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 GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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