Seasonal real estate peak


Seasonal home activity peaked in August, DMAR shows.

It may seem like market cooled, but home prices up 11% year over year.

Anthony Rael finds Michael Phelps parallel to Denver market.


A snapshot of the Denver-area housing market. Source: DMAR

It may have seemed like the Denver-area housing market cooled in August, given what a sizzling summer it has been.

But a report released on Wednesday by the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, showed a typical seasonal cooling by some metrics. There was even a non-seasonal uptick in closings from July.

The average price of all homes sold last month was $404,160, a record for an August.

In fact prices were up 11.23 percent from $363,363 in August 2015, although they slipped 1.41 percent from $409,948 in July.

Median prices of all homes sold last month of $350,000, showed an even smaller month-to-month drop – a mere 0.46 percent from $409,948 in July – and were up 11.11 percent from $315,000 in July.

Condo prices, meanwhile, set a record for an August, with an average sold price of $288,744, up a whopping 13.34 percent from August 2015.

Condo average prices, meanwhile, inched up 1.23 percent from $4285,241 in July.

The median price of a sold condo showed a similar trend, with prices rising 13.34 percent to $244,000 from $215,000 on a year-over-year basis.

Anthony Rael, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and a Denver real estate agent, digging deeper into the numbers found a parallel with local housing prices and the splash Michael Phelps has made at the Olympics.

Phelps, of course, has brought home the gold 23 times, while during the past two years Denver home prices have risen 23 percent.

“The thrill of victory and agony of defeat are easily interchangeable between sports and real estate,” Rael said.

“As the past 24 months have shown us, home sellers rejoiced about the rapid increases in home values that enabled many to buy-up in the market, while, at the same time, many would-be homebuyers experienced the agony of being priced out of the market,” Rael said.

Meanwhile, sales activity bucked the normal seasonal slowdown.

There were 5,378 home sales in August, up 1.97 percent from 5,274 in July.

Rael saw this coming.


A snapshot of median home prices. Source: DMAR

In fact, he had expected a bigger month-to-month bump in sales, as he had noticed earlier that some homes that would have typically closed in July were being pushed into August. In some cases, that was because appraisals are taking longer than ever, he said.

Consumers still do not have many homes to choose from.

There were 7,327 active listings at the end of August, a 1.89 percent decline from 7,468 in July.

More telling, there was a 3.43 percent drop from the 7,587 active listings in August 2015.

Under contracts, also bucked a seasonal slowdown.

There were 5,597 homes placed under contract last month, a 3.98 percent increase from 5,383 in August 2015 and a 2.96 percent bump from 5,436 in July.

August ended overall with a 1.51-month supply of unsold homes, which equates to 6.5 weeks of inventory.

There were 118 single-family luxury home sales in August, a 13.46 percent increase from 104 in August 2015, but a 7.81 percent drop from 128 in July.

The average price per square foot for a luxury home sold last month was $281, an 11.95 percent jump from $251 in August 2015 and a 7.66 percent increase from $261 in July.

The most expensive home to trade hands last month was $5.321 million for a 7,826-square-foot home in Denver.

The most paid for a condo was $3.25 million for a 4,903-square-foot home in Denver.

Some nine luxury condos traded hands last month, a 28.57 percent increase from seven in July and in seven in August 2015.

“Homebuyers are still in charge in the luxury market with 7.91 months of single-family inventory and 8.33 months of condo inventory,” said Jill Schafer, DMAR Market Trends Committee member and a metro Denver real estate agent.

“Strides have been made to reduce that inventory with year-to-date single-family sales up 19.56 percent from 2015, and condo sales up 35.29 percent,” she said.

The DMAR report includes REcolorado data for Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park counties.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at 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, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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