The 2021 Denver real estate market is unlike anything we have seen in previous years and continues to defy seasonal trends. An accelerated market, decreased inventory, high prices, and now buyer fatigue are all prevailing themes throughout Denver Metro. Keep in mind year-over-year data is a reflection of how the pandemic impacted the real estate industry last year and also supports the concept of increased buyer demand.
The Denver Metro area has hit a new average sales price record of $700,559 for single-family detached properties. In May, closings were up ~18%, despite active listings being down ~4% year-to-date from 2020. While detached single family homes continued to rise in urgency and price, attached inventory (condos, townhomes) experienced weakness, and in May buyers who noticed those weaknesses moved on a relative opportunity, creating the lowest month-end active inventory on record leaving just 739 properties on the market at the end of May. Any weakness in the attached market has since dissipated and a strong seller’s market is present in every property category and price point.
Demand in the luxury product segment remains unprecedented in Denver in both the attached and detached markets, and the Metro area has higher sales volume and homes have fewer days in the Multiple Listing Service than in 2019 and 2020. Attached inventory statistics were impressive, closing ~687% higher than last year, likely a testament to restrictions being lifted and buyer hopes of the pandemic woes being behind us. Consider the May 2019 closed sales in the attached Luxury Market of 109 residences, and in 2021, the Metro Denver area is at 223 total. A similar trend can be seen for the detached Luxury Market, where in 2019, May closed out with 826 residences sold, and this year we are at 1,624 total.
Among Realtor circles, buyer fatigue is a prevalent topic of conversation, but like a marathon, the process is simply slowing buyers from crossing the finish line while interest rates remain relatively consistent and low. Buyers are still making decisions faster than ever before as the Metro area is seeing attached and detached properties for single-digit days in the MLS from more than double that in 2019.
Denver also leads the recovery among many cities in the rental market where median prices were up ~6% year-over-year as of May 2021 data. In downtown Denver, properties with lower vacancy rates have eliminated any pandemic concessions while those in a lease-up phase are offering up to six weeks free rent. Private owner rental inventory continues to perform well, especially single family homes and townhomes offering more work from home space and private outdoor settings.