Predictable Market Masks Great Opportunities

Mike Cooke October 26, 2016 Market Trends

September stats show metro Denver’s residential real estate market repeating a predictable pattern. Prices are up 10% to 12%. The number of homes closed is almost identical to last year. Inventory remains steady. Yada, Yada, Yada.

Here are the actual numbers:

This predictable performance of the overall market, however, conceals the fact that the market is not uniform in every neighborhood and area within metro Denver. There is micro-geographic variability in the market that creates opportunities for buyers and sellers at every time of the year.

For example, Fall is the season when home prices tend to moderate. While prices are generally up at double digit rates from a year ago, they are often flat or even retreating from early summer highs during the last few months of the year. This creates an opportune moment for buyers.

Zip code 80220 is a good example. Covering Hilltop, Montclair and parts of Park Hill, the average price in this area went from $530k last September to $605k in July. That average price has gone flat and now stands at $603k, creating a nice chance to get into that area before next Spring’s anticipated price increases.

Or how about zip code 80125, the area south of Chatfield Reservoir? The average sale price went from $438k last December to a high of $471k in May but it is now back down to $449k. You can actually buy right now and be closer to last year’s low price than to this year’s high price.

There are innumerable zip codes in metro Denver where buyers can take advantage of this seasonal moderation and retreat in home prices.

Sellers can get in on the fun also. It’s settle wisdom in the real estate world that the best selling season is late Spring and early Summer. Home prices peak during that time, right? Turns out that this is not universally true.

Check out zip code 80121, covering the western parts of Greenwood Village and Centennial. Average sale prices actually declined in this zip code from a February high of $702k to a low of $675k in May. Now they have zoomed up to $730k. Owners selling now in this area are doing better than they would have in the supposed Spring/Summer peak season.

Significant take-away: The market is not uniform. You see lots of news about price trends in metro Denver, but no one ever buys or sells a home in Metro Denver. They buy and sell in Highlands Ranch or Bonnie Brae or western Arvada or Thornton. The market in those areas may be behaving differently from the overall market as a whole.

There are literally hundreds of micro-markets within the Denver area based on geography, price range and property type. Depending on what you need to buy or sell, you can take advantage of local conditions that buck overall metro Denver trends.

Take a look at the one page summaries of the overall market that are linked below. Every CHR agent has access to a program that lets them look at similar stats for particular zip codes where you plan to buy and/or sell. Have your CHR agent do that for you and see if this Fall and Winter might be the best time for you to be making that move you want to make.

Single Family Homes September 2016
Multi-Family Homes September 2016