By Kelcey McClung – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
While high prices and low inventory in Denver’s housing market dominated headlines well into 2018, 2019 is likely to see a softened market.
That’s according to Jill Schafer, chairwoman of Denver Metro Association of Realtors’ (DMAR) Market Trends Committee.
“Mid-year 2018, we saw a huge increase in inventory that we haven’t seen in years; that really slowed things down for sellers, and gave buyers a little more breathing room,” she said.
From June to July, the average and median prices of homes dropped, according to DMAR data. Inventory also hit a three-year high. At the time, the association called this a “perfect climate” for slowing activity and price reductions. In August, it hit a four-year high.
Though total inventory is still low, the still-significant increase has allowed buyers to take their time “a little bit more,” Schafer said. Houses have started to remain on the market a tad longer, as well – a whopping two weeks instead of three days in some cases, she joked.
“Buyers will like the market in 2019 better,” she said. “It won’t be as frenzied.” She added that when a person is looking to buy what will likely be their largest asset — a house — they don’t want to be rushed or forced to spend every last dime.
For a while now, inventory has been so short that anytime a house came on the market, it likely had multiple offers at or above the asking price. This year, Schafer expects that sellers might have to exert a little more work putting their home on the market — for example, staging their home.
“Sellers are going to need to start with their agent earlier, to make sure they get their house in the best shape,” she said.
In regard to home prices, which are still up year over year, Schafer said the trend of slower price increases is likely to continue through the year.
“We needed to get to a single-digit increase for more balance,” she said, and added that owners will still see a good level of appreciation, but not at the dizzying double-digit rate of years past.
“I think we’ll see more normalizing of the market; a little more balance between buyer and seller,” she said.