"Denver housing prices increased at a steady and sustainable rate of half of 1 percent per month throughout the 1990s into the 2000s. No major price corrections were required here as opposed to other areas of the country that saw 3 percent per month housing price increases," said Patrick Armbrust, owner of Armbrust Real Estate Institute. Armbrust is also a real estate broker and appraiser.
The Denver metro area's median sales price was $216,000 in May, a 2.9 percent year-over-year rise. Homes were on the market an average 109 days before selling during that month.
"We are seeing modest but consistent price increases. We see a great deal of activity in the lower price points, (at or below) $250,000," Armbrust said.
"(That) market is generally a seller's market whereby multiple offers are seen. If a property is priced to comparables and shows well, marketing times are abbreviated and multiple offers are common. Inventory of these homes is low and buyers have to get aggressive with offers."
While the Denver area's foreclosure rate is lower than the national average -- 1 in 156 homes received a foreclosure filing in the second quarter -- distressed properties are a major force in the market.
Lon Welsh, Roberts' business partner at Your Castle Real Estate, estimates 35 to 45 percent of the area's sales in the last three years have been short sales or bank-owned (REO) properties.
"For the past couple of years the REO volume has been declining while short-sale volume has been increasing. Neighborhoods under $250,000 have a much higher percentage of (distressed) sales than more upscale areas of town. This tends to mirror the rest of the U.S. market," Welsh said.
Investor buyers are particularly interested in the distressed market. Of the 29 deals Roberts has participated in so far this year, all have been distressed, he said.
"Most of my clients are taking advantage of the unique combination of record-low vacancies, surging rents, record-low interest rates, and static prices to buy and hold rental properties for the long term. This is a segment of the market that is on fire right now," he said.
The Denver metro area had an 8.7 percent unemployment rate in June. "We have a huge solar business community here (we have 300 days of sun a year -- the snow you see on weather reports is usually in the mountains), and it drives job growth for the future," Altieri said.
"It's less expensive to have a business here than California, so many 'Cali' companies have moved here. We also have the second largest federal worker population in the U.S."
The area's population grew 16.5 percent from 2000-10, to 2.5 million, and is projected to grow 21.1 percent by 2020.
"The mountains tend to attract an educated, athletic population from all over America, so our population growth has been strong during this downturn," Roberts said.
Article came from Inman News August 2011
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