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By, Steve Blank, managing broker of Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty’s downtown Denver office
Denver was the fastest moving housing market throughout the country in July according to the National Association of Realtors (out of 140 metro areas). It only took an average of 27 days to sell a home, compared to about 2 months nationally.

Denver has experienced a “good energy” market since the first quarter of 2012 and continues to impress, as we close the third quarter of 2014. The reasons are no longer hazy or complicated after nearly 3 years of positive and consistent growth;

      1) The supply of available inventory for sale has not met current demand.
      2) Interest rates have remained very attractive, and
      3) Consumer confidence continues to improve.

From a strictly real estate investment viewpoint, Denver has experienced approximately 30% price appreciation since the first quarter of 2012, making it a nationally known emerging city with optimistic designs for the future. Figures from our local Metrolist, covering the seven county metro area, show the average price of a Detached Single Family home in January of 2012 was $272,500 compared to $373,800 this past July (up 38%), while Average Time (to sell) on the Market dropped from 103 days to 27. The Attached Condo/Townhome market also enjoyed similar improvement with prices rising from $151,000 (in 1/12) to $223,100 this July.

Buyers and Sellers can both position themselves to take advantage of and be competitive in this progressive climate. Although most consider this to be a sellers market, buyers can help themselves by:

      1) Take the initial time to get pre-qualified for financing and accompany your offer to buy with a pre-approval letter from a respected lender.
      2) Ask your Realtor to learn the sellers preferred dates for closing and possession.
      3) Keep all your contract contingency dates efficient for inspections, approvals etc.

If a home has the potential to sell quickly, then sellers may want to prepare themselves appropriately as well. Before, and during the time your home is for sale, it is prudent to check out first choice neighborhoods so that you are ready to select a new home once yours goes under contract. For most people, it is preferable to sell before buying a new home. That said, finding that home can happen quickly or may take a month or two. Temporarily, you might prepare to store furniture and rent a furnished apartment or hotel space. However in a sellers market it’s quite possible to negotiate an extended closing date out for 60 or more days allowing time to find a suitable new home. If you have the ability to buy without selling the current home, the issue becomes more about preference than money.

Other reasons Denver continues to be so competitive is that it was ranked #1 in the nation for employment and earning opportunities in the most recent survey. Denver was compared to the 150 largest U.S. cities using 18 different metrics including: number of new businesses, increased median household income, home price appreciation, foreclosure rate decrease and the drop in the employment rate (5.3% compared to the national average hovering over 6%). And it gets even better when you introduce characteristics such as the weather, recreational opportunities, all major sports, the educated populace, more parks per capita of any major city, many cultural venues, concerts, average age of 33 years old, good public transportation (and improving), eco-friendly city and state, and oh yeah…the mountains in winter and summer.

Denver and Colorado have become a desired destination location not only because it’s so enjoyable to live here, but because it is regarded as economically bright and promising. The secret is out!

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