As a founding real estate agent with Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek in Denver, Colorado, I keep a close watch on real estate trends, both local and national. This summer, the upturn in year-over-year sales that many of us predicted has occurred, a positive sign for the months to come. With a leaner inventory at hand, we are entering a phase of home buyers intensifying competition for quality, affordable properties.
A year ago, dark clouds were on the horizon as the Homebuyer Tax Credit ended in April 2010. At the time, pressure was intense to close sales, as all pending or under-contract properties were required to close by the end of June. If home buyers failed to meet this deadline, they would not qualify for the tax credit. While this date was ultimately extended to September, the important point to remember is that real estate professionals believed that the final date to close by was June 30. This makes it interesting to observe that Denver achieved year-over-year sales increases in June and July, even without the boost that tax credit deadlines gave home sales last year.
While residential real estate inventory in the Denver area increased very slightly from May to July, the overall trend from a year ago is fewer available homes on the market. This reflects more pending and under-contract properties and increased levels of closings. While it is unwise to make definitive statements about the real estate market, a combination of several factors seems to be firming up real estate prices. Two major drivers are historically low interest rates and home prices that offer a substantial discount from market highs.
With positive market fundamentals in place, and realistic valuations, prices are on a gradual incline: a 3.5 percent rise was recorded from May to July. While this is a slower rate of gain than sellers would hope for, it does seem to indicate that a healthy and active market is beginning to emerge again. Sales in the Denver area were much less robust a year ago, and I am now encountering individuals and families who are very enthusiastic about the prospect of finding a residential property in the Denver area.
About the Author:
A longtime presence on the Denver real estate scene, Gretchen Faber was named Realtor of the Year by the Denver Board of REALTORS in 2009.