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Preparing for Winter

Michelle Schwinghammer serves as a Director for the Colorado Association of Realtors and is a contributor to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors' Market Trends Committee which provides timely, consistent, and relevant summaries of valuable local real estate market statistical data to the public and press.


Halloween is behind us so let’s not sugarcoat things. A lot of people are stressed right now for legitimate reasons. National and global headlines on multiple issues have folks concerned, reticent and a bit unnerved. While it’s natural to want to pull up the covers and hibernate until spring, buyers and sellers willing to dig a bit deeper will benefit by studying the data to prepare for days ahead.

In October, the median price for a home in the Denver Metro area was $585,000, rock steady from the previous month. For homes between $500,000 and $749,999, the close-price-to-list-price ratio came in at 99.29 percent, the highest of all segments. In this range, attached homes performed as well as traditional detached single-family homes.

Year-over-year, the median price dipped 2.03 percent, but is up 10.48 percent from 2021, up 28.89 percent from 2020 and up 38.10 percent from 2019. The year-to-date price per square foot (PSF) in this market segment illustrates our affordability challenges more clearly. In 2019, it was $214. In 2023 it’s $277, increasing 29.44 percent in just four years.

In October, this price segment was the only one to offer fewer new listings year-over-year; unsurprisingly, month-over-month, it had the only positive pending transaction count. It’s a hot market because it’s a shrinking market, and it’s a shrinking market because affordability in the Denver Metro area is more challenging, not less.

For potential buyers reading headlines that suggest it’s ‘cheaper to rent,’ ask yourself, “but at what cost?” If affordability is getting worse, how does a lifetime of renting make long-term financial (or lifestyle) sense for you?

People can be their own worst enemy, acting only after too many others decide to do so first. But a window of opportunity exists right now and prepared buyers are seizing it, often with generous seller assistance for rate buydowns and other incentives to close by year’s end.

To sellers who want or need to sell, be realistic and be cautious. Values are holding steady, but buyer’s behaviors are changing. Your pool of prospects is smaller and more tentative than it was before. Meet and welcome buyers on realistic and attractive terms for your best chance to sell in a time frame that serves your long-term goals.

Read November's entire 29-page report with historical data, expert opinions and breakdowns by price point right here on my website. Until next time ... rest assured that I'm here for you, ready and able to help, and promise to be a real estate guide you can trust. Call me ~Schwing!


Michelle Schwinghammer is a REALTOR®, Certified Negotiation Expert® and Certified Pricing Strategy Advisor® who helps people move forward in Colorado. She currently serves as a Director for the Colorado Association of REALTORS and is honored to also be an expert contributor for the Denver Metro Association of REALTORS's Market Trends Committee.

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