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Lack Of Housing Inventory Has Denver Buyers Looking At New Construction Market

DENVER (CBS4) - National home sales increased more than 1 percent in February, but realtors say tight inventories and a lack of affordable housing could mean sluggish sales over the next few months. Examples of the housing squeeze are occurring in the Denver metro area.

Real estate brokers say year over year they're seeing a lack of inventory in the Colorado housing market. That creates frustration for buyers as they compete for homes and lose out on multiple offers, which is why the new construction market is being looked at more and more by buyers.

"We are moving from Thornton to Denver, so we thought that if we were going to move to Denver we better do it now because prices are rising and things are changing so quickly," new home buyer Mindy Verdecchio said.

Verdecchio noticed how competitive the Denver housing market was when she began shopping for a new home. It's the reason why she settled on new construction in the Stapleton area.

"I just didn't want the fight. I just felt like it was going to be nice and easy. I liked the idea of being able to pick the things that I wanted to pick," she said.

Real estate agent Andrew Nagel says some of the brokers in his RE/MAX of Cherry Creek office are astonished by how many offers are going into some resale homes.

"Thirty offers on one house in Denver; another broker in our office has recently been shopping with her buyers and has written 16 offers in last 6 weeks, and those buyers still don't have a house to move into yet," Nagel said.

Housing Home Construction Building Generic
(credit: CBS)

Nagel says about 30 percent of his buyers are now choosing new construction, which also comes with some built-in perks.

"In 6 or 9 months that pricing is going to go up and up and up, so by the time you close and move into your house you've built in some equity," he said.

Verdecchio says the other benefit behind new construction is she's got plenty of time to prepare for her move as she waits for her new home to be built.

"I want the house to feel like it suits our needs. It doesn't have to be too big, it just needs to suit what we want," she said.

In 2013 there were 7,577 active listings of Colorado homes in January. The same time this year that number dropped to 5,152 homes -- a 26.2 percent decrease.

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