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'A Lot Of Patience': Pandemic Doesn't Slow Denver Housing Market

DENVER (CBS4) - The Denver Metro Association of REALTORS released the latest figures on trends in home buying and selling on Wednesday recording another record number of sales for the month of July. There were a record number of pending sales in June that set an all-time high for closings in July and pushed the average single-family home price above $600,000.

"Denver is really competitive, people will come in 30% over the asking price and just buy it with cash," said Taylor Bartlett, a home buyer looking to own his first house. "It's still crazy."

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Nearly 7% more properties closed in July for the Denver area compared to the previous high in 2017, according to DMAR. While the trend happening was expected, the final numbers still exceeded expectations for members of the organization. The growing demand fueled by home-showings put on hold at the beginning of the pandemic only added to the challenge buyers are facing with a lack of choices on the market. Biding on homes above the asking price is happening on a majority of properties.

"It is up and down and it requires a lot of patience, a lot of patience," said Jill Schafer, chair of the DMAR Trends Committee and a real estate agent for Kentwood Real Estate. "Unfortunately, our affordability issue in Denver is so large anyway, that this is probably going to make it a bigger deal."

A new record of the average price for single-family homes set in July reached $601,863, which is an increase of 7.68% higher than the month before and 9.92 percent above July 2019. It is a seller's market, according to Schafer, but those residents will face their own challenge if they are looking to move into a new home. The people in the market currently seem to be least affected by the pandemic.

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"The buyers are really going to have to put it out there to get a home, sellers are having to be concerned about where are they going to go next," she said.

Bartlett has been in the market for a few months and has increased his budget to remain competitive, looking for a home in the neighborhoods he most desires. Living close to downtown and having a convenient commute for when he does work back in the office remain important to him.

"Being close to the city is really nice, I work down there," he said. "Even though the inventory is low, it's really nice to be close to the city, there's a lot of stuff to do."

People like him looking to buy at the moment seem to have a level of security over most affected by the pandemic, who are in the renters market. Even if some are changing jobs or looking to downsize, they can still afford to own a home in this economy. Others are choosing to live close to family, or they may have more money set aside because they are not spending it during the pandemic and want to upgrade their home.

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"I think that's going to continue to make the housing market one of the most stable and strongest sections of our economy," Schafer said. "What will lead our economy out of some of the downturns. "

While Denver remains a popular destination nationally because of its access to the outdoors and moderate weather, home ownership is at a 12-year high across the country , according to DMAR. The trends also are across styles of homes with prices increasing for detached homes along as well as the total inventory combined of both detached and attached houses. Interest rates remaining low without any sign of them rising is also helping the market. Home buyers and agents agree, anyone in the market at the moment has to be prepared for rejection. If they're committed to living in the metro area, they will need time to find the right home.

"I love Colorado, I love Denver, it's a really nice city," Bartlett said. "Be patient, you're going to be let down a lot, it's like dating."

LINK: Denver Metro Area Realtors

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