Inventory of unsold homes plummets

Unsold home inventory plummets in Denver area.

In January, Denver’s inventory of unsold homes fell to 1.2 months.

The inventory of unsold condos and townhomes? A mere 3 weeks.

A historical snapshot of the months supply of unsold homes in the Denver area. Source: Colorado Association of Realtors.

A historical snapshot of the months of inventory  of unsold homes in the Denver area. Source: Colorado Association of Realtors.

In real estate parlance, the supply of unsold homes is known as MOI —Months of Inventory.

In the Denver area, it might be time to change the acronym to WOI  — Weeks of Inventory.

At the end of January, there was a 1.2-month supply of unsold single-family homes on the market, a mere 5.2 weeks, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Colorado Association of Realtors.

The inventory of unsold condos and townhomes was even tighter.

There was only a 0.7-month supply of inventory of condos and townhomes available at the end of January, according to CAR.

What that means, is if buyer demand remained the same and no new condos and townhomes were added to the market, they all would be gone in three weeks.

“The market is as tight as it has ever been,” said Lane Hornung, CEO of 8z Real Estate.

Hornung expects that trend to continue into the spring and summer, when more buyers enter the market, but not a commensurate number of additional listings.

Unfortunately for buyers that means frenzied bidding wars, much like last spring and summer, he noted.

Of course, that is good news for sellers, as prices will likely continue their record climb.

In many cases, however, sellers are also buyers, so while they can sell their homes at top dollar, they also must pay a high price for a replacement home, especially if they are staying in their neighborhood, according to Hornung and other housing experts.

The CAR data shows that the inventory of unsold single-family in January homes fell 29.4 percent from 1.7 months in January 2015.

It was the lowest months of inventory since at least 2010, when CAR began tracking the local and state markets.

Last month also was the fourth consecutive month that the supply of all homes fell.

The inventory of unsold condos and townhomes showed a much larger percentage drop, falling 41.7 percent from a 1.2-month supply in January 2015, according to CAR’s data.

By most metrics, January was a good month, noted independent broker Gary Bauer.

“We had plenty of new homes added to the market, lots of under contracts and sales,” Bauer noted.

He said he expects that as the snow melts and spring approaches, more buyers will take advantage of the strong market and list their homes for sale.

By the numbers, CAR reported:

  • Some 3,001 new single-family home listings were added in January, a 3.5 percent year-over-year increase.
  • There were 2,222 single-family home sales, an 11.2 percent increase from January 2015. Townhome and condo sales rose 6.6 percent.
  • The number of pending and under contracts for single-family homes rose by 12.3 percent for single-family homes and 13.4 percent for condos and townhomes, on a year-over-year basis.
  • The average sales price of a single-family home rose 11.5 percent to $405,929. The average price of condos and townhomes jumped 16.3 percent to $270,215.
  • The year-over-year median price of a single-family home rose 10.3 percent to $344,000, while the median prices of condos/townhomes at $215,000 rose 15.4 percent.


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