Multiple offers on almost every home. Outrageous demand because of high rents and low interest rates, and low inventory is by definition what we in the real estate industry call a "Seller's Market."
The price of previously occupied homes sold in the metro area shot up in April as buyers battled over a limited number of homes available for sale.
"Low inventory levels coupled with buyer demand is upping buyer competition, resulting in a fast-paced market and increasing home prices," said Gary Bauer, an independent real estate research analyst who prepared the report.
The median price of a single-family home sold in April was $280,000, compared with $268,200 in March. The median price of condos sold rose from $154,000 to $163,500.
April's report showed the seasonal pattern of home activity gearing up, but without a commensurate increase in homes coming onto the market.
The number of homes under contract increased 14.7 percent from March to 6,855. The number of homes closed rose 8.8 percent to 4,714.
That far outstrips the 3.9 percent increase to 6,945 in the inventory of homes available for sale in April versus March. In April 2012, there were 10,254 homes available for sale.
An analysis done by Jim Smith, owner of Golden Real Estate, found that homes listed for sale since April 1 spent a median four days on the market before going under contract.
"Sellers, be prepared for multiple offers and informed enough to capitalize on creative offers," Bauer said.
Where the numbers really startle are on a year-to-year comparison. The number of home resales closed last month was up 21.2 percent from April 2012. By contrast, the number of unsold homes on the market dropped by nearly a third.
The market is getting tighter despite a strong push from homebuilders to add supply. Metrostudy,in a quarterly survey, found that builders started 1,596 homes in the first quarter in metro Denver, a 52 percent increase from the 1,050 in the same period a year earlier.
They closed on 1,425 homes, a 39 percent jump from the first quarter of 2012. Metrostudy forecasts a 35% increase in home starts in 2013 after a 55% jump in 2012. A shortage of available lots and rising prices will reduce the growth rate of starts, the company predicts.