Denver Post: Spring was expected to bring out Denver metro home sellers, lured by high prices and shorter sales time.
The April home-sales numbers for the area, however, show that wasn't the case — leaving buyers to struggle with a barren inventory ahead of the peak home-shopping season.
"We are at the mercy of inventory. Higher prices aren't bringing the sellers out," said Chris Mygatt, president and CEO of Coldwell Bankers Residential Brokerage in Denver, which Thursday released a compilation of last month's housing numbers.
There were 5,572 homes for sale in metro Denver at the end of April, compared with 8,716 a year earlier, a number considered unnaturally tight even back then.
There were 4,092 homes sold in April, up 15.1 percent from the 3,556 sold in March but down 6.3 percent from the number sold in April 2013.
Condos were especially hit hard. Only 331 sold last month, compared with the 892 that sold in April 2013, a collapse of 62.9 percent, according to Coldwell.
The median price for condos sold in April was $160,000 versus $157,000 in March and $168,000 a year earlier.
Sales of detached single-family homes were up 15.1 percent month over month and 8.2 percent year over year in April.
The median price for a single-family home sold in April was $268,000, up from $264,000 in March and down from $280,000 in April 2013, according to Coldwell.
Metro Denver homes are selling within an average of 37 days of listing, one of fastest turnover times anywhere. But that number masks several mispriced homes in poor condition or undesirable locations that just aren't moving.
The notion that a person can put their home on the market at any price is a mistake, Mygatt said.
So why haven't higher prices drawn more sellers? One theory is that homeowners who aren't leaving the area realize they will have to replace any property they sell. The slim prospects make them more inclined to stay put.
"The Denver real estate story is an inventory story," Mygatt said.