Thursday, April 19, 2012

Denver Market a Seller's Paradise

How fast is the market moving? A new report shows that Denver is No. 2 in the nation for the shortest time a home stays listed — 33 days — far below the national median time of 89 days. (There are no less than 1,753 houses plus another 608 townhomes and condos under contract right now in Denver city alone!)
New advice from the trenches on buying a home: Look early. Think fast. Hone your quick-draw skills with the checkbook.
Metro Denver's real estate market, not along ago a buyer's domain, suddenly has shifted to a seller's paradise, at least in some neighborhoods and price ranges.
Realtors' offices are rife with fresh anecdotes of sellers happily cherry-picking from multiple offers — some of them above asking price.
Until recently, prospective buyer Patty Kupfer had viewed shopping for a home as a weekend diversion. You know, tell your broker that you're available, say, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
"There's no such thing anymore as a weekend home tour," Kupfer said this week. "Because if you wait 'til the weekend, nothing's going to be there. If you're just looking casually, you're not really in the market."
Kupfer, managing director of a non-profit immigration reform organization, said she has adjusted her approach in the face of vigorous competition from other buyers.
"Every house I've looked at has gone under contract within 48 hours," she said. "This has forced me to be more serious about it. The very next house that seems like a good fit, we're going to visit it that very day" that it's first listed.
In recent months, buyer demand has surged and the number of homes for sale in metro Denver has dropped sharply.
Unsold homes on the market totalled 10,325 at the end of March, a 42 percent drop from March of 2011.
The result is that for some neighborhoods and some price ranges, available homes are in short supply and selling fast.
In particularly high demand are homes priced from $250,000 to $400,000 and in central Denver neighborhoods such as Park Hill, Congress Park, Curtis Park, Mayfair and Highlands, said Michelle Ackerman, Denver-area manager and broker for Redfin.
Sellers of homes listed higher than $500,000 generally aren't enjoying the market heat.
What can be a frustrating endeavor for buyers is a pleasant relief for sellers.
-Source: The Denver Post Steve Raabe