Denver saw home sales plunge by a fifth in February from January, but
even that big drop failed to boost the inventory of homes on the market,
according to a report Friday from Metrolist.
In February, buyers closed on 2,645 homes, a 21 percent decline from
the 3,342 properties that closed in January, according to Metrolist.
February started cold and has three fewer days than January, but that alone can't explain such a big decline.
New mortgage rules went into effect in January and
they could have disqualified some borrowers or, more likely, slowed
down the timing of purchases, suggested Gary Bauer, an independent real
estate analyst. "That is causing some of the under contracts to sit out
Metrolist's numbers show homes under contract, but not yet sold, rose
10 percent to 4,001 in February from January. The number of homes sold
plus those put under contract only dropped 4.6 percent in February from
That may partially explain why the inventory didn't spike. But
Boulder mortgage banker Lou Barnes said the market's biggest challenge
remains a lack of supply.
"We are locked up," he said, of the lack of sellers.
The number of homes available for sale dropped to 7,441 from 7,610,
and the average time of the market for listings fell to 57 days from 61
between January and February.
"We continue to maintain a supply of just 11 weeks, and while prices
are stable now, we expect them to increase as buyers become more active
in the spring and summer," said Kirby Slunaker, Metrolist's CEO and
president, in a statement.
The average price of a home sold declined 3 percent from $302,251 in January to $294,565 in February, the report said.
Bauer said such a large percentage drop in closings would have worried him much more if it had happened in the spring or summer.
"We aren't in the prime buying season," he said.
Data provided by Coldwell Banker shows that unlike metro Denver,
Boulder, Weld and Larimer counties saw the number of home closings rise
in February from January.
Aldo Svaldi: 303-954-1410, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/aldosvaldi
Denver home sales
Feb 2014: 2,645
Jan. 2014: 3,342
Feb. 2013: 2,967