The most frightening part of October could have quite possibly been the lack of inventory. The Denver Metro Association of Realtors reported a mere 6,312 actively listed single-family homes and condos on the market last month, an all-time low for an October. The active inventory was down 16.79% from September. While there is always a month-to-month drop this time of the year, last month marked a 49% larger percentage drop from September to October than in 2016.
On a year-over-year basis, the active inventory fell 6.22%, which was more in line with the 5.94% drop experienced during the same period last year. Fewer new listings hit the market last month, too. The 4,724 new listings marked a 19.2% drop from the 5,847 added to the market in September and a 3% drop from the number of new listings a year earlier.
The lack of inventory is not only frustrating for buyers, but it also is pushing up the prices of homes. The average price of all homes sold last month was $443,873, a 3.9% increase from September and an 11.85% jump from October 2016, according to DMAR. One good piece of news, however, is that the 5,411 homes placed under contract last month represented a 9.5% increase from September and a 9.9% increase from October 2016. The 4,450 sales, though, were down 9.75% and 7.9%, respectively, from September and a year earlier.
With so few homes on the market, it was not surprising that the months of inventory dropped. October ended with only 1.49-months of inventory, which is slightly less than 6.5 weeks. That is a 12.35% drop from the MOI in October 2016. The market was especially tight in the price band from $200,000 to just under $400,000, with less than a month’s supply available in October. The months of inventory, as it always is, was highest for homes priced at $1 million or more. There is a 6-month supply of homes in that price range, which is a 38.4% drop in the months of inventory in that category a year ago.
Interestingly, the luxury market is the one that arguably is the most balanced between buyers and sellers. Luxury homes, in fact, set a record for sales in an October last month. There were 158 homes priced at more than $1 million that traded hands last month, a 49% year-over-year jump and a 32.8% increase from September, DMAR’s statistics show. As we head into the holiday season, which will likely bring the normal, seasonal slowdown, the Denver market remains a strong seller’s market.