It’s time to review the Denver-area’s housing market performance in the first half of the year. For the first time ever, total home sales eclipsed $10 billion. According to a recent report by the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, from January through June, buyers paid a record $10.17 billion for single-family homes, condos and townhomes. That is a 7.21% year-over-year increase from the previous record of $9.486 billion, which was set in the first six months of last year. Record dollar volume occurred despite total sales dipping by 2.4% from the same period in 2015. That is because the average price of all homes sold year-to-date in the Denver market is approaching $400,000, a 9.84% increase from where home prices stood a year earlier.
One reason prices are so high is that there still aren’t enough homes on the market. Some 34,619 new listings came on the market in the first half of the year, a 1.3% dip from last year. The good news is the number of active listings, the actual number of homes for sale, was up 9.7% from the first six months of 2015. The bad news is that you don’t have to look back too far to find more homes available for house hunters. There were 12.8% more homes for sale in 2014. And go back to 2012, just as the housing market was starting to recover from the Great Recession, there were 37.8% more homes on the market.
What does the second half of the year hold? No one knows for sure, but one thing buyers can expect to continue is the unexpected gift of low mortgage rates. Rates could even hit an all-time low this year. A silver lining of Brexit, Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, is that it has driven down interest rates. A year ago, just about every expert was predicting rates would rise this year to about 4.5%. Instead, rates for a 30-year loan are hovering around 3.5%. Low rates could bring even more buyers into Denver’s market. And unless the supply dramatically rises that means Denver record homes prices will go on higher.