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June 2, 2019

Changes We’re Seeing in the Stapleton Real Estate Market

Is Stapleton real estate heating up … or cooling down?  In this post we’ll cover recents trends in the local real estate market and what to expect if you’re thinking about selling or buying a home this summer.

As we spend time with friends and family at the first summer BBQs, we inevitably end up in conversations related to the real estate market.  This year we’re hearing things like “There are a lot of homes for sale” or “My neighbor listed their home for sale a few weeks back and it’s still available.”  These aren’t the types of statements we’re used to hearing about real estate for the past 5 years, and it could be a sign that the market is entering a new phase.

Here at Focus Real Estate, we spend a good deal of time focused on Denver and Stapleton real estate data and metrics.  Having spent years analyzing, producing, and publishing healthcare data in my past life at Children’s Hospital Colorado, I’m strongly of the mind that a “big data”-based approach to real estate can tell you a lot about the market, and even your specific Stapleton home.

So before we get too deep into this article, I wanted to list three key macro data points from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR)’s May 2019 Market Trends Report:

Denver Active Inventory – Single Family Homes

April 2018:      3,851 homes

April 2019:      4,891 homes

Increase in home inventory: +27.01%

Denver “days on market” (average) – Single Family Homes

April 2018:      22 days

April 2019:      28 days

Increase in days on market: +27.27%

Denver sales price (average) – Single Family Homes

April 2018:      $545,113

April 2019:      $553,371

Increase in average sales price: +1.51%

So to recap, there are more homes for sale, they’re taking longer to sell, and on average prices are up slightly from last year’s records highs.  From Focus’ perspective, these are all signs that the market may be “normalizing” or “balancing.”  It means with increased home inventory buyers on certain (but not all) deals are finally getting a little bit of leverage back.

What about Stapleton?  Is our neighborhood seeing the same general trends as the Denver market as a whole?

Here’s what we’re seeing in the Stapleton real estate market.  Remember, these are only anecdotes, and may/may not apply to everyone and every home in Stapleton.  In other words, plenty of exceptions exist!

  • There seems to be more competition if you’re selling your Stapleton home right now, and conversely if you’re a buyer you seem to have more leverage than you’ve had for quite some time, in part because you have more options.  This balancing of leverage is property and deal-specific, however.  There are plenty of seller-favorable, “multiple offer” deals.  But there are also more buyer-favorable deals now than in recent years.
  • Many (but not all) homes sell at premium prices.  Keep in mind that Denver hit an all-time home price record high in 2018 … and average sale prices are up from those numbers.
  • Some Stapleton buyers aren’t as quick to pull the trigger and submit an offer as they’ve been in recent history.  Focus’ realtors are hearing statement like “the buyers love your home … they just need to take some time and think about it.”  This makes sense in the context of the 27.27% increase in days on market for Denver single family homes generally – fewer showings, slower offers, slower deals.
  • Some sellers are now starting to consider contingent offers (i.e., offers to buy a home that are contingent on the buyer selling his/her home first).
  • Buyers on some deals have more leverage when it comes to the possession/closing date.  The past few years, many sellers could dictate possession/closing dates without much argument.  That isn’t always the case now.
  • The market for aggressively-priced, staged, high quality homes is very bullish.  Staging needs to be a ‘10′ though, and the home needs to be priced in the middle of what the comparable sales indicate it’s worth.
  • The availability of new Stapleton home lots in Beeler Park, Bluff Lake, and North End are an alternative path for buyers who want a home in Stapleton.  We’re seeing quite a few buyers go the new build route, so when sellers price their resale home they should consider whether their list price is competitive with the new build alternative.  (Side note:  If you’re one of those buyers who might be interested in new builds in North End, you’ll love the updates we provide at HomesinNorthEnd.com).

Ok, let’s pause for a moment and look at the bigger picture.  From our perspective, what we’re seeing from a data and an anecdotal Realtor perspective is a market “normalization” story, where both sellers and buyers are on a more equal playing field.  This isn’t necessarily bad, since every seller is potentially a buyer (they need a place to live, after all!).  A market where sellers or buyers enjoy substantial leverage over the other isn’t going to be a healthy market long-term.  And here at Focus we’ve seen that a heavily seller-favorable market over the past few years – while great for current homeowners – has created friction and market opt-outs, which again isn’t ideal for the health of the market long term.

Another bigger picture trend we might see if Denver’s home inventory remains high is the re-emergence into the market of renters and current homeowners who feel “stuck” by the incredible recent home appreciation trend in Denver and whom have opted out of the buying and selling market the past few years.  How many times have you heard someone say “I’d love to stop renting … but how in the world am I going to buy a home?”  Or even “I’d love to sell my current home and move, but I don’t even want to begin thinking about how I’m going to buy another home when the competition is so hot!”  Those are two potential people who may now want to consider re-entering the market, knowing they have more leverage and more options.

So from Focus Real Estate’s perspective, that’s where the Stapleton real estate market stands as of the start of the summer buying and selling season.  Will the trends discussed in this article continue through the summer and into the fall?  We’ll have to wait and see, of course.  In the meantime, be sure to check out our weekly real estate updates in the Scoop every Friday.

Last but not least, if you’re considering a move or just have questions, we’d love to chat!  Shoot me a note or give me a call any time (my contact info is below!).

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