June 13, 2017 / Denver Post - Real Estate, by Aldo Svaldi Metro Denver homebuyers have long struggled with slim pickings, but inventory shortages are becoming a growing concern across the state.
Across Colorado, there were 20,100 active residential listings available on the market at the end of May, according to a report Monday from the Colorado Association of Realtors.
That represents a 32 percent drop in the active inventory of homes for sale versus a year ago, with about 10,500 fewer single-family homes and 2,100 fewer condos available for sale.
Shortages remain acute in metro Denver. There were 6,223 single-family homes available for sale last month, down 37.5 percent from already depressed levels of a year earlier. The active inventory of condos was 1,565, a 14.5 percent drop from a year earlier.
Sellers showed up as expected in May, with new listings up more than 10 percent compared to April both statewide and in metro Denver. But buyers quickly grabbed what came on the market.
“We had the pleasure of seeing more listings come on the market in Boulder and Broomfield counties but they were gobbled up just as fast as they were listed. We are still in a strong, seller’s market,” Boulder-area Realtor Kelly Moye said.
Even in once quiet parts of the state, like Pueblo, for-sale housing markets have seen inventory dry up. Home sales there are up 5.1 percent and median prices are up 16.8 percent from a year ago, said David Anderson, a broker associate with Re/Max Pueblo West.
“We are way short of inventory. We had 66 homes for sale last week in Pueblo West, and that is in a community of 32,000,” Anderson said. Typically, the area has had 200 to 300 homes available for sale at any given time.
Builders have responded by ramping up construction. They have pulled 148 home permits in Pueblo County this year, putting them on track to easily surpass the 255 pulled last year, Anderson said.
With acre lots obtainable for $5,000 to $10,000, and tap and other fees taking a smaller bite than along the northern Front Range, builders are able to sell three-bedroom, two-bath, two-car garage homes with basements in Pueblo for $200,000 to $250,000.
Affordable prices are drawing in some metro Denver retirees looking to cash in on strong home price appreciation, as well as Colorado Springs workers getting pinched in that market, Anderson said.
Just as the heated metro Denver market spilled over into Colorado Springs, rising prices in Colorado Springs appear to be giving Pueblo’s housing market a boost.
Given the current pace of sales, the state has about a two months supply of homes on the market, or about which is about 34 percent below year-ago levels. Four to seven months supply represents a more balanced market.
The median sales price for a single-family home in metro Denver reached $407,000 in May, up 5.4 percent from a year ago and a new record. The median price of a condo/townhome sold was $268,000, up 9.4 percent.
Statewide, the median price for a single-family home reached $365,000, while the median condo/townhome sales price dipped slightly to $267,000. Both are up 9 percent from a year earlier.