If you were hoping the increasing housing prices sweeping the Denver market were going to finally drop in 2021 so you could afford a lower-priced home, you were out of luck, according to the end-of-year Denver Metro Real Estate Market Trends Report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.
“If you waited a year to buy the same house, the price would have gone from $455,000 to $545,000 today,” said Denver realtor and chair of the DMAR Market trends committee Andrew Abrams in the report.
At the end of December, there were only 1,477 houses on the market in the 11 county metro area — a 41.97% drop from what was available at the end of 2020.
The average closing price was $626,573, nearly 16% higher than the previous year. The median closing price was $545,000, or 19.78% higher than the previous year.
How’s this: Despite a shortage of housing stock, more homes were purchased in 2021 than any other year, according to the report, with 63,684 closings in total. Low interest rates, in part, helped push that trend.
DMAR isn’t optimistic about new builds coming to the Denver area, blaming supply-chain issues for disrupting builders’ schedules. The group also warns buyers that they should be looking at properties that cost around 10% less than they plan to spend, since bidding wars are still making homebuying competitive.
Renters are also facing steep prices in the Denver area, according to the rent report from the online rental listing site Zumper.
Denver, where median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,620, is the second most expensive city to rent in in Colorado, just behind Boulder, where rent is $1,660. Renters looking for relatively affordable digs should head to Greeley, where median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $990.
Denver rent went up 15% this year, according to the report, and Lakewood saw the highest rent increase in the metro area at 22%.
Eviction filings were lower than they were before the pandemic — though they are rising back toward pre-COVID levels and predictably increased in December, as they do month-over-month most years.
Homelessness continues to rise in the city.
According to the Metro Denver Homelessness Initiative’s annual point-in-time survey that counts how many people are experiencing homelessness on a single night in the metro area, 5,530 people were staying in shelters, transitional housing or safe havens on the night of the count. (That number does not include people experiencing homelessness outside the shelter system or those living in encampments and other arrangements.)
The year ended with the Marshall Fire, where thousands of people lost their homes in Louisville, Superior and unincorporated Boulder County.
The Colorado Apartment Association compiled a list of property managers and apartments with immediate vacancies, some of whom are offering bargains for survivors, but also acknowledged just how tight things are.
“In a situation like this, those who have lost so much are dealing with two issues – finding available housing as well as working with insurance companies to compensate for replacement housing. This housing directory addresses the first issue – finding available housing when Colorado is already in a housing crunch,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president of the Colorado Apartment Association, in a statement. “We will continue to work with organizations to help displaced families afford replacement housing, for those whose insurance is inadequate and for those who are waiting for insurance payments to start.”