Denver metro housing market stalls at hottest point

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DENVER – SEPTEMBER 21: A member of a construction crew works on the exterior of a new home on September 21, 2010 in the Stap neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. Housing starts increased more than expected in August to their highest level in four months and permits for future home construction rose, the government reported on Tuesday. The fresh data suggested the housing market was starting to stabilize following the end of a tax credit on new homes. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver housing market has cooled in temperature from blinding supernova to merely red-hot lava.

The Denver housing market has stalled at the record high numbers it has seen for the last year. The record influx of transplants into Colorado over the last decade had already squeezed the market. When a nationwide space race began during the pandemic, the trend only intensified.

People packed into the state at record rates and apartment-dwellers sought more square footage during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Denver metro prices that had already been climbing reached their highest points in June, when the median sales price for a single family home hit $585,000.

Since then, the market has cooled, if only from white-hot to red-hot.

In August, the median price for a single family home in Denver metro counties was $565,000, which is $20,000 lower than June’s record-breaking high, but still the fourth-highest price in history behind the summer of 2021.

It took half a decade for that price to grow by 64%, and top half a million dollars. Only five years ago in Aug. 2015, the metro median price was $345,000 – itself a record high.

Buyers aren’t paying quite as much over asking price as they were in the summer, but they’re still paying well above it and in record percentages.

In August, buyers paid an average 102.6% of a single family home’s listing price, down from 105.4% in both May and June. Instead of $31,500 over asking, they’re only paying $15,000.

Together, this all means the Denver metro is as unaffordable as it has ever been, minus the late spring and early summer months of 2021.

The housing affordability index is the measure of how affordable a region’s housing is to its consumers based on interest rates, median sales price and median income by county. The Denver metro area’s housing affordability index has been in a freefall since January 2012, when it sat just under 300. By June 2021, it had reached its lowest-ever point at 66.

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