The Denver housing market wasn't hit as hard as some other cities following the burst of the housing bubble, but the city and its metro area still struggled to gain traction until the market came roaring back to life in 2013. With 2014 underway, buyers and sellers in Denver can look forward to another strong year of price gains, though prices should rise at a much slower pace compared to last spring, according to The Denver Post.
"I perceive a healthy and more balanced market this year," Steve Blank, managing broker at Fuller Sotheby's in downtown Denver, told the Post.
Denver housing by the numbers
In 2013, a tight inventory of homes paired with low mortgage rates swung the market heavily in favor of sellers. While the median price rose 10 percent, the number of transactions closed climbed more than 26 percent, according to data from Metrolist cited by the Post.
The Colorado Association of Realtors also revealed that statewide prices rose nine percent year over year in the third quarter, reaching $260,000. Sales skyrocketed 19 percent from the same quarter in 2012, with 28,287 homes and condos sold. New listings rose 15 percent for single-family homes and 21 percent for condos and townhomes.
"Better inventory will provide buyers with more choices and improving prices should attract more sellers into the marketplace," Anthony Rael, a spokesman for the Colorado Association of Realtors, told the Denver Business Journal. "One area of concern is the long-term impact that recent flooding and wildfires earlier this year may have on certain markets going forward."
Last May, home prices hit an all-time high in Denver, topping the previous best set in 2006, according to the Case-Shiller index, as cited by the Business Journal. Denver would go on to push the record price even higher over the next several months.
What did the rising market mean for Denver buyers?
With prices trending up and fierce competition building for a diminishing supply of homes, buyers in the area who had once been able to take their time and dictate terms to sellers were drawn into competitive bidding wars, leaving many pushed out of the market due to rising prices.
This January, there are slightly fewer homes available for sale than in January 2013, according the Post. But housing experts don't expect the same trends to continue this year, as higher home prices and interest rates will take wind from the sails of sales figures.
The Post also stated that home prices in many neighborhoods are back to the highs seen during the mid-2000s, allowing more people to put their homes on the market, which should help boost the number of properties available for purchase.
Blank said one balance-measuring statistic to follow is the number of homes available for sale compared with the number of homes sold in a month. Blank added that supply greater than six months of sales is considered a buyer's market, while less than three months is a seller's market, which is what the Denver area experienced last year.
The Denver market, which is one of the tightest in the country, should manage to land above a three-month supply sometime this spring, according to Blank.
Bright spots for Denver
With a growing job market, the Mile-High City is currently one of the most popular destinations for young adults to relocate to for employment opportunities.
Daily Finance ranked Denver as the fourth-best city in the country for job seekers, with aerospace and manufacturing coming in as the leading industries for providing jobs. The source cited Lockheed Martin and The University of Colorado at Denver as two of the major employers in the area.