Does September Increase in Inventory Point to New Trend?



It's no secret that the Denver area needs more home listings, but you might be surprised to learn just how few homes are on the Denver market. 

When TRELORA dug into the data, it found that for almost two straight years, there has been a record low inventory of unsold homes on the Denver market for any given month.

Another way to put it: It didn’t matter whether you were talking about January or July, consumers had fewer homes to choose from for that month since the real estate data was first tracked three decades ago.

That Changed Ever so Slightly in September. 

In September, there were 9,051 homes for sale in the Denver area, according to REcolorado. That is 1.75% more homes on that market than in September 2014, which was the all-time low for a September.

The last time there had been a year-over-year increase in inventory levels was in November 2013. The all-time inventory low occurred in February, when there were a mere 5,087 unsold listings on the market. The all-time inventory high was in July 2006, when there were 31,989 homes on the market.

We will be the first to admit that less than a 2% change is not a big deal.

And it’s too early to say if it is a trend. We will need to look at several months of data before we know whether September marked the beginning of inventory levels starting to slowly rise to more normal levels.

But what is clear, the modest uptick in listings in September is a far cry from bringing the market back to normal inventory levels, Christopher Stjernholm, Managing Broker at TRELORA, points out.

And that’s not simply Stjernholm’s opinion - historical data backs him up. Consider this: In 1985, when the Denver metro area population was 44% smaller than it is today, there were 54% more homes on the market.

Stjernholm said the inventory increase last month is likely the result of the incredibly fast-paced market Denver experienced this spring, as well as seasonal trends. 

Sellers may be trying to get in on remaining momentum from earlier this year especially with mortgage interest rates still hovering near record lows.
— Christopher Stjernholm, Lead Agent at TRELORA

Make no mistake, even with the modest increase in supply, the Denver housing market is still one that favors the seller. There is only about a 2-month supply of unsold homes on the Denver market, one of the lowest in the nation.

A market in balance between buyers and sellers has between 4 and 6 months of inventory. And with about 5,000 homes selling each month, Denver could easily handle twice as many homes on the market than it has today. That would almost bring Denver’s inventory to where it was 30 years ago.

Despite Low Inventory... Now is Not the Time to Push the Price of your Home. 

Buyers are able to get pickier going into the winter.
— Travis Barton, Assistant General Manager at TRELORA

Despite the cooling weather, a well-priced home that shows well is still a hot commodity.

If you come on the market priced right you will still sell within a few days. Homes that have a disconnect between price, location, and condition are the ones that languish and drive up longer days on market.
— Travis Barton, Assistant General Manager at TRELORA