Housing market heats up with multiple offers, bidding wars

Houses selling faster, for higher average price

DENVER - The Denver-area housing market is quickly heating up, with many sellers getting multiple offers and even bidding wars on the first day.

When Martin Tremblay started house hunting two weeks ago, he thought he had found the perfect Aurora home, but the first day on the market, the seller had three offers.

"We didn't get the home, even though we went above asking price," said Tremblay.

His real estate agent, Jennifer Oldham, said gone are the days of low-ball offers -- bidding wars are where it's at these days in the Denver-area housing market.

Take her last house: "I listed it on Monday," said Oldham. "Tuesday was a snow day, I had agents trekking through the snow to see that house and I had four offers by the end of Tuesday."

Real estate experts said the numbers back up the anecdotes.

"Days on market went down in one month from 80 days to 67," said Kirby Slunaker, the president and CEO of Metrolist. "Half of those sold in less than 30 days, which means statistically many of them were only on the market for a few days.

Slunaker said low interest rates and low inventory now equal high demand and higher prices.

"Over the last three to four years, sales have been fairly depressed," said Slunaker. "But from March of last year, the average price of a home here went up 19 percent. A heck of an investment, if you think about it."