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Metro Denver housing market remains strong, despite pandemic and lockdown

Pent up demand outpaces inventory
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Posted at 4:52 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 20:23:47-04

DENVER — While some areas of the country are seeing home sales decline during the pandemic, the same cannot be said for Colorado.

On Monday, according to MarketWatch on MLS, 500 homes went under contract in metro Denver. That’s 66% above the average Monday.

Realtors say it’s a simple economic principal of supply and demand.

“The demand is still here,” said Joy Dysart with Home Smart Realty.

To be clear, things have changed with real estate.

“We’re wearing our masks, we’re taking our wipes and our hand sanitizer and our gloves depending on the buyer or seller’s comfort level,” Dysart said.

But values have remained constant.

“Home prices are still up year to date, and that’s very important,” Dysart said.

So, what’s going on? While the market paused slightly during Colorado’s stay-at-home order, realtor Lori Abbey explains things bounced right back.

“It came back on equally as strong as it had left,” said Abbey, with The Abbey Collection at Compass Realty.

Just take buyer Mike Paolucci as an example. He bought a home in the fall and is already out shopping again.

“Now with quarantine and stuff we’ve realized that the house is not as big as we’d like it to be,” Paolucci said. “(My girlfriend) would love a home office. I would love a place to work out at home, we both would.”

They represent a common theme in Colorado, especially along the Front Range: pent up demand and low inventory driving up home prices, despite well-documented struggles in other sectors of the economy, like the restaurant industry.

And it’s not just people who need to make a move.

“The ‘want-to’s’ are coming out, too,” Dysart said. “People are getting out and looking and writing contracts. As long as you have low inventory, the prices are not going to be affected.”

Paolucci says he closed on his current home in Commerce City last October.

“We closed on our house in the low $230s and we just got appraised and we’re coming in around $300,000,” he said.

And, as Abbey explains, this is very different than the housing collapse of 2008.

“This was a government-imposed lockdown,” Abbey said. “This wasn’t something that happened because of the economy.”

But it’s not just Colorado. The National Realtors Association is still predicting a 3-5% jump in home prices nationwide by the end of 2020.

A forecast giving stability to an otherwise shaky economic picture.

“It really helps to lift the entire economy up,” Abbey said. “There’s also a sense of optimism and positivity. You’ve got people really feeling good that things are coming back.”

“We’re a very healthy market,” Dysart said.