DENVER (CBS4) – Realtors preparing for the summer housing market say the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to impact sales and prices, but change could be delayed. They advise buyers and sellers to prepare for similar conditions before the coronavirus with some newer trends that may stick around in the months ahead.
“In spite of the inability to show homes and the stay-at-home order, our market remains strong,” said Kelly Moye, a spokesperson for the Colorado Association of REALTORS. “We’re still a little bit early right now … everything looks just peachy as if nothing happened.”
The median home price went up for the month of April versus the previous year in Denver. Prices also went up in Boulder compared to this time in 2019. While new listings may have dropped, it lines up with expectations during the statewide shutdown. The low inventory in the housing market has been an issue for years, this change in supply and demand is actually helping to bring those two numbers closer.
“I think a lot of folks were maybe expecting a larger shift than occurred when, in fact, it wasn’t all that giant of a shift,” said Matthew Leprino, another spokesperson for the Colorado Association of REALTORS. “It actually just means we’re having the opportunity for it to balance out ever so slightly.”
Leprino spoke to CBS4 from the site of one of his listings on Tuesday, a custom house under construction. That industry is an essential business and while singular projects like this one will likely continue, larger developments may not keep up with what Colorado has seen over the past few years.
“‘I need a bigger house. We need a couple studies. I need more space,” Moye recalled her clients saying recently. “We’ve actually for the last couple of years spent a lot of time talking about downsizing. That was popular, you know, reduce your carbon footprint, get smaller, get leaner, get more efficient, where as in the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed people actually wanting more space.”
Moye has listings across northern Colorado including Boulder and Broomfield. Speaking to CBS4 on a video conference call Tuesday, she said there is a growing desire to live closer to family. While condominium showings are down, leaving the city and moving to the suburbs isn’t always the case.
The need for more room to work from home and spend time with loved ones all under the same roof is a newer trend.
Single family homes are more popular, but the location and the move-in date during the summer are not the typical needs we see when families want to plan around academic calendars. Late spring into early summer is usually when the housing market starts to pick up and keep building interest until the fall, there may be a delayed reaction this year.
“Back to school isn’t really what it was before,” Leprino added. “So folks aren’t as worried about getting into the school district of their choice because their might not be school to attend.”
The change from coronavirus could take six to 12 months for the market to realize, bringing prices down to a noticeable difference in early 2021. For now the average number of days a home is listed hasn’t seen a drastic move, but buyers and sellers still need to remember some key conditions to real estate in Colorado.
First-time home buyers should prepare for those houses to receive multiple offers and higher-end homes may spend more time on the market. But interest rates could remain low through the crisis and the fall election.
Buyers will have more power because of those financing options, but the characteristics of the market now and in the months ahead do not necessarily favor buyers or sellers. Realtors say rather than make assumptions, it is important to keep watching sales and prices each month.
“We won’t realize the impact, which is why it’s a little bit hard to say right now,” Moye added. “The numbers that I’m seeing now show a strong upward trend.”