We Realtors are as surprised as anyone at the increase in home values, especially of the most expensive homes. The charts below speak for themselves. Not only are sales of million-dollar homes in Denver and Jefferson County increasing, but the time it takes such homes to go under contract has continued to go down.
Not shown in these charts is 2019, since we’re only 9 months into the year, but the number of sales for both counties thus far in 2019 is already about to surpass the sales for all of 2018, and the median days on market (DOM) is about the same as last year. Evidently, the number of sales over $1 million will continue to increase, while the days-on-market line may level off.
The number of sales of Denver homes over $1 million thus far in 2019 is 739, vs. 746 for all of 2018. The yearly increase in million-dollar closings has ranged from 9.2% to 40% over the past 5 years.
Those are the statistics for all of Denver. The figures for Denver’s four quadrants (divided from each other by Colfax and Broadway) present differing market trends, as follows:
It’s worth noting that two of the quadrants — northwest and southwest Denver — have already recorded a big increase in sales for 2019 over all of last year. And the other two quadrants are likely to top last year’s sales, since there are currently enough homes under contract to make that happen. At press time there were 125 Denver homes over $1 million under contract — 78 in southeast Denver and 13 in northeast Denver, most of which can be expected to close in coming weeks. There are another 323 active Denver listings over $1 million, many of which could also sell by year’s end.
The number of Jefferson County homes over $1 million sold in 2019 through press time was 235, vs. 242 for all of 2018. The yearly increase in million-dollar closings has ranged from 21% to 53% over the past 5 years. Those, however, are the statistics for all of Jefferson County. The figures for the four biggest Jeffco cities present differing market trends, as follows (Note: Golden stats are within city limits only):
Only Wheat Ridge is lagging in this trend of massively increased sales of Jeffco homes for over $1 million. The other three cities are beating the county trend. The days on market for these four cities varied significantly from each other and from the Jefferson County statistics.
For example, those five sales last year of million-dollar homes in Wheat Ridge had a median DOM of 298, while the 20 homes that sold last year in Lakewood had a median DOM of 25 and the 5 homes that sold in Golden had a median DOM of 89. The Arvada homes had a median DOM of 21 days. The 15 Arvada homes that have sold thus far in 2019 have a median DOM of just 14 days.
While the market for lower-priced homes does show signs of slowing, the market for homes over $1 million seems only to be strengthening. This may be a reflection of the Trump tax cuts which are known to have helped the ultra rich more than those in lower income brackets. That discrepancy has also evidenced itself in the rates for jumbo loans, which have been lower in recent years than the rates for conventional mortgages. When I checked on Sunday, Wells Fargo was quoting jumbo loans at 3.5% and conventional loans at 3.625%.
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, especially in the Middle East and on the domestic political scene, and I’m frankly surprised that the markets remain so stable. It will be interesting to see how things shake out in the coming months and how that impacts the real estate market.