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January data encourages Denver area realtors about spring selling season

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New and active listings climbed in January, making Denver area realtors optimistic for the spring selling season despite the Federal Reserve not planning to cut interest rates in March.

“As we kick off the new year, buyers appear to be wearing rose-colored glasses, ready to put themselves back in the real estate market as they finally have more choices,” said Libby Levinson-Katz, chairwoman of the Market Trends Committee, in comments included with the monthly update from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

The number of new listings hit 3,280, up 15% from 2,859 in January 2023. Active listings hit 4,871, up 18% from 4,120 a year earlier.

The median closed price hit $565,000, up 5% from $539,250 in January 2023, while the close-price-to-list-price ratio at 98.4% was up .25% from 98.2% a year ago.

Susan Thayer with the Thayer Group, a member of the market trends committee, said low-interest rates kept sellers from jumping into the market in December.

“December 2023 felt like buyers put the brakes on their home searches, and sellers seemed to be strongly attached to their low-interest rates,” Thayer said. “But in January, buyers shifted into high gear as sellers started to break their bonds with those low-interest rates. The spring buying and selling season seems to be ramping up early in 2024 — and we are here for it.”

Levinson-Katz agreed the spring selling season will be strong due to pent-up demand and more favorable lending terms.

“While it’s not a consistent prediction if interest rates decline below five percent, we may see tighter inventory and more competitive scenarios once again,” she said.

“Many buyers are waiting on the fence for interest rates to continue their downward descent. However, trying to time the market for lower interest rates before the market heats up may result in buyers paying more in the long term if they find themselves in a bidding war.”

For homes priced $1 million and above, January saw a flurry of new listings, up 40% over last January. Many buyers were just as ready, with pending home sales up 23% over a year ago.

“Competition between buyers is picking up and will continue to do so in the months ahead as we enter our busier time of year in Denver Metro and can expect buyer and seller activity to ramp up further after the Super Bowl,” said Nick DiPasquale with West+Main who’s also a market trends committee member.

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