Wednesday, June 30, 2010


For the sixth month in a row, home prices in the Denver area showed a year-over-year price increase in April, rising 4.4 percent from April 2009, according to the latest Case-Shiller Home Prices Index, which was released earlier this week.

The increases came during the last month of the federal homebuyer tax credit, which expired April 30 and resulted in a flurry of first-time buyer home purchases.  Denver was one of 13 cities in the 20 city Case-Shiller survey that showed a year-over-year increase in prices in April.

However, as I've stated repeatedly in the blog, we continue to find ourselves in the most segmented housing market in many years, with fair-to-strong demand at lower price points and soft-to-no demand at the highest price points.

The 4.4% increase reported by Case-Shiller is actually a combination of the momentum of lower priced homes slightly outweighing the negative drag at the higher end of the market.  As of mid-June, there were about 2.5 actives for sale under $250,000 to each one under contract, compared to nearly 19 homes for sale at prices above $1 million to each one under contract.

Low-end warm, high-end cold. 

The 4.4 percent rise was Denver’s largest year-over-year price increase of the last six months. As compared to a year earlier, Denver prices climbed 4.1 percent in March, 3.6 percent in February, 2.6 percent in January, 1.2 percent in December 2009 and 0.5 percent in November 2009.

November 2009’s rise was the first overall year-over-year home price increase in the Denver area since November 2006.  Between those months, Denver had 36 straight months of year-over-year price declines.

As recently as early 2009, Denver was showing year-over-year home price declines of 5 percent or more, peaking at a 5.7 percent drop in February 2009.