Homebuilders in metro Denver started 52 percent more homes in the first quarter of 2013 than in the same quarter a year earlier, according to a new report by Metrostudy.
Those builders started 1,596 homes in Q1, up from the 1,050 in Q1 2012.
For the previous 12 months (ending March 31), those builders started 6,084 homes — a 60 percent increase over the same time period a year ago.
“Metrostudy is forecasting a 35 percent increase in home starts for 2013,” said John Covert, regional director of Metrostudy’s Denver and Albuquerque markets. “Not quite the 55 percent increase the industry had in 2012, but given tightening lot supplies and inevitable price increases, activity in the second half of the year will likely slow down.”
The report closely mirrors the growth in local construction employment, as reported by Denver Business Journal’s Cathy Proctor today.
Metrostudy, a research company of Hanley Wood LLC, reported Denver’s job growth helped fuel the trend, with 34,500 jobs added in the past 12 months. That’s the best run of local job growth since 2000, according to the report.
“With Denver’s continued strong growth, the region still ranks among the top 10 MSAs [metropolitan statistical areas] nationally for annual job creation, with the natural resources and construction, professional and business services and education and health services sectors demonstrating particularly robust growth,” Covert said.
Builders closed 1,425 units in the first quarter, a 39 percent year-over-year increase. For the past 12 months, there were 5,599 closings, up 29 percent from the same time period in 2011-2012.
Metro Denver’s home resale market in April shows continued appreciation in prices, more volume of sales and homes selling faster than a year ago, according to the latest report from Metrolist Inc. released Friday.
There were 6,945 homes on the market, up slightly from March, but down 32 percent from April 2012. The days on the market average plummeted 38 percent, from 90 days a year ago to 56 days last month, reflecting the historic low inventory levels.
“There’s no question the Denver market remains hot,” said Kirby Slunaker, Metrolist CEO and president. “The numbers we’re seeing are aligning with the stories we are hearing from Realtors who are on the front lines. Homes are flying off the market, and in many circumstances, buyers are prepared to go above and beyond asking prices in order to secure a home.”
The number of homes sold increased to 4,714, up 9 percent month over month, and 21 percent year over year. The average sales price increased to $309,083, up 5 percent from March and 12 percent from $275,241 in April 2012 – the highest level since 2006, according to Gary Bauer, Metrolist’s chairman.
“Low inventory levels coupled with buyer demand is upping buyer competition, resulting in a fast-paced market and increasing home prices,” Bauer said. “Sellers, be prepared for multiple offers and informed enough to capitalize on creative offers.”
“There is far more demand than there is supply, so homebuyers need to move quickly or they’ll risk losing out,” Slunaker said. “Sellers need to keep focused, be prepared for multiple offers and, in some cases, personal appeals from prospective buyers.”
Slunaker said the jump in inventory was a great sign for the market, but it’s not enough to keep homes from moving quickly.
“The real story is that days on the market average dropped 24 days in the last two months,” he said. “About 52 percent of all sales are happening in less than four days. We couldn’t be happier with the market.”
Slunaker expects the momentum to continue through the peak selling season, unless interest rates go up or there’s some bad national economic news. Not even the increasing inventory of new homes will slow down the resale market, he said.
Greenwood Village-based Metrolist provides the area’s multiple listing service data and operates www.recolorado.com.