Metro Denver home-price gains slowed in December; $22 billion in total 2016 sales

The average price of a home in metro Denver increased by 6.7 percent year-over-year in December, a smaller increase than in most of the two years prior, according to the latest data from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

Including both detached single-family homes and attached condos and townhomes, the average home price in metro Denver was $398,179 in December, up from $373,064 in December 2015.

A sold home in Denver

The price increase is smaller than the market experienced in most of 2016, which was full of double-digit year-over-year price increases. In November, the average home price rose by more than 11 percent.

Median prices continued a fast rate of growth, increasing by 11 percent year-over-year in December to $350,000.

Individually, the detached single-family home market had average price increases of about 5 percent in December while condo and townhome prices went up 11 percent on average.

Low inventory persists in metro Denver, with 2.7 percent fewer active listings on the market in December than in the year prior.

"Housing inventory has been an issue as evidenced by historically low numbers for the past three years. In February, we recorded 3,963 active listings at month end," said Steve Danyliw, chairman of DMAR's market trends committee and a local real estate broker.

"This represented the lowest number of any month since we began tracking housing data back in 1985," he said. "We finished December 2016 with 4,265 active listings, which was 68.9 percent less than our historical December average of 13,702."

Inventory remains especially sparse in lower price points, with homes priced under $399,999 all having less than one month of inventory. Months of inventory is a metric used to indicate how long it would take to sell all the homes currently on the market at the current pace of sales.

The inventory shortage held the number of sold homes for all of 2016 behind the record-setting 56,062 homes sold in 2015, but higher prices drove total sales volume in 2016 higher than the year prior.

In 2016, 55,634 homes sold, totaling $22.2 billion in sales volume, up from 2015's total sales volume of $20 billion.

From 2012 to 2016, there has been an 83 percent increase in the total year-to-date sales volume in metro Denver, from $12.7 billion to $22.2 billion, according to DMAR data.

In 2016, detached single-family homes made up the lion's share of the total sales volume, with $17.7 billion of the total coming from detached home sales and $4.5 billion coming from attached sales.

The year-to-date average sale price for all kinds of homes combined in 2016 in metro Denver was $399,576, and increase of 10 percent over 2015, while the median was $349,900, a year-over-year increase 11 percent.