‘Shrugging Off’ The Pandemic, Colorado’s Housing Market Broke Records This Summer

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The real estate market in Denver, where this photo was taken on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, broke records this year.

The real estate market across Colorado broke records in July as buyers raced to snap up a dwindling supply of homes for sale.

A record 10,771 single-family homes sold statewide, jumping 15.7 percent compared to June, and up 21 percent from the same time last year, according to a report from the Colorado Association of Realtors. The median home price hit $443,925, ticking up 4.5 percent from the prior month, and 8.6 percent from a year ago, the report found. That’s also a record high.

Deals are increasing even as buyers face limited options. Active listings dropped more than 11 percent from June, according to the report and 42 percent from last year. The lack of inventory and low interest rates is driving prices up while the economy shrinks and unemployment skyrockets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a total disconnect with half the economy being crushed and yet, housing has mostly shrugged it all off,” Patrick Muldoon, a Realtor in Colorado Springs, wrote in the report.

More than half of statewide home sales occurred in the Denver metro region, which includes Boulder and Broomfield, the report found. The average price of a home in the Denver metro jumped to a record $601,863 in July, a 7.68 percent increase from June. Townhomes and condos are lagging behind the broader market, potentially reflecting a preference for larger homes and space to spread out with people spending more time at home, Denver Realtor Matthew Leprino wrote in the report.

Sales of condos and townhomes in resort communities are suffering amid a drop in tourism and uncertainty regarding the upcoming ski season. In Crested Butte, contracts were down 10 percent overall from last year. New listings shot up 14 percent. Even there, though, contracts for single-family homes are up 30 percent from 2019, according to the report.