December home sales drop due to cold, holidays, interest rates


Cold temperatures, high mortgage rates, and the holiday season took their toll on Denver’s housing market in December.

“In a month where Denver saw five more inches of snow on average than traditionally, the lowest temperature recorded in 32 years, mortgage interest rates above 6%, and celebrated the holiday season — December’s real estate slowdown was no surprise,” says Susan Thayer, Denver Metro Association of Realtors market trends committee member.

Despite having fewer homes available, the number of days on the market continues to increase.

The realtors’ association reported 2,720 home and condo sales last month, down 11% from November and a dramatic 43% plunge from December 2021.

The association analyzes data from 11 metro area counties — Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson, and Park counties, which shows the number of available homes — 4,757 — dropped 24% from November but rose 222% from December 2021.

The limited inventory continues to keep home prices high.

The average close price dropped by 2.7% from November to $637,852 but remained slightly higher than the December 2021 average price.

Time on market also increased to 43 days on average, up 26.5% from November and 138.9% from December 2021.

A look back at 2022

Despite a promising start to the year, the total number of property closings in metro Denver ended at 50,743 for 2022 — down 20% compared to 2021.

In 2022, the total number of listings dropped 9.3 percent from the previous year. The number of listings in 2022 was also lower than in 2020, 2019, and 2018.

After the past two years, the slowdown in 2022 feels pedestrian and shows promise for 2023, says William Maline, a marketing committee member.

“Now the market is at a place where extreme urgency is ‘less’ of a factor, a peaceful transition into 2023 could provide a much-welcomed opportunity for more give and take between buyers and sellers across metro Denver,” Maline says.

Looking ahead to 2023

Amanda Snitker, vice chair of the market trends committee, is optimistic for 2023.


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