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Above asking price trend reaches new highs as insatiable homebuyer appetite continues and sellers ask, “what’s a buyer willing to pay?”

12, 2021 – Despite the first month-over-month increase in the inventory of
active listings in nearly a year, an insatiable homebuyer appetite quickly
offset those gains with increases in the number of properties under contract
and closed in April, according to the latest data from the Colorado Association

Market conditions
continue to drive pricing for all property types in the Denver-metro area and
across the state to new record highs with the median price of a single-family
home in Colorado topping $500,000 for the first time, a price point that has
doubled in just over 7 years. Whether you’re looking in the Denver-metro area
or any other market across the state, the median condo/townhome price has risen
approximately 20% year-over-year to a record $380,000, while the Denver-area
single-family home hit a median price record of $562,250 in April.

“In April, the average freestanding home in
Denver sold for its highest percentage above asking price than ever before. The
last three months, in fact, have broken records month-over-month with the
average home in April selling for 105.5% of asking price,” said Denver-Area
REALTOR® Matthew Leprino. The above-asking price trend, prevalent
across the state in recent months, continued through April with record highs
also set across all property types and markets. In the Denver-metro area, the
percent of list price received came in just shy of 105% for single-family homes
and 102.6%for condo/townhomes. Statewide, the numbers showed 103.6% for
single-family and 102.1% for condo/townhomes. “Officially, sales price/list price comes in at 104%, but
REALTORS® will explain their experience is closer to 10% over list
price in the moderate price ranges,” said Boulder/Broomfield area REALTOR®, Kelly Moye.

For some, this furious market is raising
questions about a bubble and the potential for a painful crash. Last week, Google
reported that the search “When is the housing market going to crash?” had
spiked 2,450% in the past month. The answer we’re seeing from economists:
There’s no comparison.

“Many industry experts believe there is no
bubble; instead, the demand for housing in the west, particularly in resort
areas, is higher than ever due to the migration of people leaving big cities,”
said Durango-Area REALTOR® Jarrod Nixon.

The struggle for
prospective homebuyers doesn’t end with inventory as rising prices continue to
negatively impact affordability. The CAR Housing Affordability Index, a measure
of how affordable a region’s housing is for consumers based on interest rates,
median sales price and median income by county, is down between 15-18% for all
property types statewide from a year ago.

REALTORS® continue to look at
the market and wonder is there a break? Will we ever see a slowdown? Will
affordable housing be something we see again?

“Builders cannot
break ground fast enough, so no reprieve there. Interest rates remain low, so
that continues to push prices and buying. For the short term, there is no calm
in site. It’s a real estate storm and buying frenzy that does not appear to be
burning out soon,” said Colorado Springs-Area REALTOR® Patrick



Taking a look at some of the state’s local market
conditions, Colorado Association of
REALTORS®market trends spokespersons provided the following


“Looking to find a single-family residential home under $300,000 in
Aurora? Unfortunately, there is not one to be found. Even the median
price of an Aurora condo/townhome is now at $290,000, up 11% from April
2020. The median home price in Aurora is at $465,000, a 14.8% increase
over last year. That said, our 80019 zip code has only 14 listings available at
a median price of $512,639, up 12% over 2020. The 80015 zip code is now at
a median price of $500,000, up 18.3% over last year while 80011, which
encompasses original Aurora, now has a median price $401,000, a 19.7% increase.
If you are looking in this area, understand that there are only 10 available
listings. The Aurora condo/townhome inventory is down 76.9% over last year
with just 81 condo/townhomes available compared to 351 this time last

“Centennial represents the same low inventory, down 68% over this time
last year for single- family homes and a median price of $605,000, a 17%
increase over April 2020. Townhomes/condo in Centennial show a median price of
$430,000, but you will only find seven of those types of properties available

“Looking to zip code 80111, Greenwood Village and Englewood, we see a
median price of $894,000, up 30% over April 2020. Inventory is down 75%
and there are only 13 available properties. Townhome/condos in that same
zip code are up in price 86% over last April at a median price of $465,000 –
that is not a typo.   

“It is important to note, that buyers are getting
homes. Occasionally, offers fall out of contract giving potential buyers
an added opportunity. Will this ever slow down? Yes, of course, the
questions we all have are, when and why? For the immediate future, we have
a housing shortage and a number of buyers looking to take advantage of low
interest rates and join the ranks of home ownership. Stay vigilant. There
is a house out there for you,” said Aurora-area REALTOR® Sunny Banka.

“In Boulder and Broomfield
counties, we haven’t seen numbers like this, well……ever. Heading into the
summer, Boulder County single-family homes have already experienced 28%
appreciation, and we’re not even at the end of the summer when we typically see
our biggest jump in prices for the year. ‘If you can’t be with the one you
love, love the one you’re with,’ must be playing in homeowner’s heads as they
discover it’s too expensive to move to suit their needs, so they end up staying
where they are and making home improvements. This lack of fluid mobility
in the market has kept inventory so low that the increased demand continues to
push prices up.

sales price/list price comes in at 104%, but REALTORS® will
explain their experience is closer to 10% over list price in the moderate price
ranges. Boulder’s neighbor, Broomfield, also puts up big numbers for the year
with single-family homes up 16% and condos/townhomes keeping up at 15% so far
for the year.

“The only soft
spot here are condos and townhomes in Boulder. They have had a modest 4% appreciation
and listings are up 4.7%. It is likely that the owners of these smaller
properties in a more dense environment are moving to more space for work and
play, leaving the Boulder condo market much softer than its single-family

professionals agree that this market is not sustainable. The question is, when
will it end and what will happen to initiate it? This is not a market bubble
that will burst but instead, it is likely the lack of affordability that will
eventually affect the demand and the market will slow down and balance out,” said Boulder/Broomfield-area
REALTOR® Kelly Moye.


“With the ability to work from home and
the population increase in Denver suburbs, we are seeing an increase of people
migrating out to the I-76 corridor. This area provides the ability to buy more home
for the money the farther east you go. Sellers in this area are experiencing a
great return on their real estate investment. From a year ago the average home
sells prices have increased in Adams County by 13.5%, Weld County by 16.2%,
Morgan County by 19.7%, and Washington County by 15%. With many people on the
move, the stats are showing that it is a great time for homeowners along the
I-76 corridor to list their homes and cash in on this market,” said Broomfield-area
REALTOR® Jody Malone.


“Real estate has been
a very interesting thing to follow for the last year. In one of the most
trying times in our history, where an entire world economy was closed down,
real estate brushed it off, hit they gym, and grew in strength.
A year ago,
we were trying to determine whether or not we were going to be actively selling
at all. REALTORS® statewide were back and forth on new rules, regulations,
and safety precautions. Looking back now it seems we pulled off the impossible.
We continued to represent buyers and sellers safely and pushed through one of
the hardest markets we have ever seen. And this shows in our stats locally. We
are up 21% on all properties sold year-over-year. The housing market pushed up
19% on the medium price range and sadly, active properties dropped 56%. 

“Is there a
break? Will we ever see a slowdown? Will affordable housing be something
we see again? It’s hard to say. Institutional investors are offering obscene
amounts of money to gobble up homes and beat many individual homeowners out on
purchases. One in five reported sales nationwide are going to institutional
investors. And this isn’t just an American problem. Canada and other countries
are also seeing these large corporations grabbing up inventory and turning
those homes into rentals. Builders cannot break ground fast enough, so no
reprieve there. Interest rates remain low, so that continues to push prices and
buying. For the short term, there is no calm in site. It’s a real estate storm
and buying frenzy that does not appear to be burning out soon.

“Economic numbers
remain terrible nationally, the stimulus money the FED prints is leading to
inflation, and the world continues to battle with COVID-19. Real estate remains
a safe haven for money. As long as supply remains low and demand is high,
housing market trajectory is heading north,” said Colorado Springs-area REALTOR® Patrick Muldoon.


“Today’s buyer has
fundamentally shifted their methods and the effects are beginning to ripple
through your neighborhood. While
each transaction brings new tales of what worked and what didn’t, today’s consumer and
yes, their REALTOR® are tasked with finding newer, more creative
methods of standing out from the rest. Long ago, the ‘love letter’ was the way
to romance a seller into accepting your offer – no more. Today, the love letter comes in the form of a larger overall
and, in most cases, paying significantly more than a house may be
worth at that snapshot in time. We REALTORS® have and hopefully
will always continue to advise against the practice but the fact of the matter
is that if you want a home, you will likely need to show a seller just how much
you want it. While the practice of paying more than a house is worth is
certainly risky, the changing tides prove that that risk, in some
circumstances, is short lived. Take for instance someone who offers to pay
$20,000 more than a house is worth – and their offer gets accepted. That home
then closes and the neighbor down the road now lists their home $5,000 higher
than that. Not only has every other neighbor now appreciated in price by
$25,000 but the homebuyer who paid $20,000 more than asking has gone from $20K
in the hole to $5K in the black.

“Because of these
practices, the latest data from the Colorado Association of REALTORS®
shows that in April, the average freestanding home in Denver sold for its
highest percentage above asking price than ever before.
The last three
months, in fact, have broken records month-over-month with the average home in
April selling for 105.5% of asking price.
The only time other than the last
three months that the average went above 101% was during May 2016 and that
number quickly fell back to the 100% just two months later and even below
asking just a month after that. A direct reflection of the multiple offers and
bidding above asking-saga we see today, buyers are looking at lower budgets as
their opening bid as the asking price in today’s market is merely the reserve
price and not entirely an indication of ending value,” said Denver-area
REALTOR® Matthew


“What is this house
worth? That is the question all buyers and sellers are asking in today’s
market. The answer is: what a buyer is willing to pay. La Plata County
continues to see significant increases in both average sales price and number
of units sold. The average sales price for a single-family home in 2020 was
$565,678 compared to $704,112 in 2021, a 24.5% increase. Units sold are also up
more than 24%. Prices are being driven by the complete scarcity of available
product and low interest rates. Inventory of homes for sale dropped over 70%
compared to April 2020 for single-family homes and more than 85% for townhomes
and condos.

“Bidding wars are the new
normal, with most new listings going under contract within days of hitting the
market. As a result of sellers not wanting to endure the stress of multiple
offers and countless showings, many homes are being sold off-market and never
hit the open market. It is not unusual for a home to sell for tens of thousands
over the asking price. Many buyers are using escalation clauses and few (if
any) contingencies in their offers. 

“The perception is that sellers
are reaping all the benefits of this hot market, but unless they are leaving
the area, sellers are finding themselves in the same shoes as their buyers when
trying to find a suitable replacement property. The true winners are the
second homeowners and investors that can sell today and wait for the market to
cool down.

“There is talk of a housing
bubble in our market. Many industry experts believe there is no bubble;
instead, the demand for housing in the west, particularly in resort areas, is
higher than ever due to the migration of people leaving big cities. Many locals
believe Durango has been undervalued for decades compared to other resort
markets in Colorado. Buyers, taking advantage of continued low interest rates
and increased options for working remotely, are choosing Durango for its
natural beauty and endless outdoor offerings. The forecast for the market is
more of the same for the foreseeable future,” said
Durango-area REALTOR® Jarrod


“The highs and
lows that our clients are feeling right now are comparable to the dramatic
weather we are experiencing. Hot and cold, with a chance of rain, snow or
lightning. What will they experience? Cold returns on offer after offer that
are outbid? Heat when they are feeling the pressure to buy, but can’t find
anything in their price range? The constant conversation about the inventory
and where the next new listing may pop us is definitely a strike of lightning
in the atmosphere. Where will the hot spot be? If only we had some sort of
crystal ball to tell the future. 

“In Larimer
County, new listings are slowly arriving on the market, but only at a drizzle
with year-to-date single-family homes down 7.6% compared to 2021. However, in
the month of April, new listings exceeded April 2020 by 25.3%. Is that spring
we are feeling in the air? Townhouse/condos are electrifying the market with
52.6% more listings this past month compared to April 2020, and year-to-date
they have increased 10.7%. 

Homes are selling
almost as fast as they can be placed on the MLS. Days on market for single-family
homes has been slashed to 42 days compared to 70 in April last year, a drop of
40%. Year-to-date days on market has also dropped 72 to 54, a 25% decrease
in time. Townhouse/condos have again taken the lead with a whopping cut in days
on market to 42 from 108, 61.1% less compared to April last year. Year-to-date townhouse/condos
have been on the market 45 days less, a 42% decrease. As of August 2020, the
average time from offer to close was 45 days (per Ellie Mae). 

“The ‘climate’
out there is causing a clamor for the best value for the money, and fast, but
this is also driving prices up at a feverish pace. The average sales price for
a single-family home in Larimer County reached $543,754 in April, an 8.5% bump
from April last year. Year-to-date, the average sales price climbed 12.3%. The
percent of list price received, 103% for single-family in April, is directly affected
by the short inventory and climbing prices. Townhouse/condos have been
experiencing the same with the average sales price up 13.9% in April to
$361,864. Percent of list price received has also gone over asking at 101.8%, a
2.1% increase from April 2020. 

“Larimer County
is currently running with almost no supply of inventory. In April, the months
supply of single- family homes fell from 2.4 months to only 0.6. Townhouse/condos
had an even larger dip in inventory from 3 months to 0.6, an 80% decrease. 

“As we go from
hot to cold with rain, lightning and ice, this is no different from the climate
in the real estate market,” said Estes Park-area REALTOR® Abbey Pontius.


“Compound Appreciation. Most
of us are familiar with the term Compound
.  It is one of the single greatest wealth-building concepts
of economics. The short version of this concept is that if you invest a
principal sum (let’s say $10,000) in an interest-bearing account, stock,
annuity, or commodity of some sort, the interest earned on that investment
compounds on a set interval (let’s say monthly at 5%).  The original $10k
after one month of investment time at that growth rate is now worth
$10,500. The investor has made $500 by doing nothing but leaving the
principal in the investment portfolio. In the second month, the interest is now
calculated on the new principal amount of $10,500 and earns $525. Total
value in two months is now $11,025. When you parse out the compound
interest calculation over the course of a year, the original 10,000 after 12
months is now worth over $18,000.  The gains (if consistent) are

“The same kind of thing is happening in the real estate market, except
it is more like Compound
. The combination of constrained inventory and high demand
leads to competitive offers on homes for sale. The competitive offers on
homes for sale leads to a purchase for over the asking price. As long as
the buyer consummates that purchase, the sale price for that home now becomes a
statistical comparable for similar homes for sale in the same market. The
cycle continues and we see double-digit appreciation on homes compared to what
the relative value was at the beginning of the year. Is this leapfrog in
valuation sustainable? Probably not – but until demand abates, prices are
likely to continue to climb.

With median prices in Fort Collins for April sales pegged at
$510,000, affordability is at a decade long low.
 With the average
sales price of homes 3.4% over the asking price, Buyers are leveraging all
their discretionary cash in the hopes that the home will appraise for close to
the over-asking purchase price. In some cases, buyers are bringing tens of
thousands of dollars to closing, in addition to a traditional down-payment of
5-20% of the purchase price. There are no signs of the demand for homes
lessening any time soon. The average days to offer for homes listed on the
market after March 1 is a grand total of four. Homes are being snapped up as
quickly as they are being listed. New listings increased 24% year-over-year
which is a great number but nearly every single house that came on is now sold.
If nothing else came on the market in the next 3 weeks, everything currently
for sale would be sold.

“This isn’t just a tale about sub-median priced homes. All segments
of the market in northern Larimer County are seeing high demand and exponential
growth in sales. Sales of homes between $1 million and $2 million have
doubled year over year. Homes sold between $500k and $699k are up 71%
compared to the same time frame last year. Yes, the COVID-19 shutdown of
the real estate market is playing a role in making some of the housing data a
bit noisy – but the sheer number of sales in those high-end price points
remains stunning. The shifts of home buyers from detached homes to condos
and townhomes continues as sales in the $400k
range for townhomes/condos have more than tripled in the last 12 months.

“The momentum of this market appears to be full-steam ahead. Only time
will tell as the summer months near to see if the pent-up drive to purchase a
home will take a back seat to the pent-up need for family vacations in June,
July, and August,” said Fort
Collins-area REALTOR® Chris Hardy.


“We are continuing the frenzy here in Fremont and Custer counties. Every month, the new listings come in less than last year and there are more new sales. We are seeing more vacant lots selling than in our typical market and mountain property prices are rising and selling quickly. Our vacant mountain property inventory has seen a significant reduction in numbers in the last year.

“We are seeing buyers trying to negotiate with sellers before the property goes on the market, trying to get an edge. The ‘we will buy your home,’ postcards are out in force, looking for ‘uneducated’ sellers. It is a seller’s market, but sellers beware, the market changes on a daily basis,” said Fremont and Custer County-area REALTOR® David Madone.

Custer County by the Numbers:
Median price of $425,000 is up 53.2% year-over-year

Average price of
$476,824 is up 49.7% year-over-year

New listings are
down 1.3%

Sales are up

There is 2.3
months supply of inventory


“New listings in Jefferson County are up 50% from this time last year
despite the fact that this past month had one of the lowest volumes of
inventory on record, down 67% from a year prior. Days on market was down 50%
and our months supply of inventory was down 73% from this time last year. With
so little inventory, home prices continue to climb as the median price for a single-family home
hit $610,000 in April. For condo/townhomes, the median sales price reached
$340,000 with average days on market at 12. 

“Buyers still need to be aggressive with their offers going over
list price and covering the difference in cash from the appraised price
and the purchase price. Homes for sale enter the market on Thursday or
Friday and are under contract on Monday. For most offers, buyers are waiving
the inspection and making their earnest money non-refundable at some point
early on in the contract process,” said
Golden/Jefferson County-area REALTOR® Barb Ecker.


“It looks like the
secret is out, it is a seller’s market. New single-family listings increased
23% in Garfield County over April 2020. Not surprisingly, those listings were
gobbled up in 3-4 days on market as buyers aggressively worked to outbid each
other. The frustration level for buyers is at an unprecedented high with brokers
pulling out all the stops to try to get their client into the home. Sold
listings are up 39% with the average days on market down 46% to 46 days, just
over what it takes to sell a home. The months supply in the single-family
sector fell 67% to a ghastly 1.2 months. The average sale price of a
single-family home in Garfield County topped out at a whopping $720,000, an
increase of 35% over April of last year and likely the highest average of all

“Unlike some
other counties in Colorado, the townhome/condo market showed good strides as
well. New listings were up 66.7% and sold listings had an unbelievable 140%
increase. Average sale price was up 39% with 100.7% percent of list-to-sale
price. The current inventory was down almost 60% landing at 1.3 months of
inventory. The townhome market did see longer days on market compared to last
year, as the frustrated single-family buyer decided to settle into an attached
unit instead of fighting the battle. The
big question on everyone’s mind is ‘When will it end?’” said
Glenwood Springs-area REALTOR
Erin Bassett.


“The Pueblo housing market has remained
strong for sellers and builders through the month of April with buyers still
having to fight over the small number of homes for sale. April saw new listings
rise 23.1% over last year and are up 6.6% year-to-date compared to the same
period in 2020. Pending sales jumped up 56.2% over last April and sold listings
were up 19.2% over 2020 and are up 5.3% year to date. 

“Median prices in April rose
to $275,000, up 18.1% from last April with the percent of list to sale price up
4% in April to 101.9%. Sitting on less than one month’s supply of homes for
sale, buyers are pushed to write contracts above listing price. This is the
second consecutive month that contract price has exceeded list price.

“With just 192 active
listings in April, we are down more than 50% over April 2020. Eighty new home
permits were issued in April bringing the Pueblo County total for the first
four months of 2021 to 268, about half of what was issues in all of 2020.
Pueblo West leads the pack with 153 permits,” said Pueblo-area REALTOR®David Anderson.


“Buying real
estate in many markets including Steamboat, is kind of like playing the game,
The Price is Right. Given the multiple offer scenarios, the seller is certainly
determining which buyer-contestant has the right price. The biggest disparity
is that in the game, whomever comes closest to the price without going over
wins; whereas, with current real estate conditions, if you are not bidding over
the (list) price you are likely going to lose. 

“Looking back at
April, two single-family home sales over $10 million skewed the average sales
price to over $2 million with the median sales price sitting at about $1.3
million with average days on market at 35. New listings were basically the
same as the prior year however, the townhouse-condo market saw an increase of
71%, which was devoured by the insatiable buyer demand resulting in a 200%
increase in pending sales. The average sales price for multi-family was
$846,918 in April with the median $715,000 and days on market at 23 days. The
record low days on market reflects the high number of cash transactions and sellers
taking a sure thing without appraisal delays or possibilities of appraisal
objection- even though a buyer may be willing to absorb the appraisal gap.

“Active listings
for single and multi-family were a low standing inventory of 45 for each
category with a month or less supply. May and June typically bring a new
crop of listings and we look forward to those just as we look forward to the
new buds and flowers spring brings. As Edwin
Way Teale
 said, ‘The world’s
favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.’ It is possible to buy a home in the Yampa
Valley – retain an experienced and dedicated real estate broker for your best
chances of success and while competing might be stressful, keep your eye on the
prize,” said Steamboat Springs-area REALTOR® Marci Valicenti.


“Buyers beware. Being
a buyer in this market is competitive business. It takes a crazy mix of hurry up and
wait to find that perfect property. Buyers have to be ready to write a
seller friendly offer (statistically over list price) the moment a desirable
property hits the market. Even as they express fatigue and frustration,
there are still more buyers than sellers so, until that balances out, buyers
have to eat their Wheaties to stay strong through the process.

“With prices rising, the percent of locals buying and selling has dropped to just 18% of sales in Summit while 47% come from the front range and 35% are from out of state, mostly Texas and Florida. About 35% of the transactions were cash. The good news for buyers is that more properties sold than ever before, up 146%. So, although the active inventory was down 55%, new listings were up 84%. Summer is usually our busiest selling season, and the unknown is if we will follow previous trends. If so, there may be more to buy soon,” said Summit-area REALTOR® Dana Cottrell.


“April 2021 sales were
up 168% over April 2020 with buyers increasingly targeting the Mountain Village
and the rural subdivisions west of Telluride due to the amount of inventory
available in those market areas. April 2020 sales in the Mountain Village were
$8.9 million compared to this April’s $57.3 million. We are seeing more sellers moving out
of the market to locations in and out of Colorado. However, the buyer demand
has not waned. In the first four months of this year, sales are up 108% over
the same period last year. 

“Based on what has happened in the Town of Telluride, the continued decline of available inventory might start to slow the Telluride regional market around the end of summer. Available inventory is so low in Telluride and asking prices have gone up so much in the last 12 months that sales are slowing down significantly,” said Telluride-area REALTOR® George Harvey.

Percent of
List Price Received – Statewide

Percent of List Price Received – Seven-County Denver Metro Area

Median Sales
Price – Seven-County Denver Metro Area

Median Sales Price – Statewide

Inventory of Active Listings – Seven-County Denver Metro

Inventory of Active Listings – Statewide

Pending/Under Contract – Statewide

Pending/Under Contract – Seven-County Denver Metro Area

The Colorado Association of
REALTORS® Monthly Market Statistical Reports are prepared by Showing Time, a leading showing software
and market stats service provider to the residential real estate industry and
are based upon data provided by Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in Colorado. The
April 2021 reports represent all MLS-listed residential real estate
transactions in the state.  The metrics
do not include “For Sale by Owner” transactions or all new construction. CAR’s Housing Affordability Index, a measure of how affordable a
region’s housing is to its consumers, is based on interest rates, median sales
prices and median income by county.

The complete reports cited in
this press release, as well as county reports are available online at:



The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Monthly
Market Statistical Reports are prepared by Showing Time, a
Minneapolis-based real estate technology company, and are based on data
provided by Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in Colorado. These reports represent
all MLS-listed residential real estate transactions in the state.  The metrics do not include “For Sale by
Owner” transactions or all new construction. Showing Time uses its
extensive resources and experience to scrub and validate the data before producing
these reports.

The benefits of using MLS data (rather than
Assessor Data or other sources) are:

  • Accuracy and Timeliness – MLS data are managed and monitored carefully.
  • Richness – MLS data can be segmented
  • Comprehensiveness – No sampling is involved; all transactions are included.
  • Oversight and Governance – MLS providers are accountable for the integrity of their systems.       
  • Trends and changes are reliable due to the large number of records used in each report.  
  • Late entries and status changes are accounted for as the historic record is updated each quarter. 

The Colorado Association of REALTORS® is the state’s largest real
estate trade association representing more than 28,500 members statewide. The association
supports private property rights, equal housing opportunities and is the
“Voice of Real Estate” in Colorado. 
For more information, visit

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