Homes selling faster, but not cheaper

Market rebounds as rates stay low

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Homebuyers in Highlands Ranch have a lot less to choose from than they did a year ago, but as far as the market is concerned, that’s good news.

According to data provided by Metrolist, there were 440 active listings in Highlands Ranch in October 2011. In 2012 that number has dwindled to 244, down 44.5 percent. Over the same period, the number of homes that have gone under contract is up 37.9 percent and the average time on the market slipped from 79 days to 40.

Those numbers are comparable to the year-to-date data provided by Metrolist, as home sales have climbed 36 percent in 2012 and properties have continuously spent less and less time on the market over the course of the year, dropping from 86 days to 59.

This doesn’t mean, though, that home prices have gone down. In fact, it’s the opposite. The median price in Highlands Ranch has gone up from $281,250 to $303,200 and the average sale price has climbed from $320,088 to $343,997, while sellers are currently getting 98.8 percent of asking price.

According to Sean Reilly, a Highlands Ranch resident and real estate agent with Cherry Creek Properties, there is still a ways to go before Highlands Ranch reaches the median price of $340,000 it saw a few years ago, but things are trending up nicely.

Reilly, who has been selling homes throughout the metro area for 17 years, says he noticed the turnaround starting to happen in February.

“The market just started heating up,” he said. “I really think it’s a function of the low interest rates, plus I think a lot of people have been on the sidelines for a long period of time and think that now is the right time to jump back into the water.”

Home sales typically slow down in the winter months, but Reilly said he is not so sure what to expect this winter.

“It’s more or less a function of supply and demand, and right now there are just a whole lot more buyers out there than sellers,” he said. “My best guess is that these rates are going to stay low at least until the spring of 2013.”

People are currently securing interest rates between 3.25 and 3.65 percent.

“There’s never been a better time to buy,” said Jeff Zinmeister, branch president with Denver First Option Lending. “Values are still low and interest rates have never been lower. Prices are starting to come back up, but it takes time. The demand is there.”

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