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Luxury Real Estate Market in Denver: Strong as Ever

Posted at 02/25/2019 04:04 PM by Pat O'Connor

denvers luxury market

What’s your definition of a luxury home? Four car garage? City or mountain views? Lots of acreage?

According to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors it boils down to any property over $1 million. And for the homes that fall into that category, the majority of homes that sell are well below $1.5 million.DMAR compiles residential real estate statistics each month in the Denver metro area which includes 11 counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park. And each month, Usaj Realty runs a real estate market report blog detailing home sales in Denver.

Denver’s luxury properties, or homes that sold for $1 million or more, continue to post strong sales and proves there is a robust market for high-end homes. The closed price vs. list price continues to be negligible: average agreed to price was within 3% of the listed price, further illustrating the value of homes in this category is considered appropriate.

In 2018, there were 2,156 units sold (detached and attached single family homes) in the luxury market which represents a 20% increase over 2017. Keep in mind, only 865 luxury units were sold as recently as 2014.

So far this year, at the end of January, 93 luxury units sold which showed a decline of 42 homes compared to December 2018 and 16 less than January 2018. However, the median days a luxury home spends on the market continues to be an eye popping 41. To put that in perspective, in January 2018, luxury homes were on the market for 84 days. This statistic certainly shows there were motivated buyers in January and they weren’t shy about paying close to the asking price.

luxury market denver

Denver Luxury Condos

Luxury condos are hot, though the market is much smaller than that of single family homes. There were  just 10 sold properties in January, compared to 16 in December 2018 and 12 in January of 2019.

The big news in this sector was the sale of a penthouse atop the Four Seasons Hotel. Asking price was $10.75 million and sources indicate the price was met. This opulent 6,295 square foot home with two 373 square foot balconies, 3 bedrooms and 5 baths, pushed the average condo sold price in Denver to a whopping $2,538,000 (the median sale price was $1,262,500).

The most expensive condo in the Denver metro area is still for sale, also located in the Four Seasons. The $13 million property at 1133 - 14th St., #4400 offers 6,786 square feet of living space, 3 bedrooms, 5 baths, and most of all, astounding views.

See All Available Four Season Residences Here

Condos tend to be on the market much longer than single family home. In January 2019, condos were on the market a median of 95 days over twice that of single family homes (41).

But, the median sales price of luxury condos is higher than that of single family homes. As stated earlier, the median price of a condo in January 2019 was $1,262,500; a single family home was $1,238,800.

Luxury Single Family Homes Denver

In January 2019, 83 luxury homes sold compared to 119 in December 2018, representing a 30% decrease. The January sales volume was down 24.6% from the previous month but the average price increased 9.9%. However, it’s important to point out there was a big disparity between the median and average selling statistics.

The median sold price of a luxury single family home in January 2019 was $1,238,800. That’s a drop of $61,200 over December 2018 and almost $100,000 less than January 2017. The average sale price in January was $1,509,231 compared to the previous month of $1,494,855. Based on the median prices, the trend is indicating the luxury market has shifted from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, and buyers are taking advantage of the lower prices.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of higher-end homes out there. The current most expensive home went under contract just last week. Listed at $11.5 million, the “Denver Art House” at 576 S. Elizabeth St. in Denver is a 4 bedroom, 8 bath modern home situated in the Polo Club on 3.5 acres. Designed by Seattle based Jim Olson of Olson Kundig, this masterpiece is perfect for entertaining and leaves no detail unaddressed. It features a two story central art gallery and a  living room that opens to a southern grassy meadow. Extraordinary landscape design includes hundreds of mature trees for a very private living experience.

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Denver’s Luxury Rental Market

Like luxury home buyers, there are plenty of people out there willing to spend top dollar on lavish rentals. According to a recent study by Apartment List, Denver and the rest of the U.S. has seen a dramatic increase in the number of high-income renter households. Metro Denver had the largest percentage increase over the past decade of any major metro area in the number of households who rented and made over $100,000 per year.

From 2008-2017, Denver experienced an 146% increase in the number of people earning over $100,000 and choosing to rent instead of buy.

The prevailing thought is that people are opting for the flexibility that renting provides them. This trend includes both Millennials and retiring Baby Boomers, who desire to live in urban neighborhoods that don’t require maintenance, yard work or a mortgage.

Still, it appears as Millennials get older, the eldest of that generation are buying homes more and more, as the younger ones continue to push up demand for rentals. Housing Wire recently reported results of a Research Now survey that was conducted on behalf of Ernst & Young. The survey interviewed 1,202 20- to 36-year-old U.S. citizens nationwide and reported homeownership for Millennials between the ages of 28 and 31 increased from 27% to 47% in two years (ownership of those aged 32-36 increased from 46% to 57%). The report states that student debt continues to play a big role in delaying homeownership for younger Millennials.

Are you ready to make your luxury living dream a reality? Contact Usaj Realty today to learn more about how we can help you find or sell your luxury home

 (Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2017. It has been completely revised and updated to reflect recent statistics and trends).

Topics: Home Buying