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March 2011 Metro Denver Real Estate Newsletter

J. David Lampe, Realtor

Quick Stats

Denver Metro Single Family Housing stats:

Active Listings; 14,456

  • Up 9% from Jan. ‘10

Under Contracts; 2,514

  • Down 20% from Jan. ‘10

Solds; 1,724

  • Down 6% from Jan. ‘10

Average Price; $277,922

  • Up 6% from Jan. ‘10

Median Price; $225,000

  • Up 7% from Jan. ‘10

Average Days on Market; 120

  • Up 33% from Jan. ‘10


Denver Metro Condo housing stats:

Active Listings; 4,348

  • Down 3% from Jan. ‘10

Under Contracts; 633

  • Down 22% from Jan. ‘10

Solds;  432

  • Down 16% from Jan. ‘10

Average Price; $150,085

  • Down 5% from Jan. ‘10

Median Price; $124,995

  • Down 4% from Jan. ‘10

Average Days on Market; 123

  • Up 45% from Jan. ‘10


Real Estate News

Two hundred and fifty years ago the poet Samuel Johnson said, “To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” Remarkably, that statement is as true today as it was in the 18th century. With all of the ups and downs and dips and doodles the housing market has been through in the past few years, home ownership remains one of the pillars of our society, and this will never change. Fully half the homebuyers in 2010 were first-time home buyers, a new record! These buyers were priced out of the market when values were sky high a few years ago but waited patiently for prices to fall, and fall they have. We’re now back to 2002 and 2003 pricing and the patient, prudent home buyers are getting deals we haven’t seen for a generation. What’s more, interest rates remain near 50-year lows and by all accounts have only one way to go – up.  When?  Nobody knows, but it’s certain to happen eventually. One of the great underreported stories is the Home Affordability Index which shows that home ownership in Denver Metro is more affordable today than it has been for decades because of the pullback in prices and record low interest rates. So what should the smart buyer or seller be doing right now?  First and foremost, I recommend educating yourself on the ever-changing, ultra-critical market trends and dynamics.  RE/MAX Alliance has taken a leadership position in educating our clients on the Denver market and I’d be happy to send you a list of the free classes we offer designed to make you a better, more-informed buyer, seller and investor. Or, feel free to go to and click on “Training/Seminars” for a list of classes such as “Metro Denver Real Estate Trends,” “How to Buy a $40k condo in Denver that Cashflows” and “Successful Residential Home Flipping in Today’s Market.” As a real estate professional I take seriously my commitment to understand this market. Nothing gives my clients and me an edge on the market more than education. Please feel free to call me anytime to learn more about the Denver market and where we think it’s heading.



Did you know that we are in the middle of one of the best buyer markets on record?  It’s true! Just look at the facts: only 1,721 single family homes were sold last month – the least in a decade. Interest rates are at record lows. FHA has plenty of money to loan, and the requirements are surprisingly low (talk to your loan office, but something like a 620 FICO, 6 months of job history and a reasonable monthly debt level will qualify you). Ask 10 people you know if it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. I’ll bet you a cup of coffee all 10 responses will be buyers market! The most seasoned real estate professional will tell you to buy in a buyer’s market and sell in a seller’s market. Because the market psychology is clearly in the buyers’ corner it is a great time to buy. Swimming downstream is so much easier than swimming upstream!

Success Story

We assisted our buyer in locating the “perfect” home for him late last year. He wanted to live in Reunion. The home we found was decorated like a model home and had terrific pride of ownership. Our client decided to write an offer and he for all the furniture to be included. We paid $319,000. The Sellers had paid $362,000 in 2007 for the home and had over $400,000 invested in it.  So, what do you think?  Did we get a great deal?



Springtime is almost upon us, ringing in the peak period to sell a home. If you’re considering moving now’s the time to begin the process.  You’ll want an accurate Comparative Market Analysis on your home to interpret its value and identify small projects that can increase its marketability.  It’s also a good time to start looking for your next home to get a sense of what’s out there and where you might want to move. Call me and I’d be happy to get you started!

Success Story

One of our sellers was relocated to Dubai and had to sell his house in Golden. The asking price was $595,000 and we sold it quickly for almost full price! The sellers were thrilled that we were able to market the property so successfully.



Smart investors know they have to be very aware of current market data to invest wisely. The bottom line is the market tells us how to invest, not the other way around. So, what’s the market telling us? Loud and clear it’s telling us this is a great time to buy and hold rental property. Why? Because the stars have aligned in a way seldom seen before. 1. It’s a buyer’s market again in the under $120,000 purchase price, the sweet spot for long-term investors. 2. Vacancy rates are at record lows: 1-4 units in Denver Metro are at 2% vacancy. Expect this to remain low as the number of foreclosure and shortsales continues to remains high.  3. Interest rates are at record lows: a qualified buyer of an investment property with 20% down can get a 30-year fixed-rate loan at about 5.5%. 4. There are virtually no apartments coming on-line in the next two years. This means landlords will continue to have very little competition. 5. Rental rates are rising. They have risen in the last three quarters, and with virtually no empty units, are expected to continue to rise. Drop me a line and I’d be happy to show you some inventory that would make a great rental.

Success Story

One of our clients recently bought a great duplex in Lakewood for only $200,000. He gets $1,950/month rent and $614/month in cashflow.  The tenants have lived in the property for years and their rent is paid 100% by the U.S. government on the 1st of each month. These are brick, newly rehabbed units in a nice neighborhood, and the client couldn’t be happier!


Today low and NO money down financing exists for borrowers through FHA, VA, USDA and Down Payment Assistance programs.  Options are available for those with less than perfect credit to purchase with little upfront investment.  Investors can take advantage of amazing rates in the low-5% range, calling for cash flow.  With rates at historically low levels and many loan programs available, 2011 is a GREAT time to buy!  Call us to find out more.


Neighborhood Spotlight

Washington Park; Has order been restored?

The Washington Park real estate market is stable… for the most part. Washington Park had a lot of redevelopment during the last 10 years. There are five segments in the neighborhood: <1200 SF; 1201-1600 SF; 1601-2400 SF; 2401-3000 SF; and 3001+. The most dramatic changes were seen in the 3001+ SqFt segment, the homes more than $1million. By and large, these homes are new construction. Between 2006-2008 was the peak of infill development in Washington Park. Since then it has seen a very sharp drop off. Then, 2009 was an aberration with extraordinarly high days on market for this segment with an average of 298 days and an average discount from list price of 12%. 2010 shows that the old inventory has mostly worked its way out of the market. Values in this segment are up 6% to almost $1.5 million; and Days on Market have improved to 87 on average. Units sold dropped from 22 in 2009 to 6 in 2010. Order, it appears, is being restored!  Want an analysis on YOUR neighborhood?  Call me, and I’ll put together a professional CMA on your home and let you know how your neighborhood has fared the past few years and what we expect for the future.