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Forbes take on the Denver market gumdrops and roses; is this reality?

I recently receive a Denver Metro Association of realtor’s newsletter touting:  “People have been flocking to the Mile High City from more expensive cities in search of a cheaper cost of living and to work remotely in the Rocky Mountains. “  Is this leading to higher prices in Denver?  What do the current market statistics say?


Forbes Advisor’s take on Denver: What was in the article

The article gives a glowing report of the Denver market and paints a picture of “gum drops and roses”

  • The Denver Metro Association of Realtors Market Trends Committee (DMAR) mentions in its October 2022 report that the average and median closing prices for September 2022 were the highest on record for that particular month.
  • The recent trends of decreasing housing prices indicate that the Denver real estate market is transitioning from a seller’s market to a neutral landscape. Libby Levinson-Katz, chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee, predicts a balanced market is approaching after 16 years of being seller-friendly.
  • The article conveniently forgot to mention that both median and average sales prices are declining and inventory is rising at its fastest pace in years.

The whole article appears to be a marketing piece put out by the Denver Metro association of realtors.  Also note the article was on Forbes advisor not on the real forbes site written by their staff of writers.

What does the data say is occurring in Denver

The recent statistics on Denver look considerably less rosey and  show the market has shifted very quickly to a buyers market.

  1. Median Price: down 11% since the peak in October, note Median is more accurate of a metric for the market as it is not swayed as much by extremely high or low sales. This has been consistent the last couple of months with median staying constant the last three months or so
  2. Inventory increasing rapidly: Typically by October we start to see a seasonal decline in inventory, but just the opposite is happening with inventory staying almost constant.
  3. Inventory is gaining on 2019: in October of 2019, inventory was only 6% higher than in October of 2022.  This means that inventory is starting to return to its pre-covid state which leads to the question, will prices follow?
  4. Not in a balanced market: From the last several months with inventory accelerating to pre-pandemic levels we are seeing a rapid decline in prices off their peak.  Almost overnight inventory has returned to 2019 levels.  We are clearly in a buyers market with the rapid decline in prices and inventory increasing quickly.  Look for these trends to continue into 2023 leading to an even greater buyers’ market.


Denver Metro
October 19 May 22 October 22 % change 22 % change 19
Median  $      480,000  $    730,000  $       660,000 -11% 38%
Average  $      588,487  $    912,861  $       891,618 -2% 52%
Homes on market                  988 382 924 142% -6%



Denver Metro September
September 19 May 22 September 22 % change 22 % change 19
Median  $      490,000  $    730,000  $       650,000 -12% 33%
Average  $      601,573  $    912,861  $       814,861 -12% 35%
Homes on market               1,105 382 970 154% -12%



I’m always amazed at how data can be spun to paint whatever picture is desired.  As I dug deeper into the Forbes article it was apparent that something was not adding up.  As I independently pulled data for the Denver metro from the Colorado Association of Realtors it is pretty apparent that the Denver real estate market is not nearly as robust as the marketing piece in Forbes would suggest.  Median and Average are declining off their May highs and most importantly inventory in October was down just 6% from 2019 which shows how quickly the market has increased inventory and flipped from a seller’s to buyer’s market.

Look for the Denver market to continue becoming a stronger buyer’s market in 2023.  As inventory continues to increase and rates stay high, many will be priced out of the market leading to ultimately lower prices.  Although I don’t see a 08 rerun, there will be considerable pain if prices drop 20% as predicted in a recent fed study.  Based on the current trends, the Denver market looks in line with these predictions.

Additional reading/resources:


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Written by Glen Weinberg, Owner Fairview Commercial Lending.  Glen has been published as an expert in hard money lending, real estate valuation, financing, and various other real estate topics in Bloomberg, Businessweek ,the Colorado Real Estate Journal, National Association of Realtors MagazineThe Real Deal real estate news, the CO Biz Magazine, The Denver Post, The Scotsman mortgage broker guide, Mortgage Professional America and various other national publications.

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