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Supply of homes for sale is shrinking across Colorado, not just Denver

Homebuyers across most of Colorado, not just those in metro Denver, are faced with much slimmer pickings heading into 2020, according to December market reports from the Colorado Association of Realtors.

In metro Denver, the inventory of single-family homes available for sale was 28.9% lower at the end of 2019 than it was at the end of 2018, according to the report.

And while sales for the year were up about 5.8% in metro Denver last year, the bigger drain on supply appears to have come from hibernating property owners not putting homes up for sale.

In November, new listings of single-family homes for sale in the seven-county metro Denver area fell 32.8% from October, and then they fell another 29.5% in December from November, according to CAR's counts.

"Our Colorado market has become so tough and unaffordable that the U-Haul report showed that people are now coming here less than they were just last year. In 2018 Colorado ranked number 16 on the list of states to move to. We now sit at 42 as word on the street is, we cost too much," said Patrick Muldoon, a Colorado Springs-area Realtor in comments accompanying the report.

In El Paso County, Muldoon's home turf, the inventory of homes for sale fell 35.2%, leaving buyers with only 1,193 homes to shop through versus 1,842 a year earlier.

Pueblo County experienced a sharp 38.7% drop in its single-family home inventory, which went from 573 homes at the end of 2018 to 351 at the end of 2019.

The inventory declines to the north were less severe. In Larimer County, the inventory of single-family homes available for sale in December was down 12.2%, while in Weld County, it fell 11.3%.

Those were similar to the decline seen in Mesa County, where the inventory of single-family homes for sale dropped 12.3%.

The market was much tighter in Garfield County, which saw listings of single-family homes fall from 313 at the end of 2018 to 185 at the end of 2019, a 40.9% plunge.

"While our market continues to struggle with low inventory, which of course results in higher prices, we are starting to see some new construction which brings hope to first-time homebuyers, as well as move-up buyers," said Glenwood Springs-area Realtor Erin Bassett in a release.

In Eagle County, the single-family home inventory was down 26.4%,while the condo and townhome inventory dropped 14.5%. In Summit County, the inventory of single-family was off 27.4% and the inventory of condos bucked the trend, rising 14.7%.

Within metro Denver, Adams County suffered the largest percentage inventory decline, 46.9%,. Buyers at the start of 2019 had 1,029 single-family homes to choose from, but only 546 at the end of last year.

Denver County has the next-biggest decline at 40.5%, followed by Broomfield County at 39.9%, Jefferson County at 38% and Arapahoe County at 37.1%, Douglas County at 23.4% and Boulder County, down 11%.

Buyers can expect a tight market until sellers come out of hibernation.

"I do think sellers are waiting for warmer weather, but also I think the political scene has some waiting to see what is going to happen," said Joe Manzanares, broker-owner of The Devonshire Co. in Wheat Ridge. "I'm expecting a very busy spring."

Tribune Content Agency