Slowdown?  Hey Athmar Buyers, Wish But Don't Wait!

Real Estate

If you saw 5280 Magazine’s recent cover story on Denver real estate, you saw this: A glorious photo of Huston Lake Park (credited to local area resident Judy Sedbrook). 

The story puts forth 11 predictions for 2019 and beyond. One was this: “Savvy buyers will take chances on Denver’s next-big-thing neighborhoods—and cash in, if they choose correctly.” 

Journalists love terms like “cash in,” but it’s an odd choice here.  Even in the highest-flying neighborhoods, buyers won’t do any cashing in at for least a few years.  Many sellers who have owned their homes for at least a few years will indeed cash in.

The magazine identifies a few of the “big thing” neighborhoods.  Among them are West Colfax, Sun Valley, and Athmar Park.  Homeowners there have already enjoyed some of Denver’s strongest price growth. 

This year from January 1 to June 13, for example, the average Athmar Park single-family sale price was $354,715.  Last year in the same period, it was a bit higher at $358,846.  In the same period of 2017, it was $304,934.  In 2016 it was $265,538.

Definitely some good growth.  Is it over?  The tiny dip from mid-2018 to mid-2019 may suggest a leveling off.  But it may be short-lived.

Last year from January 1 to June 13, there were 41 single-family home sales recorded in Athmar Park. In the same portion of 2019, there were 46 such sales. 

Do more sellers mean lower sale prices?  If so, the effect is miniscule.  Denver’s average single-family home sale price is now over $500,000.  The news is better for Athmar area buyers.  In the 80223 zip code, the recent median sale price was $382,000; and about the same in 80219.

Like the other big-thing areas, Athmar is "city close” (another odd term).  It remains affordable even for first-timers; more so with the recent drop in prevailing interest rates.  For patient buyers, a home purchase there looks like a sound investment.

As a practical matter, there is no slowdown for sub-$400K homes anywhere in Denver.  Sellers with an eye to moving on should spruce up their homes and get on with it.  Buyers should go get pre-qualified and get ready for some competition, but with confidence that the price they pay (like the home they buy) will look small and quaint down the road, in the rear-view mirror.