But the thing I like to do most when explaining our real estate market is to show folks the chart on the next page. Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words. Please take a look at it and begin to absorb what it’s telling us. Everything you need to know about our current real estate market is contained in this chart.
What you see are two lines, a blue one and a red one. The blue line shows the inventory (i.e., the number) of homes for sale in metro Denver every month from January 2008 to January 2017. The red line shows the number of homes sold every month. You can see that the inventory peaked in May 2008 at 26,000 homes for sale. That was at the depth of our economic and housing downturn, when fear ruled our market, banks were being shut down, our local and national economies were in shambles, unemployment was rising, and consumer confidence hit new lows. The result, of course, was that people didn’t want to buy homes; they were afraid of the future and didn’t want to take on any risk. On the seller side of the equation, many homeowners were getting caught with rising monthly mortgage payments as their Option ARM mortgages adjusted upward, so suddenly they wanted to sell at the very worst time possible. The perfect storm.