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Jan 2023 Denver REAL ESTATE Update


A Mega Mansion Right in Colorado

In an effort to seek out local real estate news that is not super depressing (the media really sensationalizes any change in the market) here is a story about a too good to be true listing right in our very own backyard — Evergreen, Colorado. We have reported on some really extravagant listings nationally, but every so often there is a national-newsworthy home for sale locally. One such home is for sale right now.

Dubbed the “Colorado Playboy Mansion” (no association with Hugh) the megamansion is currently for sale at $24,799,000. It was designed by Boulder firm KGA Studio Architects for a man named Richard Berry, a former racecar driver turned investor, supercar aficionado, and enthusiast. His goal was to "… create a better grotto than Hugh had at the Playboy Mansion." And wow, this place is incredible. Situated on a 74.5-acre plot, the home features 7 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a massive 50k gallon indoor/outdoor pool, a large hot tub, a master suite that takes up the whole 2nd floor, a bar, a huge wine cellar, and my personal favorite; a Star Trek inspired home theater that looks like it was pulled straight out of the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. If anyone buys this one, can you please invite me over?!?

(Story/Photo Source: The Denver Business Journal)


A Slow Start, but Higher Consumer Confidence

In the local real estate market, the first quarter of 2023 feels a lot like the fourth quarter of 2022; slow. With an official recession likely this fall, high inflation, and the mortgage rate hikes last year, it makes sense why many people are apprehensive to make a move. However, on the bright side, consumer confidence in on a sharp rise recently – more than expected for January. This is a great leading indicator of what will happen over the next few months. To try and predict the market, the best metrics to pay attention to in sequence are consumer confidence, new mortgage applications, home showing activity, mortgage rate locks, and finally closings.

So far, we saw the spike in consumer confidence, which indicates people are a little more optimistic about the economy than before. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t want to apply for a new mortgage. But, since confidence is on the rise right now, that increase should eventually flow through the rest of those metrics, resulting in more home sales. It is great sign for the spring, which is historically the busiest time of year in real estate.


You Might Need to Work Harder Than Before

If you are looking to sell your home this year, you may need to work harder than you would have if you had listed at this time last year. Sales at the end of December were down about 40% from last year! That means there are about half as many less buyers looking for homes right now as compared to the year before.

So, if you are looking to sell in the first part of the year, you need to make sure your house is “parade ready”. It needs to be clean; things need to be fixed, you have to work harder on curb appeal, and you need to price it to where buyers are going to want to come take a look. If you try to price your home at spring 2022 levels, you are almost certainly going to face a price reduction a couple weeks down the road. The frenzy of last year is over, but it is still a seller’s market, so you should be able to get a fair price for your property if you put in a little extra effort than folks who sold last year.


Ample Opportunities, but Still Not a Buyer’s Market

There is great news for buyers in the current market. For starters, inventory at the end of December was up 222% from the same time last year! That makes competition a lot less fierce than before, giving you more options, more time to plan out your offers, ask for more concessions for repairs, slight price reductions, etc. Mortgage rates are also on a slight decline from their recent peaks. The 30-yr. fixed rate is 6.15% as of this date of this publication, which is down almost a full percent from back in November when the same rate topped out at 7.08%. This is a small victory for buyers, who may pay less for a home than they would have back in November. Home price increases also slowed almost to a standstill in December, which is great news to help keep your monthly payments as low as possible if you are looking to buy in the first part of the year.

But please keep in mind, no matter what the local news may tell you, this is still not a buyer’s market. The advantage in negotiations still goes to the sellers. How can that be? Well, inventory may have been up tremendously year-over-year, but that level is up from record-low levels of homes for sale in 2020/2021. Right now, we have about 1.5 months (45 days) of housing inventory. To even make this a balanced market where buyers and sellers have equal negotiating power, we would need to have between 4-6 months (120-180 days) of inventory. A buyer’s market would be roughly 6-8+ months (180-240+ days) of inventory. Do not let the media trick you into thinking you hold all the cards when buying a home. Many of these reporters do not understand what they’re talking about and are just looking for a scoop. Sellers can still easily turn down your offer if they get offended or have better offers on the table.

*We use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information. The real estate market changes often. We make no guarantees of future real estate performance and assume no liability for any errors of omission in the content.

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