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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Home Sales Surged Last Week, The Week Before Christmas

[Published Dec. 26, 2013, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section]

In my Dec. 19th column I wrote that December can be a good time to put a home on the market. Statistics have reinforced that statement, as last week turned out to be one of the busiest December shopping weeks in local real estate history.
My attention was drawn to this by what happened in our hometown of Golden. At the beginning of the week there were only 15 listings in the entire City of Golden — a shockingly low inventory — but by week’s end that count was down to 11 listings, because two listings had been added, but six listing had gone under contract!
Searching the full MLS, I discovered that just over 1,000 listings went under contract last week, and 165 of them had been on the MLS for a week or less. Just as impressive, 67 of the listings sold last week had been on the MLS six months or more. So, yes, buyers are buying homes — even “stale” listings — during late December! By comparison, I counted only 613 sales that resulted from contracts written during the same pre-Christmas week in 2012. Even allowing for contracts that fall or for duplicate listings, this is a huge year-over-year increase.

For additional comparison, during the 3rd week of June last summer, 1,716 listings went under contract that subsequently closed successfully. Even if we adjust last week’s contracts downward to allow for fallen contracts and duplicate listings, that still means that the week before Christmas saw more than half as many sales as in mid-June.

Another 208 more listings went under contract on the Sunday and Monday before Christmas this year. Last year, 83 homes went under contract (that subsequently closed) on the Sunday and Monday before Christmas (which fell on Tuesday last year).

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