NEWS

Denver Spared In US Home Prices Record Drop

Date: Jan. 28th, 2009
Contact: Margaret Jackson Denver Post

Denver home prices declined a little in November while much of the rest of the country continued its downward spiral, according to a closely watched 20-city index released Tuesday.

Prices dropped 1.1 percent in Denver from October to November. That was the smallest month-over- month decline among the cities measured by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index.

Compared with November 2007, Denver home prices were down 4.3 percent. Only Dallas, with a 3.3 percent drop, saw a smaller decline.

Nationally, prices tumbled by the sharpest annual rate on record, 18.2 percent, as the deepening housing slump and national recession spared no region.

Overall, homes in the index have lost a quarter of their value since their peak in July 2006. Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco led the way down in November with annual declines of greater than 30 percent.

Mike Burns, broker owner of Re/Max Professionals Inc., said he expected the index to drop in Denver because the homes sold during the second half of the year, including many foreclosures, were in the lower price ranges.

"We've always been kind of a trickle-up economy," Burns said. "When the lower prices start to move, that usually indicates the upper prices are going to start moving soon."

There's just a six-month supply of homes priced at less than $250,000, Burns said.

"That price range is really, really humming right now," he said. "We're going to see prices inch back up. What will sell this year will be moving toward the $300,000s, $400,000s and $500,000s."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Margaret Jackson: 303-954-1473 or mjackson@denverpost.com