Over the past year there has been a strong recovery in property price levels in Metro Denver so that it is possible to see the value of our homes returning to something close to their level before the financial crisis that began in 2009. Many homeowners caught in the negative equity trap are now beginning to see opportunities for selling their homes and moving up the property ladder, and this has added fuel to the recovery process. This makes it a good time to sell. The high demand makes it a sellers market. However, for buyers it means that there is a greater choice of properties on the market and a faster turnover of properties.
However, real estate agents are careful about being too aggressive in their pricing as over-pricing of properties can be detrimental to the market in the longer term. Buyers are suspicious of homes that are slow to sell, so it benefits everyone for the market to be more buoyant. Looking at the figures for the twelve months up to May 2014, the average price rise for sold homes was 8.08%. Condos showed the greatest price difference over this period with a rise of 15.88% compared to that of single family homes, which rose by 10.67%.
Lone Tree has a short twenty year history of development, but throughout that period it has weathered the rises and falls of the real estate market that may have hit harder in some other parts of Colorado. The building of the Lone Tree Golf Club, which has since become part of the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District, stimulated the building of many upscale estates in the surrounding neighborhoods, first in Carriage Club and Heritage Estates, and then during the early years of the 21st century at Heritage Hills, with a mix of gated luxury and custom built homes with developments on smaller, easier to maintain lot sizes that were preferred by a younger generation of home buyers.
Median home values in Lone Tree have stood up well during these past fourteen years, rising and falling but never going below the 2000 base figure of $307K, only occasionally reaching the peak of around $610K, and averaging somewhere between $400K and $500K, around the current median figure for June to September 2014 of $459,425. The number of sales since 2000 showed a definite dip in 2009, but the recovery came quickly, with the figure for current sales being only slightly below the starting figure.
Lone Tree homes
The full range of Lone Tree Homes that sold quickly during the last couple of years testify to the recovery of the market, however tentative that may be. Sale prices in the upmarket Heritage Estates topped out at $3,690,000 and the current median sale price is $1,637,000. If you are aiming to buy property in this area, expect to pay at least $1,050,000. The highest price in Heritage Hills was very similar, at $3,400,000, although the median sale price is only $975,000 and the lowest value put on a Heritage Hills home is $674,000. In the new RidgeGate development, the mixed-use plan by the Coventry Development Corporation that extends the city of Lone Tree along its southern and eastern flanks, encompassing the arts center, the hospital and new business centers, has proved a powerful draw for home buyers, which has made RidgeGate stand out as an example of successful planning. Homes in RidgeGate sold at prices between $279,000 and $775,000, with a median sale price of $449,950.
The new Parkside development at RidgeGate, a small neighborhood of 31 modern, spacious homes, all powered by solar panels as standard in Colorado’s first completely solar-powered neighborhood, has seen sales continue unabated throughout the housing slump. These single-family, two-story homes seemed to perfectly fit the bill for homeowners looking for a combination of contemporary floor layouts, individual front elevations and rich architectural detailing with upscale interior fittings and energy efficiency, but without the large backyard and the upkeep necessary in the more traditional suburban home. With prices starting at around $450,000, over half the homes were bought off plan within the first two months of opening the model home.
New Homes are Selling
The Parkside builders, Berkeley Homes and Harvard Communities, have combined to develop the new neighborhood of NorthSky, close to the bluffs trailhead, which has similar specifications and green credentials. Homes here, priced between $589,900 and $679,000, are selling as quickly as anywhere in RidgeGate, and the addition of some single-story ranch style homes are attracting an older generation looking towards the perfect retirement home.