Detached home vs. condo: What the median looks like in Denver

Posted at 12:23 PM, Aug 22, 2017

DENVER – With high prices and some of the fastest-selling homes in the country, Denver is one of the toughest places to be in the market for a new home right now.

The median price for all single-family homes – both attached and detached homes – dipped slightly to $385,000 in July, according to data from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, but prices are still nearly 10 percent higher than the same time last year.

A home's price can vary considerably based on location and even the time of year, but a major factor in the price of a property is what kind of home you’re looking for.

A condo, for example, is much more affordable than a detached home in the Denver metro area.

Compare the following median examples from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (data from July 2017):

Detached single-family home

$420,000 median sold price
1,790 square feet ($235/sq. ft.)
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Built in 1986
Spent 7 days on the market

Attached single-family home (condo)

$275,000 median sold price
1,167 square feet ($236/sq. ft.)
2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Built in 1985
Spent 6 days on the market

Looking at the median data – especially the price – it might be tempting to look at condos instead of detached homes. A condo is typically cheaper, but it’s also smaller, meaning you’ll end up paying about the same amount per square foot. Then there's the potential added expense of homeowner association fees, which tend to be more common with condos.

There also are far fewer condos for sale compared to other homes in metro Denver. In July, there were more than 5,700 active listings for detached single-family homes versus fewer than 1,700 condo listings.

Some industry experts hope this will change with the passage of Colorado’s construction defects reform bill, which aims to encourage more condo construction.

Overall, the number of active listings has been going up since hitting a record low earlier this year, but current numbers are still far below historical averages.