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Average Colorado Springs home price hits record high in January

By Rich Laden

Feb 6, 2017 

The booming resale side of Colorado Springs' housing market is off to another record-setting start in 2017.

The average price for a single-family home that sold in January climbed to a record high of $298,774, a 13.3 percent increase over the same month last year, the latest Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report shows. The previous record of $295,877 was set in August of last year.

Real estate agents and economists typically downplay the significance of average prices, since they can be skewed by a few very high or very low sales. Nevertheless, the increase in average prices is part of a trend of steady appreciation in home values.

The median price for January home sales increased 11.8 percent on a year-over-year basis and tied the previous record high of $265,000 that also was set in August, the Realtors Association report showed. The median is the mid-point of sale prices; in January, half of the homes that sold were priced below $265,000 and half were above.

"In terms of prices, it's a rocket start," said real estate agent Rick Van Wieren of Re/Max Properties in Colorado Springs.

Expect prices to continue to rise in 2017, Van Wieren said.

The strong economy and employment picture mean many people are working and looking to buy, he said.

At the same time, mortgage rates that have ticked upward of late remain low by historical standards - averaging 4.19 percent nationally last week for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

And the inventory of homes listed for sale plunged to 1,331 in January - down nearly 31 percent from the same month a year earlier and an apparent record low, based on 20-plus years of Realtors Association data.

"We just don't have enough sellers out there," Van Wieren said.

As a result of the strong demand and tight supply, Van Wieren said the average price should soon hit $300,000, while the median price could climb to the neighborhood of $280,000.

"We tend to only get better as the year goes on when it comes to prices," he said.

Meanwhile, home sales also got off to a quick start in January and could be on track to break last year's record total of 15,318.

Sales totaled 908 in January, a 7 percent increase over the same month a year earlier, the Realtors Association report shows.

Year-over-year home sales now have increased for 30 straight months; last month's total, meanwhile, was the most for any January in more than 25 years of reports by the Realtors Association.

The Realtors Association report compiles home sales whose transactions were handled by its members; it doesn't include homes sold by individual owners. Roughly nine out of every 10 home sales took place in El Paso County, while others took place in a handful of Front Range counties.

 Colorado Springs Business Journal

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