Home values are on the rise in the Springs

RICH LADEN Updated: November 29, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: November 29, 2012

A federal agency’s report on single-family home prices is the latest sign that Colorado Springs values are on the rise — albeit at a slower rate than what other reports have shown.

Area home prices rose 1 percent in the third quarter when compared with the same period a year ago, according to a report this week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Colorado Springs’ third-quarter increase ranked it 87th among roughly 300 metro areas included in the report.

Of other Colorado communities, Fort Collins-Loveland’s 3.7 percent year-over-year increase in the third quarter was ninth best in the nation and tops in the state. Denver-Aurora’s 2.9 percent increase and Greeley’s 2.8 percent gain were the 19th and 20th highest nationwide, respectively.

Boulder had a 1.9 percent  third-quarter increase and Grand Junction saw prices rise by 0.5 percent. Pueblo’s prices fell 1.5 percent in the third quarter.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s report on home prices uses a different measurement than other reports; it tracks prices of homes as they are sold, re-sold or refinanced. Some economists believe tracking same-home prices over time is a more accurate gauge of the health of a community’s housing market.

While the agency’s report shows only a 1 percent year-over-year increase in Springs prices, it nevertheless shows values are headed upward — the same direction as shown in other recent reports.

Figures compiled by the research arm of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors shows Colorado Springs-area home prices rose 7.2 percent in the third quarter when compared with the same period last year. The association’s numbers include prices of homes sold in the third quarter by real estate agents, and compares them against a different group of homes sold in the same period the previous year.

Harry Salzman, owner of Salzman Real Estate Services Ltd. in Colorado Springs, said he expects area prices to continue to rise.

Unlike other communities — such as Phoenix or Las Vegas — that saw unrealistic price increases several years ago, and then saw steep drops when the real estate market crashed, Springs prices have been consistent over time, Salzman said. Since local prices never fell too far, they are starting to climb back gradually as the market recovers, he said.

Prices could continue their ascent in 2013 if inflation — practically not existent the past few years — takes hold, Salzman said. And if mortgage rates also rise next year, homebuyers who are on the fence should consider making purchases now to avoid rising home prices and higher interest payments, he said.

Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen

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