Local home sales post best year since 2007

RICH LADEN Updated: January 8, 2013 at 12:00 am • Published: January 8, 2013

Increased single-family home sales and rising prices last month capped off the best performance for the Colorado Springs-area re-sale market in five years, a Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report shows.

Home sales totaled 702 in December, a 7.8 percent increase over the same month last year, the association’s report showed. For all of 2012, sales totaled 9,146 — the most since 9,995 in 2007

The median price — or midpoint — of homes sold last month rose to $209,700, up 13.4 percent from December 2011.

“We’re seeing both the quantity of sales and the value of the sales both going up,” said Rick Van Wieren, a broker with Re/Max Properties in Colorado Springs.

Mortgage rates that have plunged to their lowest levels in decades have been credited with boosting the market. Last week, 30-year, fixed rate loans averaged 3.34 percent nationally, while 15-year loans averaged 2.64 percent, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

Also, real estate industry experts have said that many buyers who had been on the sidelines for years waiting for the economy to improve now have jumped into the market.

Something else that’s helped to drive prices: inventory. The supply of homes listed for sale totaled 2.933 in December, a 10.7 percent year-over-year decline. It was the fewest number of homes listed for sale in any month since December 2001

Van Wieren said the market still has a long way to go to get back to the price and sales levels of eight to nine years ago.

Nevertheless, “in terms of where we were, this is definitely a rebound,” he said.

The Realtors Association report includes home sales whose transactions were handled by its members, not individual homeowners. Most of the sales took place in El Paso and Teller counties.

Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
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