Home sales and prices rose last month in the Colorado Springs area as the 2012 recovery of the local re-sale market continued into the new year.
In January, single-family home sales totaled 660, or nearly 40 percent higher than the same month last year, according to the latest Pikes Peak Association of Realtors’ report on market conditions. It was the highest number of home sales for any January since 2007.
Mortgage rates under 4 percent and pent-up demand on the part of homebuyers who had put off purchases for years continue to drive the market, experts have said.
“When we get a really good listing and put it on the market, it only lasts a few days,” said Paul Goldenbogen, team leader and employing broker at Keller Williams Partners Realty in Colorado Springs. “It really doesn’t matter what location it is. The pent-up demand is there and waiting.”
The median price — or midpoint — of homes that were sold last month was $205,000, a 19 percent year-over-year gain, the association’s report showed.
Up to now, homes in the $250,000-and-under range have been hot sellers. But homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 range also have started to sell, Goldenbogen said.
Like some other real estate industry members, Goldenbogen doubted that prices really have risen by double digits, as they did in January. Instead, he wondered if the sale of some high-end homes has inflated the statistics on prices.
Other positive indicators in the association’s report include:
• It took an average of 87 days for homes to sell in January, down from 101 days during the same month last year.
• There were 2,930 homes listed for sale in January, down 7.2 percent from a year ago and one of the lowest monthly inventories of homes for sale in 12 years.
The fact that the supply of homes for sale hasn’t soared has helped push up prices over the last few months, some experts have said. But now, the limited supply is proving to be an impediment, Goldenbogen said.
“If we had more inventory, there would be more people that would select and buy houses,” he said. “We have people that sometimes can’t find exactly what they’re looking for.”
Still, the market has improved steadily — a trend that is potentially more sustainable over the long term than a quick jump, he said.
“In the past, whenever we’ve had these downward spikes, there was almost a response going right back up again,” Goldenbogen said. “Actually what we’ve got now is good, steady growth. If it stays on the same path, it will take a little longer than we want, but that’s way better than coming back too fast.”
The Realtors Association report is composed of home sales whose transactions were handled by its members, not individual homeowners. Most sales took place in El Paso and Teller counties.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
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