Already on pace this year to break its home sales record, Colorado Springs will continue to be one of the nation's hottest housing markets in 2018.
That's a prediction from Realtor.com, an online real estate service that ranked Colorado Springs as No. 8 in its national housing forecast for next year.
Realtor.com based its rankings on home sales and price increases expected next year. It predicts median prices in the Springs will rise 5.7 percent in 2018 over this year, while annual sales will grow by 3.1 percent on a year-over-year basis. The forecast includes single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums.
"I'm a little surprised we're No. 8. I thought we'd be higher than that," said Debbie Howes, a broker at Re/Max Performance in Woodland Park and board chairwoman of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.
Don't get her wrong; Howes said she's happy Colorado Springs is one of Realtor.com's Top 10 markets for next year. But since the Springs is enjoying strong job growth and a resurgent economy, she thought it might climb even higher.
Single-family home sales in the Colorado Springs area - excluding townhomes and condos - set a record high of 15,318 in 2016, according to Pikes Peak Association of Realtors data. Based on the number of sales each month in 2017, this year's total should blow past last year's mark.
Median prices, meanwhile, have set record highs on four occasions this year, topping out at $285,250 in June, Realtors Association figures show.
"I really kind of like where we're at," Howes said of the Springs market. The (Colorado Springs) Chamber and EDC, it looks like they're doing a wonderful job of bringing companies in."
She also applauded the Chamber and EDC's efforts to work with existing companies that are expanding.
But not everything is rosy when it comes to the housing market, Howes said. It's tough for some buyers to find entry-level homes, she said.
"Our teachers, our policemen, our firemen," Howes said. "They have good jobs. But right now, they're losing out on the bidding wars in those below-$300,000 houses.
"I don't want us to become a nation of renters," Howes added. "I want us to be homeowners because that's when we have a strong economy, that's when people care about their homes, they care about their community, they care about their city."
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