The Colorado Springs-area housing market is off to a slow start in 2014.
Single-family home sales and prices declined in February and March when compared with the same months last year, according to reports released Tuesday by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.
The reports show:
- Sales in February totaled 573, a 13.7 percent decline over the same month a year earlier. March sales totaled 832, a 4 percent drop from the same month in 2013. Sales now have declined for five consecutive months.
- The median price - or mid-point - of homes sold in February dipped 1.5 percent to $196,000 compared with prices of homes sold during the same month last year. February's price drop broke a streak of 23 straight monthly increases. March's median price of $210,000 fell by 0.9 percent from a year ago.
- The supply of homes listed for sale totaled 3,689 for both February and March, up 21.5 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively, over the same months last year. The inventory remains relatively tight, compared with the height of the recession when monthly listings regularly topped 5,000 and 6,000 each month.
Bill Hurt, president of ERA Shields Real Estate in Colorado Springs, said he isn't overly concerned that the local housing market is headed into a downward spiral.
Higher mortgage rates and tighter lending restrictions have caused some potential buyers to drop out of the market - especially first-time buyers, Hurt said. That trend has had a ripple effect; when lower-end homes aren't selling, those existing owners can't move up to buy more expensive houses, he said.
The area also continues to need more jobs, although Hurt said he's seen an uptick in professionals coming to Colorado Springs - possibly as a result of the attraction of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the addition of a Veterans Administration clinic being built on the city's northwest side.
For the rest of the year, Hurt says he expects home sales to remain flat, but prices should continue to rise, based on buying and selling activity he's seeing via brokers at ERA Shields.
The Realtors Association figures reflect home sales that took place mostly in El Paso and Teller counties; the numbers include only transactions handled by association members and not homes sold by owners.
The association typically releases its reports at the beginning of each month, but February and March figures were delayed while the association's research arm converted to a new Multiple Listing Service software program.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228
Facebook Rich Laden