The single-family housing market continued its recovery last month in the Colorado Springs area, as home sales and prices jumped again and the supply of homes listed for sale remained in check.

Home sales totaled 932 in April, a nearly 19 percent increase over the same month last year, according to a Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report. Sales have increased in 20 out of the last 22 months, and last month's total was the best April for sales since 2006.

Through the first four months of the year, home sales totaled 3,121, a one-fourth increase over the same period in 2012.

The median price, or midpoint, of homes sold in April was $214,925, an 11.6 percent year-over-year increase, the association's report showed. Prices have increased for 14 straight months, and April's median was the highest for any month since $223,950 in July 2008.

Meanwhile, the inventory of homes for sale totaled 3,377 in April, a 0.2 percent dip from the same month last year.

Low mortgage rates continue to drive the market for first-time, move-up and relocation buyers, as well as investors, said Bruce Betts, owner of Re/Max Advantage in Colorado Springs. This week, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.35 percent nationally, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

People who have been living in rental homes are joining the ranks of buyers, Betts said.

'They're discovering that, hey, the house I was paying $1,200 to $1,300 a month for (in rent), now I can buy it for $900 a month or maybe even less, ' Betts said.

There are even former homeowners who lost their properties to foreclosure or were forced into a short sale who are now finding they can afford to get back into the homebuying market, he said.

An increased demand and a stable supply of homes for sale has helped boost prices. And yet, inventory has become a problem, too.

Some buyers can't find certain styles of homes they're looking for, Betts said. For example, older residents who want to downsize and keep their living on one level are finding that single-story properties are in short supply, he said.

In turn, those residents are reluctant to put their homes on the market, which is also contributing to the low inventory of properties for sale, Betts said.

The Realtors Association report reflects transactions handled by the organization's members. Most home sales take place in El Paso and Teller counties.

The recovery in the re-sale market is being matched by the homebuilding industry. A report this week by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department showed that the pace of homebuilding in April was at a near seven year-high.


Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen

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