Published: June 4, 2014
Colorado Springs-area home prices and sales rose slightly last month, reversing recent trends in the local market, according to a Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report released Wednesday.
Sales of single-family homes totaled 1,124 in May, up 0.9 percent from the same month last year, the report showed. It was the first year-over-year increase in sales since October.
Through the first five months of 2014, sales totaled 4,046, a 4.4 percent decline over the same period in 2013.
Meanwhile, homes that were sold in May had a median price - or mid-point- of $216,250, a 0.5 percent increase from May 2013. Prices had declined the previous two months.
Low mortgage rates might have helped sales last month, said Jack Beuse, Realtors Association board chairman and a broker associate with the Paradigm Group in Colorado Springs. Nationally, rates averaged 4.12 percent last week for 30-year, fixed rate loans, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.
Despite the increases in sales and prices, the market was essentially flat in May, Beuse said. Still, "I'd rather have a small positive than a negative," he said.
However, there are lingering concerns about the market, said Joe Clement, broker owner of Re/Max Properties in the Springs.
The inventory of homes for sale totaled 4,009 in May, the first time the monthly supply has topped 4,000 since September. That means greater competition for sellers, which could stall any gains in prices.
Homes priced at $400,000 and above are the biggest problem, Clement said. Their supply continues to grow because the area isn't adding high-wage employees who can afford to buy pricey homes, he said.
Based on the pace of sales in the last six months and the number of current listings, there was about an 11-month supply of homes for sale in the $400,000 to $450,000 price range in May, said Clement, using figures Re/Max Properties compiled from the Realtors Association.
For homes priced from $500,000 to $600,000, there was a nearly 18-month supply of properties for sale in May. In the $900,000 to $1 million range, it was a 6.8-year supply.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist," Clement said. "It gets back to the quality of jobs and higher-end jobs. We're just lacking there. We've got to fix it somehow."
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