Colorado Springs-area home prices continued to climb last month, even as Denver’s slipped for the first time in several years.
The local increase signals the Pikes Peak region’s housing market remains healthy and no significant changes for buyers and sellers are in the offing, Donna Major, a real estate agent with Re/Max Advantage and board chairwoman of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors, said Friday.
“Considering the time of the year, it being kind of in the midst of winter ... I think we’re still pretty strong,” Major said.
The median price, or midpoint, of homes sold in February rose to $315,000, a 7.7 percent increase when compared with the same month last year, according to a Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report. Area prices have risen every month since December 2014.
The report compiles transactions reported by real estate agents who are association members; most of their sales take place in El Paso and Teller counties, with some in other Front Range counties.
Other highlights of the association’s report include:
• Home sales in February totaled 923, a 2.3 percent drop from the same month last year. Despite that decline, the latest monthly figure is the second highest February sales total on record and trails only that of last year.
• Through the first two months of 2019, home sales totaled 1,825. That’s down 3.2 percent from the same period last year.
• The supply of homes listed for sale totaled 1,518 in February, up nearly 24 percent on a year-over-year basis. Based on the inventory and the pace of recent home sales, there was a 1.6-month supply of homes available in February, up from 1.3 months a year earlier.
Even as the inventory of homes for sale increased in February, it remains historically low. The tight supply has helped fuel the rise in prices, Major said.
“Sellers are getting at or above asking price, when they’re priced correctly,” she said. “If someone is way overpriced, those properties still sit. But if they’re at value, then they may have more than one offer, which may give them top dollar for their house.”
Because of the low inventory and steady demand, the market continues to favor sellers, Major said. The market won’t tilt in favor of buyers until the supply picks up, especially for homes in the $350,000-and-under price range, she said.
February’s median sales price in the Denver area fell 2.2 percent to $430,100, which the Denver Post reported was the first year-over-year decline in price in seven years.
Jill Schafer, a Denver real estate agent who chairs the market trends committee for the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, said prices fell partly because of sluggish sales in outlying portions of the 11-county metro area.
Sales also are being compared against robust price gains of 2018, and so an appreciation slowdown isn’t a surprise, she said. The Denver-area inventory has increased at a much higher pace than in Colorado Springs, so buyers also have more choices and can negotiate a more favorable price, she said.
But Denver’s market remains strong and February’s price drop “was a little bit of a blip,” Schafer added.