After two months of slowing sales, the Colorado Springs-area housing market rebounded in June with one of its best sales months and prices that set or tied records.
Single-family home sales totaled 1,684 last month, a 2% year-over-year increase that followed declines in April and May, according to a Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report.
June’s total was the third highest for any month on record, eclipsed only by sales that topped 1,700 in June 2017 and June 2018, historical housing data show.
At the same time, pending sales — homes that have been contracted for purchase but whose deals haven’t been completed — totaled 3,040 in June, according to the Realtors Association report. That means more sales are the way in July and August.
While June home sales reflected continued demand for housing in Colorado Springs, they might have received a boost because of the slowdown in April and May, said Tiffany Lachnidt, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty in Colorado Springs.
State-ordered restrictions on the buying and selling process that were designed to halt the spread of the coronavirus — including limits on showings and open houses — contributed to the slowdown, Lachnidt said. Some of those sales then were delayed until June.
“We had about 3½ weeks where we actually couldn’t sell, couldn’t market, couldn’t list homes,” Lachnidt said.
“So our inventory took a hit and I think some of our sales took a hit as a result of that in April and May,” she said. “It (the housing market) is as strong as it shows, but I think it might be a little bit inflated just because in April and May we had a little bit of softening on closed sales because of the conditions we were working around.”
Even though some people have lost jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and many businesses were forced to close their doors for several weeks in March and April under state orders, the demand for housing has remained strong in Colorado Springs, Lachnidt said.
That demand has been driven by the city’s reputation as a desirable place to live, newcomers who are moving to town and historically low mortgage rates, Lachnidt said. Last week, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.07% nationally, another record low, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.
Local home sales would be even higher if there were more properties available for purchase, said Dave Kaercher, broker owner of Re/Max Real Estate Group in the Springs.
The inventory of homes sunk to 1,479 in June, a roughly 30% drop from a year earlier, the Realtors Association report showed. Historically, inventories in summer months typically top 3,000 and 4,000.
But many people have chosen to stay put rather than sell — refinancing their mortgages to lower rates and making improvements to their homes rather than moving, Kaercher said.
“We have too many buyers for the inventory,” he said. “It’s crazy.”
The tight supply, combined with the strong demand, helped drive the median price of homes that sold in June to $360,000, a nearly 9% increase over the same month last year and tying the record high set in April, according to the Realtors Association report.
The average price of homes sold in June rose 7.5% on a year-over-year basis to a record high of $401,980 — the first time the average has hit the $400,000 mark.
Average prices, however, can be skewed by a few very high or low sales and therefore are considered less reliable than the median by many real estate agents and economists.
Even though the pandemic hasn’t gone away, consumers remain confident in the local economy and continue to look for homes, though the upscale portion of the housing market has slowed, Lachnidt said.
“For the most part, consumer confidence is what we’re hearing from our buyers,” she said. “The overall emotional feel from the consumers we’re working with on our buy-and-listing site is they don’t feel concerned about the economy at all.”