Colorado Springs-area homebuyers continued to find slim pickings last month, as the supply of local properties available for purchase remained at historically low levels.
Only 1,667 single-family homes were listed for sale in November, a nearly 23% drop when compared with the same month last year and the lowest supply for any month since April of this year, according to a Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report.
While the number of homes listed for sale traditionally shrinks in the fall, November’s inventory nevertheless was exceptionally tight. During several years before the Great Recession, November home supplies often topped 2,000 and 3,000 — and even exceeded 4,000 a few times, records show.
The tight supply — combined with a strong demand on the part of buyers who are seeking to take advantage of long-term mortgage rates that have fallen below 4% — has contributed to a steady increase in home prices, local real estate agents have said.
In November, the median price, or midpoint, of single-family homes sold during the month climbed to $325,000, a 7.3% year-over-year increase, according to the Realtors Association report. Prices have risen every month for five consecutive years, and hit a record high of $335,000 in October.
Home sales totaled 1,188 in November, an 8.4% jump over the same month last year. Through the first 11 months of 2019, single-family sales are running ahead of last year’s pace — totaling 14,813, or 2.1% higher than the same period in 2018.
The shortage of homes listed for sale in November continues a trend that industry experts have seen for the last few years.
“Inventory has not grown,” said Bruce Betts, broker/owner of Re/Max Advantage in Colorado Springs. “It hasn’t gotten any better in that regard.”
And many buyers aren’t happy about it.
“There still are buyers that are frustrated with a lack of opportunity, a lack of options in the marketplace,” Betts said.
A primary reason that potential sellers aren’t putting their homes on the market: a fear they won’t be able to find a replacement property for the one they’re selling, Betts said. Also, potential sellers might think the market will slow in the fall and the pool of buyers will dry up, he said. As a result, some sellers believe they’re better off waiting until the first of the year to list their homes.
But that hasn’t been the case in recent years, Betts said. Realtors Association figures show fourth-quarter home sales totaled roughly 3,500 to 3,900 each year since 2016.
“They say, ‘hey we’re thinking about putting our home on the market after the first of the year because we know we can’t sell now,’” Betts said.
“And then we try to point out, actually, you can sell now.”