Colorado Springs’ single-family housing market is still going strong — just not quite as strong as last year.
A tight supply of homes available for purchase has contributed to a months-long decline in sales, as has a traditional late-year slowdown in buying and selling, said Joe Clement, broker-owner of Re/Max Properties in Colorado Springs.
“It’s winter, it’s snowing, I’m not buying a house,” he said of the mindset that takes hold late in the year.
In November, Colorado Springs-area home sales totaled 1,096, down nearly 13 percent from the same month last year, says a new report by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. Sales now have fallen for nine straight months on a year-over-year basis.
The city had 2,153 homes listed for sale in November, a 31 percent increase from a year earlier, the report showed. Despite that uptick, last month’s housing inventory remains historically low and sales have slid, in part, because there aren’t enough homes to accommodate all buyers — especially those whose price range is $300,000 and under, Clement said.
His brokerage recently listed a home for sale on the city’s southeast side at $215,000 and had multiple offers within three days
“As you go down in price, the inventory becomes less and less, and that’s been the trend for the last several years,” Clement said. “You can’t find a $200,000 house.”
If November’s inventory had been closer to a more normal monthly supply of about 3,000 to 3,500 homes, then last month’s sales might have bumped up by another 100 to 200, Clement said.
“But they’re not there, so we don’t get the deals done,” he said.
At the same time, some buyers will start to pull back on searching for homes when the weather gets colder, while many sellers will wait until the new year to list their properties.
“It’s the holidays; let’s not list, let’s not buy,” Clement said.
The sales slowdown isn’t cause for alarm, he said. The Colorado Springs area has seen record sales totals over the past few years, including more than 16,000 in 2017. Through November, sales totaled 14,512 — with another month still to go, according to the Realtors Association report. Most sales in the report take place in El Paso County, while others occur in a few Front Range counties.
“If you look back at 2012 or 2010, we’re looking good,” Clement said. “It’s strong. The last couple of years have been extremely strong; 2017 was phenomenal. So to say we’re off from 2017, it’s not like it’s a time to panic because we’re not that far off.”
Because homes still are in demand and supply is tight, prices continue to climb. The median price — or mid-point — of homes sold in November rose to $303,000, or 8.2 percent higher than a year ago, the Realtors Association reports. Prices now have risen for 48 straight months on a year-over-year basis.
Clement said he expects 2019 to be another good year.
Although long-term mortgage rates have increased to nearly 5 percent, Colorado Springs has plenty of assets that will help boost next year’s market, he said. Among them: a cheaper cost of living than other cities, an attractive place for millennials and top rankings for its quality of life by national publications.
“We’re going to have a great 2019,” Clement said. “As good as 2018 and 2017? Who knows? But we’re going to have a good year in 2019.”