Rising property values and increased home sales have made 2015 a good year for Colorado Springs' single-family housing market.
Now, a national online real estate firm suggests the Springs will be one of the nation's hottest markets next year, as well.
Trulia.com, which offers housing information for buyers, sellers and real estate professionals, has ranked Colorado Springs as No. 6 among its top 10 markets that have strong growth potential for next year.
Trulia's rankings - part of a recent report on current and future housing trends - are based on five market indicators: strong job growth over the past year; a tight supply of rental properties; affordability; a large pool of millennials; and data that indicate more people are researching a move to Colorado Springs instead of leaving the city.
Trulia's report assigned scores based on each of the categories, and produced its list of top growth markets for 2016. Grand Rapids, Mich., ranked No. 1 in the report; the Springs was the only Colorado city included in the top 10.
The report comes as Colorado Springs-area home sales for the first 11 months of 2015 already have exceeded last year's total, while prices have risen for 12 straight months, according to the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.
Bill Hurt, owner and president of ERA Shields Real Estate, one of the Springs' largest residential brokerages, wasn't surprised by Trulia's report.
Hurt said he expects more hiring on the part of local health-related businesses and nonprofits, while he's also optimistic of more tech-related jobs at start-ups. More jobs will translate into a demand for homes; some of those jobs will carry higher salaries, as well, he said.
The tight rental market, Hurt added, means many people will recognize the benefits of homeownership - such as increasing property values and the ability of homeowners to deduct mortgage interest from their federal taxes.
ERA Shields had expected a 10 percent increase in 2015 in revenues from brokers' commissions; it's already slightly exceeded that projection, Hurt said.
As he looks to 2016, Hurt said he anticipates another 10 percent increase in revenues, which will come from a natural increase in business - not because ERA Shields is trying to ramp up sales, he said.
"I think it's going to be a good year," Hurt said.
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