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A tight housing market in the Pikes Peak region has made purchasing a home — especially those in the more affordable $300,000-and-under price range — a challenge for many buyers. RICH LADEN, THE GAZETTE

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Colorado Springs home prices rose at one of the fastest clips in the nation during the second quarter, according to a National Association of Realtors report released this week.

The city’s median home price skyrocketed to $323,600, a 13.9 percent jump when compared with the second quarter of last year, the association’s report showed.

The percentage increase ranked as the sixth biggest among 178 metro areas in the report. Colorado Springs’ median price, meanwhile, was the 26th highest.

Like many communities, Colorado Springs has seen its supply of homes for sale shrink to historically low levels. That tight inventory, combined with a strong demand being fueled by a booming economy and low mortgage rates, has helped propel home prices, local real estate industry members have said.

Rising prices certainly can make it more difficult for some buyers to purchase the house they want.

But gains in appreciation make housing a good investment for homeowners, said Harry Salzman, a longtime real estate agent with Salzman Real Estate Services and ERA Shields Real Estate.

And if employers can be persuaded that their workers will benefit from home ownership in the Springs, it could serve as an economic development tool to help woo new businesses to town, Salzman said.

“I see that as an asset,” he said. “’Look what we’re going to do for your employees.’ It will be great for employees.”

The price increase shown in the National Association of Realtors’ quarterly report mirrors a trend in monthly reports from the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.

In July, the local median price of $310,000 was up nearly 9 percent year over year, according to the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.

Local prices rose by double-digit percentages each month during the first half of the year, while median prices also set record highs each month from March through June, Pikes Peak Association of Realtors data show.

Other highlights of the National Association of Realtors’ second-quarter report include:

• Nationwide, the second-quarter median home price of $269,000 increased 5.3 percent when compared with the same period last year.

• In Colorado, Denver saw a 9 percent year-over-year median price increase to $462,900, while Boulder prices rose 6.4 percent to $631,100.

• San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara in Northern California, home to Silicon Valley, saw the largest percentage increase during the second quarter — 18.7 percent. Its median home price of $1.4 million also was tops in the report. The area’s percentage price increase also ranked No. 1 in the first quarter.

• Decatur, in central Illinois, saw the biggest percentage decline in median prices during the second quarter, falling 9.8 percent to $96,900. Decatur also was at the bottom in the first quarter.

Business writer, Colorado Springs Gazette

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