Homes prices in Colorado Springs soar again in first quarter
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Colorado Springs home prices continued to increase in the first quarter at one of the fastest clips in the nation. (Rich Laden, The Gazette)

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Colorado Springs home prices continued to increase in the first quarter at one of the fastest clips in the nation, according to a National Association of Realtors report released Monday.

The Springs' median price during the first three months climbed by 11.5 percent to $296,600 when compared with the same period last year, the report showed. The increase tied with Denver and Baton Rouge, La., for 27th among nearly 180 metro areas in the report.

Prices have risen steadily in Colorado Springs for roughly 3 1/2 years as the local market rebounded from the Great Recession.

"It's lack of supply in the face of strong demand," said Bruce Betts, broker/owner of Re/Max Advantage in Colorado Springs.

An improved economy and low mortgage rates have been the primary drivers on the part of buyers.

Local employers added 7,000 jobs in the 12 months leading up to March. And even as long-term mortgage rates have increased to about 4.5 percent in recent weeks, they remain historically low and attractive, Betts said.

At the same time, the supply of homes for sale continues to be tight, which has contributed to the increase in prices, Betts said. The Pikes Peak Association of Realtors' monthly market report shows the supply of homes has been below 2,000 each month since October; several years ago, inventories typically topped 3,000 and even 4,000 a month.

"Basically, we have about a 30-day supply of homes in El Paso County," Betts said. "In 2012, it was a six-month supply. Things have changed dramatically."

The National Association of Realtors first quarter report also showed:

- In addition to Colorado Springs and Denver's 11.5 percent year-over-year price increase, Boulder saw a 7.3 percent increase. Denver's median price in the first quarter was $441.500, while Boulder's was $588,500.

- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara in Northern California saw the largest percentage increase during the first quarter - 28.3 percent. The median price for homes in the area, which is home to Silicon Valley, was $1.37 million.

- Decatur, in central Illinois, saw the largest drop in median prices during the first quarter, plunging 15.2 percent to $73,000.

The National Association of Realtors report on prices mirrors that of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.

Local prices have risen by double digits each month in 2018, including a 10.9 percent, year-over-year increase in April, data from the local Realtors Association show.

And there are no signs of a slowdown, Betts said.

But even as prices rise, the Springs' quarterly increase of 11.5 percent isn't nearly as fast and furious as price increases seen in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and other areas in the years leading up to the Great Recession.

"It's strong, but not crazy," Betts said.

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Contact the reporter: 636-0228

Twitter: @richladen

Facebook: Rich Laden

Business writer, Colorado Springs Gazette

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