Colorado Springs’ red-hot housing market wasn’t quite so crazy last month, as home sales slowed, inventory rose to a two-year high and prices increased, a Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report shows.
The single-family home market is “just stabilizing a little bit — not so frenzied,” said Donna Major, board chairwoman for the Realtors Association and a real estate agent with Re/Max Advantage in Colorado Springs.
“It has that feel of, we’re not in that desperate situation,” Major added Tuesday. “People are starting to be a little more cautious, and buyers are starting to be ... a little more, maybe, a little more picky about what they’re buying and trying not to overpay or feel like they’re overpaying.”
According to the Realtors Association report for September:
• Home sales totaled 1,273 last month, a nearly 16 percent year-over-year drop and the seventh straight monthly decline. Home sales traditionally slow in the last few months of the year, as school starts and parents don’t want to uproot their kids. At the same time, Major said, multiple offers for homes aren’t quite as common as they were early in the year.
Still, the demand for homes, especially those priced at $300,000 and below, remains strong, she said. The local housing market also is on track for one of its best years; through the first three quarters of 2018, sales totaled 12,097, or 2.8 percent behind last year’s record pace.
• Homes were on the market an average of 27 days before selling in September; a year ago, homes sold in an average of 26 days.
• The median price, or mid-point, of homes sold in September increased to $305,750, a little more than 11 percent higher than the same month last year. Median prices have risen each month since December 2014; they hit a record high of $324,750 in June.
• The number of homes listed for sale climbed to 2,449 in September, 14.2 percent higher than the same month last year and the most since August 2016. Based on recent trends, the supply of homes for sale in September would last 1.9 months, compared with 1.4 months a year ago. While the supply of homes still is historically low, inventories have risen or remained unchanged for five straight months after declining for the better part of four years. As prices rise, some sellers might have decided the time is right to put their homes on the market, which increases supply, some industry experts have said.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Major said she expects the market will stay healthy.
The local economy is strong, and mortgage rates — which increased in recent weeks and now hover near 5 percent for 30-year, fixed-rate loans — remain low when compared with double-digit levels in the 1980s and the high single digits of the early 1990s.
Prices should continue to increase, although at a slower pace, she said.
“I think we’re still going to finish out with a really strong last quarter of the year,” Major said. “Lots of people still move, and people still have to buy and sell properties. So I think things will still happen, just not at a frantic pace.”
The Realtors Association report compiles home sales reported by real estate agents who are members of the group; it excludes homes sold by owners. Last month, nearly 90 percent of sales took place in El Paso County, with more transactions recorded in other Front Range counties.