Finding a single-family home to purchase continues to be a challenge in Colorado Springs, especially for buyers looking in lower price ranges.

The supply of Colorado Springs-area homes for sale tumbled to 1,229 in February, another record monthly low, according to the latest Pikes Peak Association of Realtors report. Listings in the report have dropped every month since August 2014 on a year-over-year basis.

"It's very low," said Debbie Howes, a real estate agent with Re/Max Performance in Woodland Park and the association's board chairwoman.

Among other factors, the exceptionally tight supply is the product of not enough homes being built, while some owners are holding on to their properties instead of selling for fear they won't find another to buy, Howes said.

At the same time, demand remains strong, as a much improved local economy and still favorable mortgage rates have driven buyers into the market.

Those supply-and-demand forces are combining to boost prices, the Realtors Association report shows. The median price of homes that sold in February rose to $292,470, up nearly 15 percent over the same month last year, the Realtors Association report show. The area's median price - the mid-point of all sales - has risen for 39 straight months on a year-over-year basis.

The area's average price spiked to $331,104 in February, almost 10 percent higher than a year ago. Real estate agents and economists, however, typically consider the median a more accurate measure because the average can be influenced by a few very high or very low sales prices.

Home sales also continued their ascent. In February, sales totaled 946, an 18.3 percent rise over the same month a year earlier. Sales have risen in all but two months over the past 3½ years.

For the first two months of 2018, sales totaled 1,884 - already about 10 percent over the same period last year, when sales hit a record high.

Of home sales last month, 53.4 percent were priced at $300,000 or less, which continues to be the most popular segment of the local market.

The pace at which homes sold also remained brisk. Homes spent an average of 40 days on the market in February before selling; during the same month a year ago, they sold in an average of 41 days.

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Business writer, Colorado Springs Gazette

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