The trend isn't necessarily your friend if you're trying to buy a single-family home in the Colorado Springs area.
Local home prices soared to a new round of record highs in June, as the average price cracked the $500,000 mark for the first time, according to a monthly market trends report released Thursday by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.
Not only do buyers have to pay more, they're likely to engage in bidding wars as they compete to purchase homes at a time when there's a shortage of properties for sale and inventories languish at historically low levels.
"Everything just keeps going up," said George Nehme, the Realtors Association's board chairman and a real estate agent with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. "We have not seen any change in our market right now.
"I don't see any signs that it's going to slow down," he added of rising prices and the demand for housing. "Not for us in Colorado Springs and in Colorado in general. We're just still at that weak number of available homes for the amount of people that are looking for homes."
According to the Realtors Association's report — which tracks home sales handled by its members — and historical data maintained by The Gazette:
• The average price of homes sold in June climbed to $502,961, a 25.1% or nearly $101,000 increase from the same month last year. It was the fifth straight month in which average prices hit a record high.
• The median price increased to $450,000 for homes sold last month, a one-fourth or $90,000 year-over-year spike and also a fifth straightly monthly record. The median is the midpoint of all prices; in June, half of the homes that were sold went for less than $450,000 and the other half went for more. Economists and real estate agents tend to focus more on the median because the average can be skewed by a few very high or very low sale prices.
• The supply of homes for sale at the end of June totaled 777. On the plus side, June's inventory rose by one-third from May and was the highest one-month total since 881 homes were listed in October. Yet, last month's supply was 47.5% below the 1,479 homes listed in June 2020, and June inventories often have topped 4,000 in the past 25 years.
• June home sales totaled a whopping 1,816, a nearly 17% year-over-year increase and the second largest one-month total on record; it was eclipsed only by the 1,978 homes sold in July 2020.
• Homes sold in an average of nine days in June. A year ago, they took twice as long to sell.
Market conditions in Colorado Springs are similar to what many cities have experienced.
A shortage of homes for sale and a strong demand — triggered in large part by very low mortgage rates — have sent prices skyrocketing.
In Colorado Springs, the problems have been exacerbated by a growing population, industry experts have said.
Some people have moved to the area to take advantage of its quality of life, Nehme said; the city has earned plaudits from national publications such as U.S. News & World Report, which named it one of the nation's most desirable places to live.
In addition to newcomers who've come to town from out of state, many Denver-area residents have moved to Colorado Springs in recent years.
Even as Colorado Springs-area home prices rise, they're still cheaper than in Denver, and many people move to the Springs and northern El Paso County and commute to their jobs up north.
"Our town is very desirable; it's always going to be in high demand, even for people that work in Denver," Nehme said. "The commute is not bad. With the Gap (Interstate 25 widening project) being almost completed ... it's going to make it easier for people to commute back and forth."