I love diving into the numbers when it comes to the Colorado Springs real estate market. My team scours through MLS listings to pull the data on active houses, crunch the numbers, and get a really good idea of what it’s like to buy a home in the Springs.
Some questions I ask myself when reviewing the variety of houses for sale in Colorado Springs:
- How many houses are listed?
- What’s the highest price?
- What’s the lowest price?
- How many square feet does it have?
- What home types are for sale? Are they single family homes? Townhomes? Mobile?
- Where is it located (Briargate, Central Colorado Springs, Black Forest, Fort Carson, etc)?
I also want to know how many bank-owned properties are for sale in Colorado Springs. How many short sales? After all, I still get questions about “deals” and have to explain that bank-owned properties are not deals anymore. For one, banks know what they can ask, and then buyers offer above and beyond list price.
There are so many statistics and data points to sort through, it can often be overwhelming for someone looking to buy their dream home in the Springs! I decided to add the numbers into an infographic and show them to you. Bear in mind that these numbers refer to Colorado Springs only-despite being close, areas like Denver and Castle Rock have drastically different markets.
Colorado Springs Homes for Sale
Colorado Springs is the proud home to multiple military installations like Fort Carson, the United States Air Force Academy, and Peterson Air Force Base. Our military population heavily influences our real estate sales cycle. As summer approaches, military personnel get their orders to move to or out of Colorado Springs. This makes June and July very strong sales months. Things start to slow down a tad as we approach fall and winter.
This year has been different. Maybe even a bit crazy?
Our first quarter was very strong. We saw a $30,000 increase in the Colorado Springs average home price between January and March. The COVID-19 pandemic caused our Colorado governor to issue a Stay at Home order and real estate slowed down since we were not allowed to show homes in person unless the buyers were already under contract.
Related reading: Steps to Sell a Home
The shocking part? The market did not dip. In fact, Colorado Springs was named the #1 market in the country in April 2020. Real estate transactions understandably slowed down a bit during the shutdown, but prices still climbed. When the Stay at Home orders were relaxed, we saw pent up buyer and seller demands unleash on the market. It sounds dramatic, but there were people who absolutely HAD to get a house under contract for their family and they influenced the market.
Lucky for Colorado Springs, we have a cyclical market with an official moving season. This is due in large part to the military and other significant economic investments in Colorado Springs that bring new people here. The shut down started at what is traditionally the beginning of this moving season when we were experiencing a very strong sellers market.
The graph above shows very clearly that the number of new listings and the number of houses going under contract increased around the third week of April when we were able to show houses again.
In short, at this point the Colorado Springs real estate market is as hot as it has ever been. We are still a sellers market and will likely remain that way throughout the summer. Here are the major factors that we have seen affecting our local market:
- Stay at Home orders were issued at the beginning of our busy real estate season.
- We kicked off 2020 with historically low levels of inventory with increased buyer demand.
- 6 weeks of reduced sales activity due to the Stay at Home orders pushed buyer demand from spring to summer.
- The military stopped all orders for permanent changes of station for non-essential personnel until June 30. We anticipate the military moving season to be intense and it might go into the fall.
New Homes in CO Springs, CO
As a result of this uneven market, buyers are turning to new construction homes instead of a move-in ready house. It seems like a great idea: you choose your own floor plan, home design, and skip the tediousness of shopping around for available homes.
Buyers interested in building a new home this year will have to remain flexible with their timelines for a number of reasons:
- Lender qualifications and interest rates might change.
- The supply chain for home materials have been affected and caused building delays. For example, if the delivery of the windows for a new construction home is delayed, nothing else in the home can move forward. All schedules are extended. The pandemic guidelines also put extra demands on the builder to keep trades and contractors safe by having each trade crew work separately and independently. This is different than normal circumstances when everyone who needs to work on the home can do so at the same time.
- Building and inspection permits can be delayed due to a backup of requests and shortage of available inspectors and office personnel.
Plan for extra costs:
- Your interest rate lock could run out if the building schedule is delayed. An extension will come with additional fees. Re-locking an interest rate could mean a potentially higher rate.
- Additional storage cost or longer storage times of your household goods.
- Extra days in a hotel or short term rental.
- 5 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent for Your New Construction Home
- 10 Tips for Choosing the Best Lot for your Home
- Where to Find New Construction in Colorado Springs
CO Real Estate Auction Listings:
Home auction listings, just like bank-owned properties and short sales, imply that there is a deal. However, buyer beware! Make sure you read all the fine print and understand that there are additional charges that are coming on top of your offer price. These charges could negate any savings in your initial offer. Also, make sure that you are very well aware of what damage the home has – it is a CLEARANCE after all, so some damage is to be expected. However, unlike a “regular” sale, you might lose your earnest money regardless of your reason to terminate the contract! Again: READ. EVERYTHING. GET LEGAL COUNSEL.
Bank-owned Properties and Short Sales in Colorado Springs, CO
Nothing has changed. Only one active listing is a bank owned property and none were actually under contract. There’s no chance for a deal for a flip in the current market.
The CARES Act and the various stimulus packages and regulations are intended to help homeowners make it through the tough economy and historically high unemployment rates. Unfortunately, some folks won’t be able to hold onto their homes. We expect to start seeing a few more distressed properties on the market toward the end of the year and early 2021 when forbearance protections run out.
Bank owned properties are like a clearance sale and everything that applies to the auction listing category applies to the bank owned and short sale listings. The good news is that you have a greater chance of getting your earnest money back if you decide to back out at the right time. Consult your real estate agent to make sure your earnest money is protected.
When you are making an offer on a bank owned property, expect that things are a bit different: disclosures are generally not “disclosing,” but simply saying “we don’t know anything.” You have to hurry up to meet all deadlines to retain your rights, and after that, the bank cares very little about deadlines. It’s quite the take it or leave it situation right after the hurry up and wait.
A short sale is when a home is worth less than the money owed – which happens very rarely and will become much more common once home prices do not rise so insanely. I am happy to see that we don’t have them. CO real estate short sales are pretty easy, but they can take a loooooooong, looooooong time to close. Just don’t be in a hurry when you offer on one.
Home Price Listing Distribution
Average home price distribution in May 2020 in El Paso County.
- under $100K: 1
- $101k – $200k: 51
- $201K – $300k: 276
- $301K – $400K: 421
- $401K – $500K: 151
- $501k-600k: 74
**Single Family Homes, Patio Homes, Townhomes, and Condos as of May 23, 2020
This is important to a home buyer because it gives an idea of what to expect for the price range they are looking in. If a home buyer’s budget is between $100-200k, there is very little inventory to choose from.
Colorado cities are working hard to provide more affordable housing. But this process will take years to accomplish.
What do you think?
Related reading: Steps to Buy a Home
Our infographic provides a quick overview of the latest stats for the Colorado Springs real estate market. From inventory numbers to the wide variety of available price points, you can get a general idea of the current real estate market data. As noted above, keep in mind that the number of new construction homes in the graphic is the what is listed in the MLS. Some builders don’t list their homes in the MLS, so there might be more than 426 new construction homes currently available.
Thinking of buying a home in the Springs and want more information? Click the picture below to download our buyer guide and learn all about the home buying process. Or sign up for listing alerts to learn more about what is available in your price range.