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. Our market saw homes that just didn’t sell until the price was reduced several times. We haven’t seen that in a long time. It seems that home buyers have drawn a line on how much they are willing to participate in a market that continues to climb.
This is in direct contradiction to less inventory, higher median and average prices, and lower interest rates. What does this mean? The market is changing. It’s very clear that, despite low inventory, home values are plateauing -just look at the fairly even sales values May-July, though higher but not spiking – even in the typically robust summer months.
Take a look at the flatter, more stable numbers of 2019 and compare them to more dramatic swings in 2018.
I got a little excited at the end of 2018 when home inventory climbed slightly. I was sure that the increasing inventory, lower demand of the winter months, and higher interest rates would be the first indicator of a more equal market. Instead, I didn’t think we’d see inventory drop even lower, but without the typically large spike we see in the summer. Compared to last year this time, this summer saw reduced inventory and more sales, while home prices remained elevated through out the summer.
While this plateau could cause some heartburn for sellers, our 30 average days on the market is still ridiculously short. According to the National Association of Realtors, Colorado Springs is the 9th hottest market in the nation.
What will September bring? It’s difficult to say. Will recession rumors influence the real estate market? September of 2018 saw sales dropping by 300 and a $12,000 average sales price decrease.
Overall, these numbers could indicate a welcome market correction as sales and home prices begin to plateau stabilize. This is welcome news for folks who pay attention to affordability indices and cost of living in Colorado markets, that have been red hot in recent years.
Related Reading: November 2018 Colorado Springs Market Snapshot
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. However, this plan has its own challenges: a narrow labor market often extends build times, so you run the risk of the home construction quality suffering. New construction bears it’s own risks. Recent trade tariffs are also driving up the cost of building materials and increasing new construction prices points.
During August and September of this year, real estate agents have been receiving many emails from builders who have inventory sitting and waiting to be purchased. This has not happened in the Colorado Springs market in a while.
New home constructions can seem to have a similar home value compared to their existing home sales counterparts, so they appear to be a viable option to the low inventory of existing homes. After all, this part of Colorado is one of the most desirable places to live in the entire United States! In some areas, builders still have lists of potential buyers waiting for new filings to open. The number in the infographic represents only the number of homes available through the multiple list service (MLS). Many builders do not use the MLS as there are fees connected with it and the potential customer traffic is high enough that they don’t have to participate.
- 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
Our market usually doesn’t have many available. Right now there are 9 bank-owned properties and 13 active short sales. Again, this is a CLEARANCE sale and everything that applies to the auction listings 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.
Colorado Springs will likely see more distressed properties in the upcoming years because homeowners are using their equity to compensate for income shortcomings, home updates, or vacations. This only becomes a problem when homeowners find themselves in a situation where they HAVE to sell their home, and the value needed to pay for it all does not cover all of the debt incurred of the home mortgage, sales fees and possibly a home equity loan. 15 active short sales in El Paso County doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s more than we’ve had in the past 3 years.
While the rest of the country is actually experiencing real estate market declines, Colorado has only seen a plateau at worst. The Colorado Springs market has been bolstered by increased relocation from other state like Florida, Texas and California.
Home Price Listing Distribution
Average home price distribution in September 2019 in El Paso County.
- under $100K: 6
- $101k – $200k: 36
- $201K – $300k: 254
- $301K – $400K: 422
- $401K – $500K: 354
- $501k-600k: 191
**Single Family Homes, Patio Homes, Townhomes, and Condos as of September 2019
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. In the meantime, the predicted market slow down will hopefully provide some relief for prospective buyers.
What do you think?
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.