The number of homes for sale continues to shrink in Colorado Springs.
Only 460 single-family homes were available for purchase in January in Springs, El Paso County and a handful of Front Range counties – a whopping 61.3% decrease from 1,190 homes for sale in January 2020, according to a report by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors shows.
According to historical data from the Gazette, this was the largest percentage decrease in monthly inventory in the past 25 years and the lowest number of homes on the market during that period.
“It’s just crazy,” said Rick Van Wieren, an agent at Re / Max Properties in Colorado Springs, of the minuscule number of homes that were for sale last month.
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According to the Realtors Association report and Gazette data:
• The 460 properties for sale in January represent half a month’s bid, which means that the stock of homes would be exhausted in about two weeks if sales continued at their current pace and no additional properties came on the market.
• Homes sold for an average of 17 days in January; In the same month last year, houses were on the market an average of 30 days before they were sold.
• Since May 2019, monthly inventory levels have decreased every month compared to the previous year, with the exception of a 1.1% increase in April 2020. After a period of more than a month, deliveries fell again – often by more than 50% compared to the previous year Previous year before.
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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for single-family homes remained strong for much of 2020 – driven in part by historically low mortgage rates and an influx of newcomers to Colorado Springs, according to housing experts.
Despite the furious demand, many potential home sellers have chosen to stay on the sidelines and hold on to their properties. Some fear they won’t be able to find a replacement home for what they sold, while others have chosen to be stuck during the pandemic.
Because of the exceptionally tight marketplace, many home sellers can choose from multiple offers, often several thousand dollars in excess of their asking price, according to real estate agents. Frustrated buyers, meanwhile, find themselves in bidding wars in which there is only one winner and many losers.
Van Wieren said he recently wrote four bids for buyers he represents, but they have lost each of the homes they are bidding on. One of their offers included an escalation clause that increased its buyers’ offer for a $ 460,000 home by $ 40,000, Van Wieren said. But it wasn’t enough.
“It’s just painfully tight at the moment,” he said of the supply.
The housing shortage is particularly severe for veterans, said Van Wieren. Because a Veterans Administration loan does not require a down payment, many veterans come to a business with no cash. If they get into a bidding war and need money to close a deal, they can’t keep up, he said.
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The shortage and steady demand are also driving prices up further.
The average price of homes sold in January rose 14.3% year-over-year to $ 385,000, a record high set in September, the Realtors Association report shows. The median is the center of all sales prices; In January, half of the homes sold were less than $ 385,000 and the other half were more.
Local property prices have been rising for more than six years. Since December 2014, they have increased every month compared to the previous year.
Home sales were 971 in January, up 6% from the same month last year, the Realtors Association report showed.
The home offers and sales information in the report represents properties managed by members of the Realtors Association and does not include properties offered for sale by individuals. The majority of January home sales – 86% – were in El Paso County.