Housing Market Snapshot: Northern Colorado’s Rising Prices

The housing market is as tight as ever in Colorado. Areas like Boulder and Denver have incredibly high home prices, yet low volume. Recently, Lauren Hansen, IRES CEO, spoke to the Northern Colorado Real Estate Forum sponsored by BizWest, where she discussed the market trends surrounding inventory and home prices in our area and where communities in Weld and Larimer Counties currently stand. It turns out, while our homes are less expensive, we aren’t too far behind other high-demand counties in Colorado.

Available Homes

While the population grows in Colorado, so does the need for available homes. Since 2010, the inventory has gradually declined throughout much of the state. Specifically in Larimer and Weld Counties, during 2017’s strong summer buying season, there were about 1,250 homes on the market in Larimer County and Weld County was just 800. For both counties, this was about half of what the availability was at the beginning of the decade.

Plus, the homes simply aren’t on the market for very long. The average duration a home is on the market in our area has been cut in half since 2012. In Weld County last year, the average time a house remained on the market was approximately 65 days and in Larimer County it was closer to 75.

The reality is, there are fewer homes for buyers and they under contract quickly, which doesn’t make the purchasing process very easy for a buyer. It means brokers need to have every tool at their disposal to ensure they know when homes are listed as well as their up-to-the-minute status.

Rising Home Prices

Buying a home in Colorado is a great investment. Our state ranks sixth in home price appreciation in the U.S. for 2017 — only behind Washington, D.C., Washington state, Idaho, Nevada and Utah — with an annual appreciation of 9.76 percent (and a 59 percent increase over the last five years). That rate of return is a tremendous way to watch your money grow.

Greeley has the most affordable median home price among the communities in Weld and Larimer Counties, coming in at $275,000. It quickly jumps from there with Loveland, Fort Collins and Firestone at $353,000, $364,000 and $375,000 respectively. At the top of the list in the area: Estes Park with a median sale price of $444,500.

Many in the real estate market look at the value of a house by the average cost per square foot. Weld comes in at $135 per square foot and Larimer is at $175 per square foot. That compares to Broomfield County at $179 per square foot and Boulder County at $270 per square foot.

If a buyer finds a house they like and it’s available, then they need to come to the table ready to make a strong offer.   Having an all-cash offer is the best scenario for any seller, but earnest money in cash also signifies a buyer is serious.

Having access to tools like the ones IRES offers, makes it easier to manage inventory and better understand a market that often can be discouraging to buyers.

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