The market might be slowing slightly, though it still remains hot, say some real estate agents.
“We’re going from crazy to probably a little less crazy,” said Rick Van Wieren, an agent with Re/Max Properties in Colorado Springs.
The median price of homes that sold in May climbed to $280,000 – the third straight month that prices set a record, says a report by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. The median is the mid-point of all sale prices for the month.
The average price also hit a record, $319,969, for homes sold during May, the report showed. Real estate professionals and economists consider the median more reliable, because the average can be skewed by a few very high or low sale prices.
Meanwhile, home sales in May totaled 1,632, a 9 percent rise over the same month last year. Except for a one-month decline this February, home sales have risen every month on a year-over-year basis since August 2014.
Through the first five months of 2017, sales totaled 5,896, or 4.3 percent higher than the same period in 2016.
Low mortgage rates and a stronger economy continue to drive demand, real estate industry members say.
Last week, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.94 percent interest nationally; they had been above 4 percent for several months.
A stronger economy – El Paso County’s unemployment rate fell to 2.5 percent in April – also has propelled the market, Van Wieren said.
“Household creation is still driving this thing, ultimately,” Van Wieren said. “When we don’t have a job and you’re 25, you don’t tend to go out and get married and buy a house and have three kids. But when you do have a job and your spouse has a job or your prospective spouse has a job, and they’re both good jobs . . . you start thinking about growing up a little bit” and buying a home.
Still, Van Wieren pointed to pending sales for May as an indicator of a slight cooling of the market.
Pending sales dropped nearly 10 percent for the month on a year-over-year basis. If pending sales are falling, then closings – or completed sales – also might be on their way down, he said.
The tight supply of homes for sale likely is leading to the slowdown, Van Wieren said; if buyers don’t have enough choice, they can’t buy a house.The inventory of homes for sale totaled 1,859 in May, or 19 percent lower than the same month last year.
Bobbi Price, of The Platinum Group Realtors in Colorado Springs, said it’s still a seller’s market. But while sellers still might get multiple offers, she’s not seeing quite as many.
In March, a home she listed at an asking price of $229,900 on the Springs’ northeast side had 38 showings and 12 offers over two days, she said. Today, the same house still would sell quickly, but Price doubts it would get quite so much attention.
Price also said a real estate agent a few months ago might have listed a home and set a firm deadline for offers. Lately, she said, she’s seen homes continue to be listed for sale beyond the deadline because offers didn’t come in as expected.
“That’s what makes me think it’s slowed a little,” Price said. “And it needed to. It was crazy out there. Thirty-eight showings in two days on any house is insane.”
The Realtors Association report compiles sales transactions handled by its members but doesn’t include homes sold by individuals. About 90 percent of homes sold in May took place in El Paso County, with others selling in Teller, Douglas and other Front Range counties.