Northern Colorado real estate sales in January were certainly all over the map ranging from a 34.4% increase in Weld County to a 24.8% decrease in the Loveland area. The average selling price increased in each area but ranged from a 2.7% increase in the Fort Collins area to a whopping 20% increase in the Loveland area. Overall a slim 2.6% increase in home sales compared to January last year and an average price of $253,176, a 5.9% increase.
While the 543 homes sold in January barely beat the 529 from last year; to put it into perspective the 529 sales last year were 27% higher than the previous year and the 543 for January 2014 is the highest level in the last eight years.
Northern Colorado real estate has been hampered by low inventory. There are currently a total of 2,696 listings up from 2,536 at the end of the year but 1,085 of them are shown as under contract and 455 as under construction or to be built so there are just 965 net active listings which is down 28% from the 1,337 at the end of December. The main reason for the drop is that the number of homes under contract has increased from 763 to 1,086. This higher number means we should show increases in home sales over the next month or two but the drop in active listings is a problem. With an annual demand for over 900 homes per month the supply is just six weeks, when six months is considered a balanced market. Granted the demand over the next couple of months will be less than 900 per month and we will see more homes coming to market during the spring but we will also see more buyers.
Short marketing times are indicative of the short supply. The homes that sold in January were on the market for an average of just 66 days prior to receiving an offer. This is up from the 45 day average for all of 2013 but is still a relatively short marketing time as a more normal figure is around three months.
New home construction sales totaled 108 in January which is 20% of the market. This compares to 94 sales in January 2013. The biggest increase in new construction took place in Weld County with 64 new homes sold compared to 23 last year. This was 22.8% of the Weld County market and is at least on track for the 25 – 30% needed to keep pace with demand.
Mortgage interest rates remain low, unemployment is down, consumer confidence is growing and all signs point to a robust demand for homes. The biggest challenge is going to be to find enough homes to sell at prices that will be affordable.
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