A glimpse into why Colorado Springs’ economy is attracting so many outsiders
The city leads the state for employment growth in 2018 and 2019, thanks to diversity in business, age, health care, cybersecurity.
Lower housing prices have definitely attracted Denver buyers willing to brave the commute, said Donna Major, current chair of Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS®. On average, homes in the Colorado Springs region cost about a third less than houses in Denver.
In November, the median sales price for a single-family home in El Paso County was $301,500, a 7.2 increase from a year earlier, according to the Colorado Association of REALTORS®. In Denver, the price was at $465,588, up 7 percent.
Even condos and townhouses saw prices rise, pushing the El Paso County median sales price in November up 12.9 percent, to $211,675. In Denver County, the price of a condo or townhome in November jumped 18.5 percent, to $385,000.
“We see mostly people from Denver coming down because our prices still seem to be more affordable than Denver,” Major said.
And that has created some growing pains. First-time buyers aren’t finding homes they can afford. That’s also true for existing homeowners, who may be looking to downsize. They don’t want to sell their house unless they can find another one.
Sales started slowing in the summer because of “buyer’s fatigue,” she said. Potential buyers gave up and opted to renew apartment leases. Existing owners are hanging onto their homes longer. Inventory is shrinking. And prices have fallen. But it’s getting more difficult to find a house for less than $300,000.
“We’re not building any attainable housing for first-time buyers,” Majors said. “We have a Children’s Hospital being built and bringing in 800 jobs. We have a lot of great things happening here and bringing in great jobs. Our economy is strong and good. It’s just a struggle for lower-end buyers.”
And that, she added, is pushing buyers into other markets.
“But I do know I have clients who have a hard time finding something in Colorado Springs, so they, in turn, are going to Pueblo,” she said. “It’s moving down the Front Range.”
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