If we’re sounding like a broken record when it comes to home prices, we get it. Every month, every quarter brings a fresh round of panic for would-be homebuyers in Northern Colorado.
The first two months of 2022 aren’t any different.
Fort Collins’ median single-family home prices hit record highs again heading in to the busy spring and summer buying season. Median sales price topped $600,000, a 23% price jump compared with the same time a year ago and an 11% increase from the end of 2021.
It’s a stunning price considering Fort Collins ended last year with a median home price of $540,000.
This year’s median price comes from only two months’ worth of data based on 261 closed sales so far, so it’s possible that it will drop slightly as more sales are recorded. If prices come down, it won’t be by much, said Eric Thompson, president of Windermere Real Estate in Fort Collins: “$600,000-plus prices in Fort Collins are absolutely here to stay,” he said.
Of the 77 residential properties currently for sale with a Fort Collins address, only 26 of them (34%) are priced below $600,000, he said.
And don’t look for any relief this year. “Based on current supply and demand, we expect prices will continue to increase throughout the whole year,” Thompson said.
In Larimer County, only Wellington and Johnstown have median home prices below $500,000, and Johnstown is kissing the half a million mark at $494,000. Wellington, which saw median home prices below $400,000 at the end of 2020, now has a $463,000 median price.
Home prices are rising quickly in the town. The median price of Wellington’s 22 closed sales in February alone was $500,000. But it is a small sample, with 11 homes selling for more and 11 homes selling for less than $500,000.
Sales data for Timnath, which leads the region in median home prices, was not available on Wednesday.
If you want to feel better about the Fort Collins area’s prices, look at Boulder. The median single-family sales price there at the end of February was $1.2 million. There’s also good news in Fort Collins’ condominium and townhouse prices, which are rising but not near the rate of single-family detached homes.
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The median sales price of townhomes and condos at the end of February was $362,905, up 6% from the same time last year. But days on market for the units dropped from 70 at the end of February 2021 to just over 30 so far this year.
Still, the Northern Colorado market is not for the squeamish. Northern Colorado’s real estate market will get your blood pumping.
With many buyers willing to pony up thousands of dollars beyond a home’s list price and cover any appraisal gaps and sometimes waive inspections, the house hunt here can be both exciting and exhausting as well as frustrating and, for some, nearly futile.
Nationally, inventory was at an all-time low of 860,000 as February began, down 17% from a year ago and equivalent to 1.16 months supply, according to the National Association of Realtors.
A gradual increase in interest rates that had been expected to cool the market somewhat has stalled amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That could keep more people in the housing market as low interest rates increase buying power.
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Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, said much of the current housing supply is concentrated in the upper end of the market, where inventory is increasing, while homes priced at the lower end of the market are quickly disappearing, leaving many first-time buyers behind.
“The shortage of homes is boosting demand even further, and with bidding wars common in many markets, it’s no surprise sales prices continue to soar,” he said in the monthly Fort Collins Board of Realtors monthly housing report.
New listings in Northern Colorado dropped more than 36% in January and February compared with the same time last year, and pending sales were down 32%.
With 262 homes sold in the first two months across the region, the median sales price was $580,000, up from $478,450 last year.
Northern Colorado home prices by the numbers
Town or city / Median price January and February / % change year over year
- Berthoud: $540,015 +17.1%
- Fort Collins: $600,000 +23%
- Greeley: $440,000 +23.9%
- Johnstown: $493,980 +17.4%
- Loveland: $520,000 +28.4%
- Severance: NA
- Timnath: NA
- Wellington: $463,000 +14.3%
- Windsor: $574,408 +25.1%
Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.