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Colorado Housing Market Likely To Stay Hot In 2016

Bradley Gordon
Flickr-Creative Commons

If you thought Colorado's housing market was crazy last year, then the outlook for 2016 probably won't calm your nerves.

Strong economic growth and continued low inventory will likely keep the market hopping, say experts. While interest rates have ticked up, they are not likely to do so significantly in an election year. That means money is still cheap, another factor pushing buyers into the market.

Kelly Moye, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Association of Realtors, said she's looking at "the exact same kind of market" as 2015. In particular, Moye pointed out the incredibly low Front Range housing inventory. From the Denver Metro Area up to Northern Colorado, only 4,400 homes are for sale. In a balanced market that number should be 25,000, she said.

That low inventory means homes are selling fast - average time on the market is 29 days, which Moye said she has "never seen" in 29 years of working in real estate.

It also mean home prices are being bid up as buyers compete for scarce houses. Particularly in the far north suburbs of Denver - towns like Erie, Firestone and Frederick - homes are selling for substantially more than their asking price.

Statewise, the 2015 numbers tell a story of rapid increases in home prices. The statewide median price for a single family home jumped 11.5 percent, to $304,444.

Northern Colorado is no exception - in fact, area home prices in the Northeast Region, which includes Boulder, Larimer, Logan, Morgan and Weld counties, increased even more in 2015 than the state average - 14.2 percent.

In Fort Collins, there are 12 single family homes listed for $300,000 or less, according to coloproperty.com. In Greeley, there are 80 homes listed in the $300,000 or under range, leading real estate agents to speculate that the city may be the next place homebuyers look if they are priced out of other Northern Colorado towns.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn has been reporting from Colorado for more than five years, primarily from the Western Slope.
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