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After A Slow Spring, Northern Colorado Sees Surge In Home Sales

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Matt Bloom
/
KUNC News
A house for sale in west Greeley.

Homes in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley sold at record pace in June as buyers flooded the local market, reversing a monthslong slump in real estate activity brought on by coronavirus restrictions earlier this year.

In the Fort Collins area, more than half of homes for sale went under contract last month. That left just 342 properties on the market by early July—a number nearly 60% lower than it was this time last year, according to new data from IRES, the region’s listing service.

Other communities saw a similar rush of buyers after slower months in March and April, said Chris Hardy, a Fort Collins-based realtor.

“The buyers didn’t go away (earlier this year),” Hardy said. “They were on intermission.”

 

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Credit Courtesy of the Colorado Associaiton of Realtors
The number of pending home sales across the state reached nearly 12,000 in June. The number was fueled by pent-up demand due to coronavirus-related closures earlier this year.

On the flip side, sellers have been slow to put their homes on the market, Hardy said.

“People who were thinking about selling this year may be thinking ‘Let’s just stay put for a while,’” he said.

With increased competition for available homes, the region’s already-high housing costs inched even higher in June. Greeley’s median sales price hit $321,000. Loveland’s reached around $400,000. Fort Collins saw median home prices hit close to $450,000—a “crazy number,” Hardy said.

Buyers have also been clamoring to take advantage of record low interest rates , he added.

Katie Mansouri, another Fort Collins realtor, said last month was the busiest she’s been all year.

“June was like drinking from a firehose,” she said.

After Gov. Jared Polis lifted restrictions on in-person showings in May, buyers who were waiting out coronavirus closures started contacting Mansouri again. She purchased gloves, masks and Clorox wipes and began showing homes, wiping down door knobs and light switches throughout tours.

“We can proceed with caution,” she said.

Amid the rush in activity, Mansouri said she’s seen some homes go for much higher than asking price. But others haven’t.

“I wouldn’t say prices are skyrocketing,” she said. “But it’s a more comfortable, expected increase for a great market like Northern Colorado.”

Chris Hardy said even though sales jumped in June, overall real estate activity is down for the year. That’s mainly due to a dip during the spring, immediately after the pandemic began.

He expects it could slow again should the state reverse its reopening plans, but he’s hopeful it won’t.

“There’s still a substantial number of people who are gainfully employed, have good credit, can qualify for a loan and want a place of their own,” Hardy said.

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