Colorado Housing Market 2023 Report
What’s the Colorado Housing Market Like?
The state of Colorado’s real estate market has been at an aggressive pace of growth over the last 3 years. The median sales price as of Sept 2022 was $549,900. If we look back at Sept 2019’s median price of $399,300, we can see the increase in the median price has only gone up 38%, which is an increase of 12.6% yearly rate. The rate of price increases for the last three years is about twice what is considered a normal rate of 6%.
Colorado's real estate market numbers reflect the impact of the pandemic and recent mortgage rate hikes. Sales volume has dropped considerably year over year. In Sept 2022, 9,053 homes and condos changed hands in the state of Colorado, a 24% decrease from Sept 2021, when close to 12,000 homes and condos were sold.
The number of sales over the last three years peaked at 14,140 in July 2020; compared to Sept 2022’s numbers, we are down 36% in the number of sales from the peak of the last three years. Relatively speaking, this is a significant drop in sales which is a reflection of the impact of the pandemic and rising interest rates.
Looking back at the median home price over the last three years, prices peaked in April 2022 at $596,600. It is clear that the recent steep rise in mortgage rates has curved sales activity and shrunk affordability, and the result has been a drop in home prices and sales.
How Does The Colorado Housing Market Compare to the National Housing Market?
The Colorado housing market is facing a similar environment to many other states. Some metros in Colorado have seen explosive growth due to local demand and migration into the state. These areas are considered to be at risk of a significant market correction.
When we compare national stats to the state of Colorado, we find that for September 2022, year-over-year prices in colorado are up 5% compared to the national average of 7.6%. Home sales dropped 24% in Colorado compared to 22% nationwide. So the numbers are quite similar.
Colorado Areas With the Hottest Housing Markets
The state of Colorado has been known for decades as an outdoors enthusiast destination to live a very active life. The Colorado River, world-famous Aspen, and Baile have attracted river sports and skiers from all over the nation. Metropolitan areas such as Denver and Colorado Springs are bustling with cultural centers and first-class entertainment. These favorable factors have caused some areas of Colorado to appreciate at a fast rate; here are the top 5 hottest real estate markets in the state of Colorado:
- Fort Collins
- Steamboat Springs
- Castle Pines
Fort Collins is a city of about 350,000 residents located approximately one hour north of Denver. Fort Collins was voted #3 place to live in Colorado and #8 in the best places to live in the US for quality of life, according to USNews.
The real estate market in Fort Collins is mildly competitive in terms of demand at this time, which indicates a balanced market right now. The median home price in Fort Collins in Sept 2022 was $540,000, which was up 13.7% from Sept 2021.
In Sept of 2022, there were 223 homes sold in Fort Collins, a 25.9 % decrease in sales from the same period in 2021. Looking back at the last 3 years, sales peaked in June 2021 at 386 sales.
The median days on the market is 35, which indicates a balanced market. Compared to Sept 2021, the median days on the market have gone up by 21%.
Unlike many areas of the state and the nation where we see median prices dropping, and significant decreases in sales, the Fort Collins real estate market is doing better. At a 13.7% increase in median price, Fort Collins had one of the highest YOY gains in Colorado. Over the past three years, the average home price has increased by 38%.
Steamboat Springs is a relatively small town of only about 13,000 population nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It is an authentic mountain town with world-class ski resorts and plenty of hot springs as well.
The real estate market in Steamboat Springs is currently a somewhat competitive market. The median home price in Steamboat Springs for Sept 2022 was $1,030,000. Steamboat Springs had a YOY median price increase of 12.6% from Sept 2021.
Over the past three years, the median price of homes has increased by 60%, which is about 20% a year. This is a rather steep appreciation rate, indicating a correction may be coming as the market shifts.
In Sept 2022, 49 homes were sold, 37.2% lower than Sept of 2021. Looking back over the past three years, the peak of the number of homes sold was in Sept 2020 at 131 homes sold.
The median days on the market is 25, and it’s up 257% compared to last year. Areas with a small number of sales tend to fluctuate considerably, which is not necessarily a trend. Worthy of notice is the fact that in March 2020, the median days on the market was 102 days which is 308% higher than Sept 2022.
Castle Pines is a suburb of Denver with a population of just under 11,000 people. It is considered one of many affluent areas in Colorado, and the median home price and average wages in the area demonstrate that.
Castle Pines is currently a balanced Real Estate market, not favoring either sellers or buyers particularly. The median price of a home in Sept 2022 was $485,000, up 16.2% from Sept of 2021. The peak in home values looks to have been in Feb of 2022 when the median price reached $995,275
In Sept 2022, 46 homes were sold in Castle Pines, which is an increase of 12.2% from Sept of 2021. Looking back three years, the peak in the number of sales was July 2020, with 60 home sales for the month.
Median days on the market in Sept 2022 were 13, which is up by one day from Sept 2021. Due to the small market size in Castle Pines, there are significant fluctuations in the number of sales and days on the market from month to month.
What we can see that is quite positive about Castle Pines is that prices are up from last year, as well as the number of home sales, while median days on the market are practically unchanged.
Denver is the capital of the state of Colorado, with a population of approximately 715,000 residents. Denver has experienced a healthy amount of population growth since the pandemic began, as many people looking to work remotely, and in a tech-friendly area with an abundance of activities.
Denver is still considered a very competitive Real Estate market. The median price of a home in Sept 2022 was $581,500, up 8.7% from Sept 2021. The peak of housing prices in the last three years happens to be April 2022, when the median price reached $645,000.
There were 992 homes sold in Denver in the month of Sept 2022, a 24.6% drop from Sept 2021. The peak in the number of sales was in June 2021, when 1,748 homes were sold for the month.
Median days on the market in Sept 2022 was 18 days, a 308 % increase from Sept 2021.
Evergreen is a small town in Colorado with a population of approximately 10,000 residents. The city of Evergreen is named after the native Evergreen Trees which are ubiquitous throughout the city.
The real estate market in Evergreen is currently a very competitive market. The median price of a home in Sept 2022 was $928,000, up 7.9% from Sept 2021.
37 homes sold in Sept 2022, down 9.7% from Sept 2021. Looking back over the past 3 years, sales peaked at 83 in July 2020.
The median days on the market have increased from 11 days in Sept 2021 to 18 days in Sept 2022, a 63% increase.
Higher Mortgage Rates Could Slow Price Growth in Colorado
How will interest rates affect the housing Colorado housing market? The state of Colorado’s housing market is hard to predict at this time. There is wide speculation that areas such as Denver metro area will have a significant price correction, but the fundamentals don’t support the theory so far.
While some areas of Colorado have had significant increases in home prices year over year in 2022, other areas are more moderate in growth. We have extremes where places like Fort Collins had an increase in the median list price of over 20%% while the lower end at Pueblo, Colorado, only had a 5% increase in median list price year over year.
As of early November 2022, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is above 7.25% on average. The Feds just announced yet another .75% increase to the Federal Funds rate, which means a higher cost of borrowing in many areas. Although not necessarily tied to mortgage rates, an increase in rates in business loans, credit cards, etc. puts additional pressure on budgets, ultimately impacting how much house someone can afford.
Future speculation on Colorado home prices is a bit risky, but if things keep going the way they have gone so far, Colorado will probably not have a dramatic home price correction unless mortgage rates go significantly higher.
Key Market Stats for the Colorado Housing Market:
As of the latest compiled housing report with data through Sept 2022.
- Median price: $549,900 - up 5.0% from 2021
- Existing home sales: 9,053 - down 24% from 2021
- Median days on the market: 29, up 32% from 2021
Historic price changes & affordability in Colorado
The Colorado housing market has seen moderate appreciation for years. Over the last 3 years, homeowners saw their homes appreciate by 38% in 36 months which is a very aggressive rate of appreciation. At the current median home price of $549,900 and the average household income of approximately $75,000 a year, the value of housing in Colorado is much better than in many areas of the nation.
The steep rise in mortgage rates has shrunk affordability across the nation. Fortunately, the Colorado average wages are higher than the national average, which will help soften price correction.
- The housing market has started shifting nationwide. Colorado has not seen break-neck appreciation; therefore, it is likely that prices will hold relatively steady with only modest declines, although year-to-date home value numbers seem concerning.
- Real Estate markets are highly local, and even within the same state, there will be areas that are projected to be hit hard by the market shift, and others will fare better.
- Timing the market for buying or selling is a big gamble. If it makes sense for you to buy, go ahead and buy a home. For sellers, if you have to sell in the next 12-24 months, you may want to consider doing it sooner than later, especially if you are in an area that may be considered overvalued and has a high potential for house prices to drop.