The Pueblo Chieftan

State’s housing recovery slows

AP PHOTO/FILE
Homes line the ridge of the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch. The recovery of the state's housing market slowed late in 2013, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors.
AP PHOTO/FILE Homes line the ridge of the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch. The recovery of the state's housing market slowed late in 2013, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors.

The rebound in Colorado’s housing market slowed “significantly” at year’s end, dampening the outlook for faster growth to start 2014, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors.

After showing “steady and significant improvement” through the first nine months of 2013, the statewide market “slowed down significantly” in the fourth quarter, the Realtors group said.

It is “a trend that some experts believe will carry into 2014,” the group said.

Southeast Colorado mirrored the statewide slowdown, according to the group’s Fourth Quarter 2013 Housing Statistics report.

Dave Anderson of RE/MAX Pueblo West, a regional spokesperson with the state association, said the trend extended to Pueblo. The 2014 outlook for the local market remains “conservative,” Anderson said.

“Our market is still going to be dictated — and has been dictated — by jobs. The unemployment rate is still high. We need more jobs. That’s going to be the bell ringer,” he said.

Pueblo area housing sales rose 11 percent by unit volume, according to statistics released earlier this month by the Pueblo Association of Realtors. Statewide, sales for the year were up 16 percent.

In the fourth quarter, statewide sales increased just 3.4 percent from the same period in 2012, according to the Realtors group. Through the first three quarters of the year, sales were running 18 percent higher, much of the gains fueled by the northern Front Range markets.

Other statewide data from the fourth quarter:

Inventory continued to be at low levels with new listings increasing just 1 percent to 28,822 from the prior year. New listings of single-family homes dropped 0.1 percent while the townhouse-condo markets increased nearly 7 percent.

Median sales prices statewide continued to rise but at a slower pace than previous quarters; up 6 percent from a year earlier to $250,000 for single-family homes and 6 percent to $168,000 for townhouses and condominiums.

Days on the market continued a downward trend to an average of 72 days from 82 days a year earlier. The number of total active listings at the end of the year of 28,627 represents less than a four-month supply for single-family homes and a three-month supply for townhouses/condos.

Lender-mediated properties (foreclosures, short sales and other distressed property sales) represented 9 percent of all sales during the quarter.

“Last year was a very good one for Colorado real estate with significant improvement in sales and home values,” CAR spokesperson Duane Duggan said in a statement.

“Our biggest challenge is not having enough inventory to meet the needs of all the buyers wanting to be in the market.

“With interest rates still low there is strong competition for the limited number of properties available leading to competition through multiple offers. Many people end up disappointed.

“As our markets continue to improve we are hopeful that sellers who have been hesitant to move on their properties will come into the market which should improve the atmosphere for everyone.”

ddarrow@chieftain.com

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