The Pueblo West View

Pueblo West home sales surge for second straight month

A house appears to top many families’ wish list this Christmas.

Home sales in the Pueblo market surged for a second straight month in November, according to Pueblo Association of Realtors data.

There were 217 homes sold last month, up 49 percent from November 2015. Existing homes made up the largest share of the sales.

The combined dollar value of last month’s sales was $37.7 million, up 75 percent from a year earlier.

In October, sales were up 11 percent from a year earlier by unit volume (228 vs. 205) and were up 8.4 percent by dollar volume ($36.6 million vs. $33.8 million), the group said.

The uptick followed a four-month period when it appeared local home sales had hit a plateau following their recovery from the 2007-2009 U.S. recession.

“This is a dramatic jump and it’s really wonderful for Pueblo. I think it’s happening nationally also” said Mike Tripp, president of the Realtors group and an agent with RE/MAX Associates.

“We’ve just had no inventory to speak of and a lot of pent-up demand. People were able to find homes all of the sudden so we saw a real surge starting in late September and October.”

Along with growing interest locally, the Pueblo market is drawing more interest from buyers in Colorado Springs and Denver “who are really starting to discover the value of owning a home in Pueblo,” Tripp said. Some take new jobs locally while others commute full or part time or telecommute, he said.

Pueblo West is of particular interest to out-of-town buyers, particularly those from the Colorado Springs area, he said. Prior to the recession, Pueblo West was among the state’s fastest-growing communities.

Year to date through November, home sales in the Pueblo area were up 6 percent by unit volume (3,471 vs. 3,264) and 12 percent by dollar volume ($513.8 million vs. $457.2 million) compared with the first 10 months of last year, according to the Realtors data.

Mid- to high-end houses continue to drive the upswing. In November, homes priced at $250,000 or higher sold at more than twice the rate of a year ago with 37 units changing hands compared to 14 a year earlier. One home sold for $840,000.

A slight upturn in interest rates — and talk of possibly higher rates to come — also is a factor but not as much as the housing demand in general, Tripp said. “I think it really comes down to a lot of pent up demand not only locally but also nationally,” he said.

Looking ahead to next year, Tripp said he is optimistic about the prospect for more growth in home construction, a market segment that lags across the U.S., so new home builders “can finally start competing a little more and we’ll see a strong market in both resale and new homes.”

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The Pueblo West View