Monday, June 4, 2012

Realtors: Median home prices fall in Colo. Springs, flat in metro Denver

Median home prices for single-family homes during March 2012 fell in Colorado and in the Pikes Peak region, and were flat in the metro Denver area. According to median home price data for March, released by the Colorado Association of Realtors, the median home price for single-family homes in the Denver area was $229,343 during March, which is an decrease of 0.007 percent from March of 2011. In other words, the metro Denver price is unchanged, year over year. Statewide, the median home price was $223,492 during March, a drop of 4.2 percent from the same month last year. The median price in the Pikes Peak region fell 3.2 percent, year over year, falling to $190,928 during March. (The values presented here are actually 3-month moving averages for each month, so March's median prices are averages of January, February and March prices.)This article discusses single-family median home prices only.

The first graph shows the median single-family home price for the state and for the metro Denver and Pikes Peak regions. Median home prices fell dramatically in all three measures following the financial crisis of late 2008, but moved back up quickly by mid-2009. Since mid-2009, however, median home prices have been largely flat in metro Denver. In the Pikes Peak region, on the other hand, the median price remains well below peak levels and continues to decline slowly following a new 2010 peak.  Statewide, as is typical, the median price has been more volatile, but has not recovered as much as the metro Denver median. Statewide, declining prices in western Colorado are a factor in statewide price declines.

The metro Denver area, where the median price is 14 percent below its August 2007 peak levels, has recovered the most. Metro Denver prices appear to have stabilized since 2009 and the median price generally moves between 220K and 240K. The statewide median price is now 20 percent below its August 2008 peak. The Pikes Peak median price fell in January to 26 percent below its July 05 peak, falling to 180K. The Pikes Peak area's median price ranged between 180K and 195K during 2011.

The second graph shows that the year-over-year changes in all three areas have been generally negative each month for the past six months, although Denver metro has shown some growth during that period. Median home price trends in this data show less growth than has been the case in other measures of home prices. The Case-Shiller and Corelogic indices, for example have shown year-over-year increases in prices ranging from 1 percent to 3 percent in recent months. See here for more.

Recent home sales transaction data indicates that demand for home purchasing continues to build. However, this has not yet translated into sustained and significant home price increases. Bargain hunting and demand among the lower price ranges has combined to keep median prices below what was seen during peak levels several years ago.

The home price data provided by the Colorado Association of Realtors is based on home sales transactions that are listed in the MLS systems for each area and do not include for-sale-by-owner transactions or new homes sold directly by home builders.