Real estate in the mountain state looks primed for another banner year in 2020
Colorado remains one of the leading real estate markets in the country for numerous reasons: a flourishing economy and job market, a healthy population growth rate that ranks seventh in the nation and a long list of amenities, from a favorable climate to breathtaking national parks. While Denver has been one of the hottest real estate markets in the country for years now, experts have tabbed smaller Colorado cities like Colorado Springs and Fort Collins as some of the most promising in the U.S.
For all these reasons and more, real estate in the mountain state looks primed for another banner year in 2020. Let’s break down the data and put together some forecasts.
Still a seller’s market
While the statewide market is slowing down, it’s still a great time to be selling a home in Colorado. While demand has stayed steady, inventory is at record lows as statewide listings nosedived by 30% between October and November. While some of that decrease is seasonal, the total number of active listings statewide was at 20,116 in the month of November, down 20% from November 2018.
The upshot? If you’re selling, you can name your price (within reason).
Median single-family home prices are up almost 6% statewide from a year ago, sitting at just under $399,000 in November, and the condo/townhome market is nearly as healthy, up 5.4% over the past year, to $315,000.
While low inventory is going to constrain the market to some extent, most authorities see continued healthy appreciation in 2020, with Zillow tabbing the state for a steady 2.3% increase through the year.
The most affordable cities
In a market this hot, affordability can be a tough quality to find. But according to the Colorado Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index, statewide affordability has increased 10% over the past year. According to a report from Clever real estate, Firestone, Brush!, Fort Morgan, Craig and Trinidad are among the most affordable cities in the state.
The most livable neighborhoods
Briorgate, Colorado Springs
With Colorado Springs set to take off in 2020, Briorgate might be one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the entire state. With a stellar livability score of 72, Briorgate offers a mild climate, proximity to Colorado Springs proper, extremely low crime and great schools. One thing it doesn’t offer is affordability, with median home values sitting at $376,000.
University North, Fort Collins
College towns usually offer an exceptional level of livability, and Fort Collins is no exception. Quiet, scenic University Park is the crown jewel of the city, with historic architecture that dating back to the late 19th century, proximity to City Park and Old Town Square and a chill, sophisticated vibe.
Located along the Animas River, Durango offers a quaint downtown, a bustling nightlife and restaurant scene and a quiet, suburban lifestyle that’s close to nature. If you still need proof of its desirability, consider that the median home price is $469,900, and the market’s still red hot. You may have to pay a lot, but you’ll get a lot for your money.
Five Points, Denver
This eclectic neighborhood is in the heart of the state capital and features everything implied by that location: fantastic restaurants, quirky shops and unprecedented access to everything Denver has to offer. Counterintuitively, it’s also one of the more affordable neighborhoods in the Denver market, with the price of one-bedrooms dropping 8.7% over the past year.
Orchard Mesa, Grand Junction
Located just outside downtown Grand Junction, Orchard Mesa lives up to its name, offering access to Colorado National Monument, a sprawling network of mountain bike trails and views of both the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. As more people discover the charms of the area, home prices have jumped accordingly, with Grand Junction median home prices standing at $246,800, a 7% spike from the previous year.
What’s in store for 2020
Looking at statewide economic forecasts for 2020, it’s hard to find any discouraging signs at all. While Colorado economy’s growth is slowing slightly, it’s still going to outpace national growth, driven primarily by significant in-migration, huge growth in the agricultural sector, the ongoing tech boom and an unemployment rate that’s one of the lowest in the U.S.
Real estate market indicators are equally rosy. Inventory is up, median home values are posting healthy year-over-year increases and, just as importantly, housing affordability is improving, ensuring that the Colorado market remains both accessible and enticing. While 2020’s shaping up to be a strong seller’s market in Colorado, sellers shouldn’t be in any rush; all the trends are pointing to a market that’s only getting better and better.
Ben Mizes is the co-founder and CEO of Clever Real Estate, a free online service that connects you with top real estate agents. Mizes is also an active real estate investor with 22 units in St. Louis, and a licensed real estate agents in the State of Missouri.