Looking Back at 2020’s Real Estate Market

Despite all of the uncertainties in 2020, the residential real estate market in the Colorado Springs metro area continued to set records. Record high numbers were seen for the number of sales and sales prices, while record lows were seen for active listings and mortgage rates. The local market was absolutely a “sellers’ market”.

As the pandemic hit late in the first quarter, most residential real estate activities were put on hold for a few weeks, creating much uncertainty. As we came out of the lockdown, reality for our local housing market quickly set-in, as homeowners chose not to sell and buyers flooded the market.

Homeowners were pleased to know the value of their home had increased dramatically which led many to consider selling.

However, with inventory so tight, many homeowners opted to stay put and renovate their homes rather than risk not finding their next home. The homeowners who did start looking at homes to purchase in the area saw very limited options as well as “uber” competition where it was not unusual to see 5+ offers and most selling for more than their listing price.

We also saw loads of local renters and out-of-town buyers, both in search of more personal space thanks to the pandemic. These buyers also found buying a house in the Colorado Springs metro area to be very challenging. The buyers who persisted found success often times after having lost out on several offers prior.

In most price ranges, buyers often had to include escalation clauses, limited inspections and even offer appraisal gap coverage to get their offer accepted.

Local homebuilders built the 2nd highest number of homes in 2020 since the turn of the century. This increase in construction did little to balance the market as demand still outpaced construction. Most local builders have waiting lists and it is extremely rare to find standing inventory anywhere in the metro area.

The rental market for single family homes, townhomes, condos and apartments continues to be strong. We have seen several new large apartment complexes come online recently, but despite this new capacity demand continues to grow and rents continue to rise as more people are forced to rent. There is always a certain percentage of the population who choose to rent no matter what the market is like, but now there is also a large influx of new renters—those being forced to rent simply because they are unable to buy due to the scarcity of properties to purchase.

When you look at activity by price range, we saw a few dramatic shifts from 2019. The price range from $200,000-$299,999 saw the number of sales drop almost 50%. In the $1+ million market, the number of sales has nearly tripled in just 5 years! The activity in the highest price ranges has much to do with those buyers moving here from big cities and California.

The lone savior for buyers in our market during 2020 were the record low mortgage rates. Just before Christmas the mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage hit 2.66% after peaking at 3.65% in March. That 1-point savings on a mortgage rate equates to about $170 reduction in the monthly payment.

Fun Facts From 2020

  • Most expensive sale in El Paso County—a 55-acre ranch near Black Forest sold for $6.7 million
  • Most expensive sale in Teller County was a home near Woodland Park which sold for $1.3 million
  • Largest home sold in the area was on “millionaire’s row” on Wood Avenue at 13,815 square feet
  • Smallest home sold in the area was a cottage in Manitou Springs at just 324 square feet

Quick Hits From 2020

  • Number of units sold was an all-time record at 14,803 (up 4%)
  • Average sales prices for the year hit $412,055 (up 1%)
  • Median sales prices hit $365,533 (up 9%)
  • Inventory levels for the year averaged just 3 weeks
  • New home permits hit 1,766 for El Paso County, the 2nd most in last 20 years
  • 183 homes sold for $1,000,000 or more (just 38 in 2015)
  • 157 homes sold for under $200,000 (3,736 in 2015)
  • At the end of 2020 there were only 350 single family homes on the At the end of 2015 there were 1,600 and at the end of 2010 there were 3,660.

Why Olympic City USA Is Such A Great Place To Live

  • Home to the United States Air Force Academy, US Olympic Committee, Northern Command, NORAD, US Space Force, Space Foundation, and 23 Olympic NGB’s and the newly opened US Olympic and Paralympic Museum
  • In 2021 we are excited for the opening of the Switchbacks Soccer Stadium in downtown along with the debut of the new Colorado College Ice Arena later in the year
  • Outstanding higher education institutions; US Air Force Academy, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado College, and Pikes Peak Community College
  • Diverse industries including, Aerospace, Healthcare, Cybersecurity, Defense Technology, Military, Manufacturing and Sports, to name a few
  • World class trails for hiking and biking
  • Excellent business climate—highly educated workforce, high-tech infrastructure and local airport
  • Excellent climate with over 300 days of sunshine
  • Centrally located to all Colorado has to offer; skiing, river rafting, “Jeep-ing”, ghost towns, hiking & biking

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