Taking a look at two sides of Northern Colorado’s ‘Main Street’

Interstate 25 can be called Northern Colorado’s “Main Street.” It also serves as a geographic dividing line of sorts, roughly down the middle of the region’s housing market. From that perspective, we can make some interesting observations.

For instance, on the west side of I-25, 5,708 homes were sold during 2016 for about $2.1 billion — an average price of $365,738. On the east side, 4,532 homes were sold last year for about $1.35 billion — an average of $298,298

One conclusion from comparing sales between submarkets east of I-25 (Greeley, Evans, Windsor, Severance, Eaton, Johnstown, Kersey, LaSalle, Milliken) to those west of I-25 (Fort Collins, Loveland, Wellington, Berthoud), is that you can save about $70,000 on the price of a home if you go east. Of course, there are a range of factors to consider beyond which side of Main Street you choose to buy your house; but the difference between average prices — 22.6 percent — is eye opening.

Here are some further assessments to consider about residential real estate as we look back on 2016:

• Looking for a way to make $100,000? You would have done just that if you owned a home in Northern Colorado for the last five years. In every submarket that makes up the Northern Colorado real estate market, the average sales price increased approximately $100,000 between 2011 and 2016. Here’s a sample of some of the percentage increases in sales prices over the past five years:

Fort Collins/Wellington/Timnath — 47 percent.

Loveland/Berthoud — 50 percent.

Greeley/Evans — 78 percent.

• Small towns in Northern Colorado continue to be a major attraction to homebuyers. For instance, the number of annual sales in Wellington is up 192 percent from 2011 to 2016. For Windsor-Severance, sales are up 106 percent in that same period. As a su-market, sales across the towns of Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Kersey, LaSalle, Mead and Milliken are up 48 percent.

• While small-town sales are soaring, overall sales across the region — 10,240 — were essentially flat in 2016, due largely to a lack of supply, which is also a key factor for rising prices – an average increase of 10 percent regionwide. All indications are that 2017 will yield similar results for similar reasons.

• Sales numbers may have been flat, but dollar value continues to climb sharply, up to a total of $3.44 billion in dollar volume across Northern Colorado. As we discussed in the paragraph above, the number of sales — up less than 1 percent — is not the big factor in dollar volume. It’s increasing prices driven by tight supply.

• Average prices were up across all submarkets, led by Greeley-Evans, which experienced an average increase of 13 percent.  At $390,291, Windsor-Severance continued to be the most expensive submarket. However, if you were to split Berthoud off from the traditional Loveland-Berthoud submarket, it becomes the priciest town in Northern Colorado, with an average sales value of $412,226. Why? Berthoud’s proximity to Boulder, which is far and away the most expensive market on the Front Range.

• Among the region’s submarkets, only Greeley-Evans reports an average price below $300,000, at $252,966.

Larry Kendall co-founded associate-owned The Group Inc. Real Estate in 1976 and is creator of Ninja Selling. Contact him at 970-229-0700 or via www.thegroupinc.com.