According to the most recent available data from Information and Real Estate Services, the Loveland-based multiple listing service, sales of detached homes in the Loveland-Berthoud area were up 3.3 percent in the first 11 months of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, climbing from 1,250 to 1,291.
During the same period, home sales in Greeley-Evans fell 5.3 percent and declined 0.7 percent in Fort Collins.
Well, part of the reason is new-home construction in the Loveland area, according to Scott Beasley of The Group Inc.’s Fort Collins office.
“Loveland seems to be a bit more open to new construction,” Beasley said.
Indeed, 382 new homes were either built or were in the planning phase in Loveland during the period examined, compared to 313 in Fort Collins, according to IRES.
Factoring in the population difference between Loveland and Fort Collins further illustrates the significance of the gap.
In 2010, the population of Fort Collins was 140,600, more than double that of Loveland, which was home to 66,588 residents in 2010.
Because median incomes are lower there, Loveland has seen an increase in construction of homes mostly in the entry-level price range, residences priced between $169,900 and $234,900, especially in the area south of Highway 34 and between Madison and Boise Avenues, Beasley said.
Ceri Anderson, managing broker at The Group’s Centerra office in Loveland, said lot sales were 20 percent higher in Loveland last year.
To a degree, that can be attributed to banks that want to get troublesome properties off their books.
Ninety more lots were sold in Loveland in 2011 than in 2010, and a “fair number of them were bank-owned,” Anderson said.
Another contributing factor, according to Anderson, could be that investors who have been holding onto a property for some time finally have decided the Northern Colorado economy has reached “the new normal.”
Anderson also pointed out that Loveland has room for for new construction.
“There are more developed acreage lots close to town than other MSAs,” Anderson said. “There is just more land available than in Fort Collins.”
In terms of dollars and cents, the increase in homes sales in Loveland has resulted in a 2.4 percent increase in dollar volume in the Loveland-Berthoud MSA, from nearly $327 million in the first 11 months of 2010 to nearly $335 million as of November 2011.
By comparison, the Greeley dollar volume decreased by 5 percent over the same period, and the Fort Collins volume increased by just 1.6 percent.
Loveland’s median home price has also come close to that of Fort Collins, increasing by 16 percent year-over-year from November 2010 to $240,000, only a few thousand dollars shy of the Fort Collins MSA, where the median home price increased 2.3 percent to $245,000.
Greeley’s median home price remains the lowest in the region, at $129,900 as of November.
Molly Armbrister covers real estate for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at email@example.com or 970-232-3139.