June 1, 1997

New-home prices level off, but sales levels still strong

Average days on market for homes edges upward

Residential sales continue to flourish across Northern Colorado.

Although prices have leveled somewhat, and the average days-on-the-market may be slightly higher, observers say home sales are doing well.

Indeed, Larimer County posted 6,208 residential sales last year, according to the Northern Colorado Letter published by Adair & Co. Of those, 1,791 were new homes, said David Laffoon of Home Builders Research, a Littleton-based residential research firm. That compares with 1,331 new homes in Larimer County in 1995.

Weld County last year saw 3,299 residential sales. Of those, 1,006 were new construction. That compares with 810 new homes for the county in 1995.

According to the Northern Colorado Letter, first-quarter 1997 sales for Larimer County show 1,100 sales of both new and resale homes. The comparable figure for Weld County is 574.

Those numbers will continue to grow this year. The primary change appears to be that the average selling price of homes in Northern Colorado is leveling off.

The dominant price range for homes sold in Larimer County during the first quarter, according to Shari Ann Daly, president of The Group Inc., was $100,000 to $125,000.

Still, the average price of all homes sold is $157,000. Daly said she believes that the numbers seem contradictory because not all reporting has been done for the first quarter. Once all numbers are in, the dominant price range could change somewhat. During the first quarter of 1996, the dominant price range was $150,000 to $175,000 .

“I don’t think we’ll see the average go down,” she said. “During the first quarter of 1997, resale homes sold for an average of $136,575. New-home sales averaged $173,924.”

Still, 21 percent of all homes sold during the first quarter were in the $100,000 to $125,000 price range. Nineteen percent were in the $125,000 to $150,000 range, and 15 percent were in the $150,000 to $175,000 range. Another 15 percent of buyers purchased in the $175,000 to $200,000 range.

“It’s still a very active market,’ Daly said.

Brad Clarkson, president of The Group Inc. of Greeley, said prices in the Greeley/Evans area still are less than Larimer County.

The average sale price there last year was $123,345 for both new and resale homes. In 1995, that figure was $116,534.

The most popular price range now is the $120,000 to $140,000 range, Clarkson said.

Neighborhoods in growing west Greeley seem to the most popular. However, Clarkson noted, new projects in Evans may start competing with some of the subdivisions in west Greeley.

Debbie Mitchell, head of sales and marketing at Lifestyle Homes Inc. of Greeley, agreed that some of the lower-priced subdivisions are quickly gaining popularity.

“The $119,000 to $122,000 market is very popular,” she said.

Lifestyle, which builds a more-expensive home, is watching its products sit on the market longer.

“Right now, the resale market is our competition,” Mitchell said.

She noted that it is becoming more difficult to build lower-priced new homes, even in Weld County.

“It costs $18,000 just to pull a building permit in Frederick,” she said.

Many residential real-estate brokers are predicting that, over time, Weld County’s price advantage compared with Larimer County will disappear as Weld County communities becomes more-heavily developed and populated.

Average days on market for homes edges upward

Residential sales continue to flourish across Northern Colorado.

Although prices have leveled somewhat, and the average days-on-the-market may be slightly higher, observers say home sales are doing well.

Indeed, Larimer County posted 6,208 residential sales last year, according to the Northern Colorado Letter published by Adair & Co. Of those, 1,791 were new homes, said David Laffoon of Home Builders Research, a Littleton-based residential research firm. That compares with 1,331 new homes in Larimer County in 1995.

Weld County last year saw 3,299 residential sales. Of those, 1,006 were new construction. That compares with 810 new…

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