Home sales markedly varied in region

How do home sales across Northern Colorado’s various communities in 2019 keep reminding us of hiking around our state’s topography?

There seem to be plenty of peaks, hills, and valleys.

One third of the way through this year, we’ve seen home closings make steep ascents in places such as Berthoud (sales were up 60 percent compared to the same point in 2018) and Wellington (up 41.2 percent). Timnath (up 20.4 percent), Greeley/Evans (up 12.6 percent), and Windsor (up 15.2 percent), have been noteworthy climbers so far this year; in Fort Collins, sales have been sliding (down 13.4 percent), and Severance has experienced a sharp descent (down 41.7 percent).

Taken all together, regionwide sales after four months add up to be mostly flat, down 0.96 percent across the region. But why the stark contrasts?

Let’s take a closer look at the factors shaping the current real estate landscape:

• Climbing. In the communities where sales are climbing, one consistent factor is the availability of homes for sale. In Berthoud, for instance, new construction is creating opportunities for homebuyers. In April, homes for sale increased 19.7 percent over April 2018, and closed sales in the moth increased 45.2 percent. We’re seeing similar factors at work in Timnath (inventory up 35.8 percent and closings up 100 percent over April 2018) and Wellington (inventory up 22.1 percent and closings up 53.6 percent).

A notable exception to this formula is the Greeley-Evans market, where April inventory was actually down 12.3 percent while closings increased 16.3 percent. Greeley-Evans also experienced a 10.9 percent increase in average sales prices from April 2018 to April 2019.

• Sliding. As expected, Fort Collins is experiencing continuing declines in inventory as building has not kept up with demand. Consequently, years of tightening supply has led to rising prices that have forced many potential homebuyers to look to the outlying markets to get more house for their money. The average sales price in April in Fort Collins was $429,683, compared to $420,869 in Berthoud and $332,827 in Greeley. But the greater contrast is in price per square foot — $206 in Fort Collins, $146 in Berthoud, and $142 in Greeley.

On that note, where are people getting the most house for the money in Northern Colorado? That honor goes to Severance, where homes cost $132 per square foot in April. Wellington was next in line at $137.

• Dropping. Severance was where the action was in 2018. After the first four months last year, sales in Severance had increased 321 percent, due in large part to a construction boom that created a boom in housing inventory. Construction tailed off late in the year, leading to the decline in sales so far this year.

But remember, the 41.7 percent drop in sales so far this year is compared with a historic year of growth. Demand remains strong in Severance, as evidenced by 113 closings through April, which is still 145 percent ahead of the same point in 2017. Additionally, prices increased 18 percent in Severance from the same time last year.

Brandon Wells is president of The Group Inc. Real Estate, founded in Fort Collins in 1976 with six locations in Northern Colorado 

How do home sales across Northern Colorado’s various communities in 2019 keep reminding us of hiking around our state’s topography?

There seem to be plenty of peaks, hills, and valleys.

One third of the way through this year, we’ve seen home closings make steep ascents in places such as Berthoud (sales were up 60 percent compared to the same point in 2018) and Wellington (up 41.2 percent). Timnath (up 20.4 percent), Greeley/Evans (up 12.6 percent), and Windsor (up 15.2 percent), have been noteworthy climbers so far this year; in Fort Collins, sales have been sliding (down 13.4 percent), and Severance has experienced a sharp descent (down 41.7 percent).

Taken all together, regionwide sales after four months add up to be mostly flat, down 0.96 percent across the region. But why the stark contrasts?

Let’s take a closer look at the factors shaping the current real estate landscape:

• Climbing. In the communities where sales are climbing, one consistent factor is the availability of homes for sale. In Berthoud, for instance, new construction is creating opportunities for homebuyers. In April, homes for sale increased 19.7 percent over April 2018, and closed sales in the moth increased 45.2 percent. We’re seeing similar factors at work in Timnath (inventory up 35.8 percent and closings up 100 percent over April 2018) and Wellington (inventory up 22.1…