The Group president Brandon Wells presented the firm’s annual real estate forecast Wednesday evening in Loveland. Lucas High/BizWest

The Group’s Wells: Housing prices up slightly in 2019, but doubled in last decade

LOVELAND — Average home prices ticked up in 2019 across Northern Colorado and many parts of the Boulder Valley, regions that saw prices come close to doubling over the past decade. 

The Group Inc. president Brandon Wells presented a breakdown of annual and 10-year housing trends Wednesday evening during the firm’s annual real estate forecast held at the Embassy Suites Loveland. About 1,000 people attended the event.

When The Group founding partner Larry Kendall predicted massive growth in Northern Colorado and beyond during a 2010 forecast, skeptics scoffed, Wells told BizWest.

“There was a lot of doubt when he said housing prices could double in the next decade,” Wells said. “In many cases, they have doubled or come very close. His insights were pretty accurate.”

Developing The Group’s annual forecast is an all-year process.

“We have 300 Realtors and staff at the Group, and we all live here, we work here and we’re steeped in the local real estate environment on a day-to-day basis,” Wells said. “We are constantly surveying and taking in insights.”

Here are some highlights from those insights:

  • The average home price in Fort Collins was $430,887 in 2019, up 2 percent from the previous year. That 2019 price is 86 percent higher than the 2010 average price of $231,118.
  • Loveland’s 2019 average price was $409,236, up 5.4 percent from 2018 and up 91 percent from 2010’s $214,609 average. 
  • The average home price in the Greeley-Evans market grew 4.7 percent in 2019 to $302,837. That’s a 135 percent increase over a 10-year period.
  • In Longmont, the average home price fell 0.8 percent in 2019 to $473,442. Wells noted that this drop does not necessarily reflect depreciation of home values. Rather, it indicates that more smaller, less-expensive homes came onto the market during the year. Since 2010, Longmont prices are up 122 percent.
  • The most expensive real estate in the region was in Boulder, where average prices were $923,430 in 2019. That’s up 4 percent on the year and 91 percent for the decade.  
  • The Group expects 10,900 total home sales in the region during 2020, up from in 2019. The firm’s predictions were roughly 98 percent to 99 percent accurate during last year’s forecast.

Wells said he doesn’t expect the region’s real estate fortunes to reverse course in the coming decade. 

“There is going to be continued population increases from people desiring the quality of life we have here in Northern Colorado,” he said. “Jobs are still abundant. I don’t think growth will necessarily continue at the same rate that we’ve seen, but we should see very sustained growth.”