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Over the last year and a half, Denver’s housing market has been in a frenzy, with record-breaking low inventory and surging home prices month after month. These trends, though, have also been true in other parts of the state. Notably, our neighbors to the south, in Colorado Springs, recently gained national attention for their own wild real estate climate.
According to Realtor.com, Colorado Springs’ 80916 zip code is the hottest in America. The rankings consider market demand—measured by unique viewers per property on the website—and how fast homes are selling in that given market. Also in the top 10 were towns in New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Massachusetts, to name a few.
The title, however, comes as no surprise to Colorado Springs realtors. In fact, the city’s 80911 zip code on the south side of town was named America’s hottest zip code last year. “That’s nothing unusual for us,” says George Nehme, a realtor with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty and chair of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors (PPAR) board of directors. “[We’ve] always been in the top five of the most desirable places to live.”
That desire is driven by an active community and less traffic than big cities like Los Angeles and Dallas. The city is also in close proximity to Fort Carson, two Air Force bases, Pikes Peak, and a plethora of hiking trails.
Another factor bringing buyers to the Springs is value for money. The median list price on the east side of town in 80916 is $318,000. While that represents a nearly 20 percent increase year-over-year, according to Realtor.com, it is still 17 percent lower than the national median, making the area attractive to first-time homebuyers.
The Realtor.com numbers also indicate people are doing a lot of window shopping for real estate in Colorado Springs. The views per property have increased 36 percent year-over-year. And those homes are selling fast: Properties spend an average of four days on the market in this 80916 zip code, compared to 37 days nationally.
“The market is hot,” says Randy Simonoff, a realtor at Keller Williams in Colorado Springs. “It’s still a seller’s market. However, it’s not as difficult to be a buyer now as it was back in the early summer. Sale prices remain strong [in Colorado Springs]. On average, almost 15 percent higher than the same time last year.”
Over the last six months, 370 single-family and attached properties sold in the 80916 zip code. As of September 6, only 15 homes were actively listed for sale with prices ranging from $275,000 to $460,000—a stark comparison to housing prices in the Denver metro area. Last month, homes sold for an average of $614,577 in the vicinity of the Mile High City, according to recent data from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.
Other zip codes in Colorado Springs seem to be almost as hot as 80916. Nearly 470 single-family and attached homes sold over the last six months in the neighboring 80920 zip code on the far north side of town, according to the Multiple Listing Service. Over the last six months, homes in this area sold for an average of $508,534.
Overall, the number of home sales in Colorado Springs nearly doubled between January and August, rising from 1,126 at the beginning of the year to 2,130 last month, according to data from PPAR. “The demand is just so much higher than we’ve ever seen,” Nehme says. “We’ve never seen inventory so low. Home prices are pretty high and interest rates are still at an all-time historical low.”
Inventory is especially low for homes priced below $500,000. As of September 6, only 269 homes were listed on the MLS below that price point. (Note: MLS data does not include newly built homes.)
“While sale prices have remained steady for the past few years, 2021 was certainly the year of inventory shortages,” Simonoff says. “This drove pricing up, and we saw lots of cash deals, which in turn eliminated the need for an appraisal. If a property was listed below $500,000, sellers were almost guaranteed multiple offers, with many above asking price.”
Nehme says homes priced around $500,000 received an average of eight to 10 offers back in May and June. Now, similar homes are seeing around five offers that are typically $15,000 to $20,000 over the list price.
Inventory is slowly on the rise, too. According to PPAR, inventory has nearly doubled from 554 in April to 1,009 last month, but Nehme says buyers are still desperate to get in a home. “I don’t think [buyers] emotions are as high as they used to be because of the amount of inventory that’s available,” he says. “People are really excited that they’re able to buy more home now because the rates are lower, but [for] first-time homebuyers, there’s still not much out there for them as far as availability … So, I don’t see the market slowing down for a little while.”