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Colorado housing inventory improves but still doesn’t meet demand, realtors say

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Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Colorado's housing inventory improved last month, but it still didn't meet buyer demand, the latest monthly market report from the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR) found. 

Overall, there were more than 9,300 homes listed for sale last month, which represents a 9.6 percent increase from a year ago, according to the industry group. While the number of sold listing dropped by nearly the same rate to 7,110 last month, the average sales price increased by 17 percent up to more than $719,000 for a single unit home. 

At the same time, the statewide affordability index – which measures the purchasing power of Colorado’s median wage – dropped by nearly 27 percent over the last year to 57 points. This means that a worker earning a median wage needs to supplement their income by nearly 43 percent to afford a median priced home on their own. 

“In my 43-year real estate career, this is not the first time we have seen housing prices increase to this level,” Aurora-area realtor Sunny Banka said in a statement. “Just like all other goods that are increasing, we may see a decrease, but it is very rare that those price drops ever get back down to where they were.”

CAR data also shows that Colorado’s rising home prices have impacted local metropolitan areas differently. 

The Denver metro area saw its new listings increase by 47 percent on a year-over-year basis compared to the statewide average of 45 percent. However, it did nothing to slow the home price appreciation rate in Denver County, where the average price went from $810,000 last year to nearly $919,000 this year.

Rural areas of the state are also having similar experiences. In La Plata County, the average single-unit sales price rose to more than $1.1 million in March while townhomes and condos sold for an average of $531,000. 

“The general consensus from locals is that Durango is morphing into a true resort town, and the days of bargain bin prices are behind us,” Jarrod Nixon, a Durango-area realtor, said in a statement.