The cost of living for housing in Colorado Springs in 2023 is at 140.9% of the national cost of living.
Compare that to Denver's cost of living for housing, at 183.1%, Pueblo, at 85.6%, and Los Angeles at 302.8%. While Colorado Springs is expensive to live in, it's still relatively inexpensive when compared to other cities.
As of January 2023, the average sale price of a home in Colorado Springs is $455,338. The median sales price is $420,000.
The median rent in Colorado Springs is $1,552 a month. The average rent for a 4 bedroom home in Colorado Springs is $2,081 a month.
For sale property showings are slow right now, at about 1.4 showings per week on average per listing.
In the summer of 2022, Fannie Mae recorded in their Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) stated that 80% of consumers believe that now is not a good time to buy a house. According to the survey that is the highest percentage ever of lack of faith in the housing market.
In 2023, 76% of consumers say that it's a bad time to buy a house. So the buyer sentiment has not improved much. The cost of living in Colorado Springs is still too high for many.
Days on Market for Colorado Springs is 50 days!
Quite a change from last year, properties are sitting on the market for about 50 days before accepting an offer and going under contract. Last year properties were on market for about 4 days before going under contract.
You can also see the trend downward in both average and median sale prices in Colorado Springs:
We had a high point in home sale prices in April 2022, with a downward trend in prices since then. In January 2023 we are at a low point from April. However, home prices in Colorado Springs are still up by a total of 24% since March 2020.
There are 1,224 properties for sale right now in Colorado Springs. For several months, Colorado Springs held at about 1,700-1,800 properties active at any given time. Now, during the winter, there is less activity.
There are 687 properties under contract. There have been 95 sales in January citywide. 594 sold for December. The median sales price is currently at $420,000.
So right now there are not many buyers, and not many sales.
As you can see from the chart above, home sales have been slowing down for the last half of 2022, and continuing into 2023. In past January’s we have sold ~700 homes. This month we’re nearing 100, a third of the way into January.
The housing market continues to be a slow time. Demand has not decreased, let’s be clear on that. Gen X and Millennials are in their prime buying life stage.
Take just Millennials. There are 97,900 people between 30-40 years old living in Colorado Springs. It’s the largest homebuying demographic of people, and they all need housing!
The cost for housing has shot up though, which only allows for those with enough money to purchase. As long as the income to housing cost gap remains high, buying a home will continue to be out of reach for many people.
Affordable Housing Options
Since his 2018 State of the City address, Mayor Suthers pledged to create 1,000 affordable housing units in Colorado Springs per year. For 2022 there were 1,057 units built. You can read more about what the city is working on with affordable housing here.
I think that this is a great pledge from the city. I also think that it's still not enough to house everyone who lives here. There needs to be a massive wave of building and incentivizing to build.
Right now we view housing as a commodity, a privilege instead of a right.
How Are Rentals?
Rental demand is still strong. Short-term rentals are still strong also, though they are seeing fewer bookings than normal. Short-term rentals are strong in Colorado Springs in the summer, weaker in the winter. Right now short-term rentals are seeing a 70% occupancy rate in Colorado Springs. I expect the percentage of short-term rental bookings to increase this summer.
Long-term rents in Colorado Springs decreased 1.5% month-over-month in December, compared to a 0.8% decrease nationally. Month-over-month growth in Colorado Springs ranks as the #20 sharpest decline among the nation's 100 largest cities.
Year-over-year rent growth in Colorado Springs currently stands at 4.6%, compared to -1.3% at this time last year. Rents in Colorado Springs are up by 25.5% since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Median rent in Colorado Springs is $1,205 for a 1 bedroom apartment and $1,509 for a 2 bedroom.
Median rent for all rental types is $1,552.
Are We In A Recession?
Mortgage interest rates dropped a bit recently. The 30 year fixed conventional loan is at 6.14% (was 6.54%), VA at 5.85% (was 6.20%), and FHA at 5.82% (was 6.15%) (MortgageNewsDaily.com).
I’m seeing people throw the word “slowflation” around, which means the economy is slowly growing, and you have inflation.
Several months ago people were using the word “stagflation,” which means the same things as “slowflation,” but with high unemployment also.
I expect the Fed to continue applying point increases, whether it actually works or not. I expect that will continue having a negative effect on our economy. Not sure about our inflation problem.
Since our economy is still technically growing, I don’t think we can say we’re in a recession. We sure are close to one though. But haven’t we been “close to a recession” for a while now?
People can’t seem to agree on whether the interest rates will jump up to 8 or 9% or higher, or if we’ll see rates drop into the 4’s and 5’s. There are always too many factors.
People can’t seem to agree whether our country is in a recession right now or not. That seems to indicate that we are on the brink of one. We might get there, we might not. It’s so weird, isn’t it?
Also, my fellow real estate agents can’t seem to agree on whether we are still in a seller’s market or not. The real estate market is normally slow in winter, but it has been extra slow since Fall 2022. Buyer demand has slowed, no question!
It is far too expensive for many people to buy right now. We are seeing that now in our headlines:
More Affordable Housing!
Various smaller affordable housing developments pop up in Colorado Springs, like this one. Our city is definitely conscious of the need for more housing here.
But here is the thing to consider: Gen X and Millennials are the largest homebuyer and renter demographic right now. There is a natural next generation of people who need housing, and there are simply more of them than the Boomers.
This means that there is a natural bigger demand for housing than there ever was! This is quickly becoming a huge problem that needs to be solved. As a nation, we are not building homes fast enough. This means that the existing homes go up in value/price because more people want them.
If developers build too many homes at once, then the price will go down, and so will their profit. But are developers limiting how much they build at one time? And if they are, what can be done about it?
Should we subsidize the housing market further? Should we use funding to incentivize new construction builders to build more smaller/starter homes? Or would multi-family developments be a better choice? Should we prioritize funding the housing market with our tax dollars?
Should taxes increase because of that? If not, what would we have to cut back on government spending in order to fund our housing market?
Also, do we have enough water to sustain more people? Is there a point where we should say, “No more people can live here?” If we continue to grow, how would we access more water resources?
These questions are a bit beyond what I can answer. I’m seeking out these answers though!
Should I buy right now?
Right now there are few buyers looking to purchase property right now. Competition from other buyers is low. Sellers are more likely to be open to dropping their price, or giving concessions toward buyer closing costs/loan buydown costs.
Prices could come down further though. If that happens, will you be upset that you bought now when you could have waited and bought lower later?
Or prices could actually increase this year, and some people think it will. If that happens, what if now was the best time to buy?
You’re going to hear all sorts of people telling you if now is a good time to buy or sell in this market. None of them know though.
I recommend you do what I do, and listen to a lot of people’s opinions on the housing market and the economy, and then make up your own mind about it.
For most of us, we don’t buy or sell a house because the market is timed just right. We sell because we inherited property and can’t use it. Maybe we sell because the property wasn’t performing how we wanted it to. Or we sell because we got a job transfer somewhere else.
We buy because the family is growing and we need more space. We buy because we took that job. We buy because we’ve been saving for so long and we can finally afford not to rent anymore.
No matter what happens to home prices and interest rates, people always need a place to live.
The Colorado Springs Balloon Festival is one of the most anticipated events in not only the city, but in the state of Colorado, as well as the rest of the world. We have many people from all over the world that join us in this event every year.
Also called the Labor Day Lift Off, the Colorado Springs Balloon Festival is free to everyone!
For 2022, there will be 75 balloons. For 2019, we had 78 balloons that participated in the event, which is more than any previous year.
No dogs are allowed at the Colorado Springs Balloon Festival, though I did still see 4 or 5 at the event. Only one was a labelled service animal.
No matter if you attend the balloon liftoff or the balloon glow, get there early. At least an hour early. You want to do this for parking reasons. Every year, more people attend the balloon festival, and the parking situation is getting worse and worse. You're stuck parking in residential areas nearby, and there are only so many street parking spots.
Take a picture of the cross streets you parks nearest so that you can find your car later.
What to Expect at the Colorado Springs Balloon Festival
When you park and enter Memorial Park, the roads are shut down, with "Road Closed" signs all over. You kind of have to make a path to get to the balloons, which means walking through the grass field, which means wear shoes that don't get wet easily, or stay on the street if you can.
Once you get there, you will be greeted by the smell of funnel cakes. Feel free to get something now, as the lines are shorter than they will be.
Find a grassy spot to park yourself and set up camp. Lawn chairs/camp chairs and blankets are welcome at the Labor Day balloon festival. You have the whole park to park at, which includes the area near Prospect Lake, which is further south (we arrived at the North end of Memorial Park).
Parking in the grass right next to the balloons guarantees you'll see them fill up and get really close, but parking at the lake means better photography, as you'll have both Pikes Peak and Prospect Lake for backgrounds for the Labor Day Lift Off.
You could opt for a hybrid also, which I did, which means we parked in the grass and watched a few balloons fill up and take off, and then we relocated to Prospect Lake for the rest of the event.
Riding in A Hot Air Balloon
If you'd like to take a ride in one of these balloons, you'll have to schedule in advance, and there is only one company that will actually give you rides on the balloons. The rest are for family and friends of the balloon operators.
Rainbow Ryders is the one company who will give rides at the balloon festival in Colorado Springs. The flight lasts 45 minutes to an hour, and costs $345 a person. Check in to the balloon ride is at 6AM.
Rainbow Ryders also offers tethered rides in the evening, where the balloon is held by ropes and are taken to 75 feet in the air. Not a full travel experience, but you still get to feel what it's like to ride in a balloon, and at only $25 a person. Starts at 6PM.
There is one other option for getting a hot air balloon ride, and that is by sponsoring a hot air balloon. Sponsorship packages range from $1,000 to $50,000.
Watching the Hot Air Balloons Lift Off
Balloons start filling up closer to 7AM. The trucks and trailers parked on the grass will need room to fill up, and for the rope handlers who keep the balloons steady as they fill, so make sure you give them room.
Notable Hot Air Balloons
Notable hot air balloons include:
The "Save the Storks" hot air balloon (pictured at the beginning)
The one man hot air balloon (see video)
The Pepsi Football balloon (pictured above)
Fun fact about RE/MAX: they own 110 hot air balloons, more than anyone else in the world. It is the largest fleet of hot air balloons in existence. They are here every year for this event!
RE/MAX's catchphrase for their balloons is "Above the Crowd," which refers to their balloons as well as their commitment to quality of service.
Toys at the Colorado Springs Balloon Festival
The toy tent at the Labor Day Lift Off has a lot of cool hot air balloon toys, and a few other odds and ends. The inflatable hot air balloons are classic!
In case you missed your souvenir, Amazon carries these inflatable hot air balloons, as well as my favorite wind catcher balloon and hot air balloon windchimes I saw at the Colorado Springs Balloon Festival.
Dunkin' Donuts Donut Eating Championships
I didn't snap any pictures of this part of the balloon fest, mostly because I don't care, and partly because I came here for the balloons, not for donuts.
In 2018's festival, my son and I waited in line for Dunkin' Donuts. We waited about a half hour for donuts. I learned my lesson, and the following year, I made a King Soopers run for donuts before we arrived. Just as tasty, without waiting for one.
If you want to join the championship, registration starts at 7AM on the Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day. There are two separate championships, one for adults (14 and up), and the other for kids (ages 5-13). The entry fee is $10 for each.
Right after all the Labor Day Lift Off is the skydiving event, put up by the Wings of Blue Demonstration Team, which represents the Air Force and the Armed Forces.
I missed getting a shot of the first skydiver, who had a huge American flag trailing behind, as I was at Prospect Lake getting some shots of the balloons over the lake, but again, like most people, I came here for the hot air balloon festival, and cared less about anything else. I mean, there were several large bounce houses at the event also, and I love bounce houses, and I didn't care, lol.
Though not a part of the official Colorado Springs Balloon Festival, you will occasionally meet a celebrity. I keep seeing images for Darth Vader on other sites, but I haven't spotted him yet. There were, however, a Darth Vader and a Yoda hot air balloons for the 2018 Labor Day Lift Off. They will be here again for 2022!
The Balloon Glow is on Saturday and Sunday evenings before Labor Day, at 7:00PM. Again, get there early to allow for parking time. The park closes at 10PM.
What time does the Balloon Glow start in Colorado Springs?
The balloon glow starts at 7:00PM on the Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day.
Where do you park for the balloon glow?
Anywhere you legally can! Memorial Park and Prospect Lake will be closed off to allow vendors and balloon operators to park and set up, so your parking options are within the city. There is no metered parking here, just in residential neighborhoods, so get there at least an hour early to find good parking, as parking goes fast.
Remember, you can't park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, and you can't block anyone's driveway.
What time do the balloons take off?
The balloons take off at 7AM every morning of the festival. They will start filling up at 6:30-6:45AM.
Are drones allowed?
No, drones are not allowed. However, I did see one at Prospect Lake getting shots of the balloons (2019).
Are pets allowed?
No pets allowed, although again, I did see 4 or 5 dogs on leashes at the park, and only one of them was labeled a service dog.
Are coolers allowed?
Yes, coolers are allowed. No glass bottles or glassware though.
The Colorado Springs Balloon Festival is held at Memorial Park, 1605 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80910.
Still A Seller's Market, But It's Easier
Properties in Colorado Springs are getting between 2-3 showings a week on average now, and are going under contract in 16 days, on average. We had a full 2 months of housing inventory for July. 4-6 months is considered a healthy balanced market.
Are prices going to drop? Are we actually starting to head toward a balanced housing market? Or is this just seasonal? Summertime is when the most listings hit the market! On the other hand, the last time we had at least two months worth of housing inventory was back in January 2019. So that hasn't happened in a few years.
There are currently 1,885 properties for sale in Colorado Springs. Out of those, 1,198 (63.5%) have had price drops. Some properties are still selling above asking price though.
553 properties have sold so far in August. 1,084 properties sold in July in Colorado Springs. Compare that with 1,487 properties that sold in July 2021.
The current economic climate has made many buyers question purchasing right now, which has taken the urgency out of buying a home. We're seeing a closer to normal timeframe for days on market for properties.
Colorado Springs Average Sale Prices
You can see that even with the home values seemingly dropping a bit, they are still much higher than they were this time last year!
Also, for land, there are 130 land properties for sale in Colorado Springs right now. 56 of those have taken a price drop, almost half.
8 have sold so far for August. 12 sold in July, out of 151 for sale. 11 sold in June, out of 140 for sale. Land has not been moving as quickly here! If people are unsure of buying a home, they're even less sure of buying land to build a home.
I bring up land because of my luxury vacant lot listing in Kissing Camels, in Colorado Springs. It's ready to build on, and preliminary plans have already been approved. Here's a link if you'd like to get more info on that lot.
The National Housing Info
The NAR (National Association of Realtors) recently released their predictions for the housing market, in their August US Economic Forecast Data. This information something you can look at, interpret, and make some conclusions about what the NAR's economic forecast looks like, and how trustworthy it may be.
Remember, these are national numbers. Your local market will be different. Your city will have unique draws and drawbacks to it. In this case, I live in Colorado Springs, so I will be looking at this data and overlaying what I know about Colorado Springs, as well as what the dats says about Colorado Springs specifically.
Read NAR's August US Economic Forecast Data report here, so you can compare with what I'm saying, or come back to the report later so you can fully digest the numbers in there:
So it looks like the prediction is that we'll continue to see a drop in home values into the end of the year, and starting 2023 the values will start to rise again. New home prices will have very minor drops in value, not enough to really make a noticeable difference.
Home prices for new and existing homes are 14.2% higher than they were last year. Let that sink in. Even with the price drops we've been seeing on homes, the values are still 14.2% higher than last year's prices.
If we do see a 4.2% and then another 21.3% drop in home values, that's a lot! Let's do some quick math. If you have a house that's worth $500,000 now, and you get a 4.2% drop in value, and then another 21.3% drop in value, your home would be worth 479000 after the 4.2% drop, and $381,763 after the 21.3% drop.
Is that a realistic expectation though?
Applying These Numbers to Colorado Springs
Let's take my house, which had at it's highest point (before April 2022) had a Zestimate of 490,000. It's now at $460,000. If I had my home listed for $490,000, would a 30k price drop make sense to sell it in this market?
My $490,000 house would be worth $469,420 after the 4.2% price drop, and $374,127.74 after the 21.3% price drop.
So at a total predicted future value of about $375,000, my house would still be worth ~ $75,000 more than what I bought it for in 2018. Does that sound like a more reasonable appreciation for Colorado Springs, where I live?
Now keep in mind, this is Colorado Springs, it's a generally more in demand city to live in, and these numbers we're talking about are national numbers. Things will be different for each city, and I think Colorado Springs is going to be on the higher end of the scale in terms of property values, generally.
Still, NAR gives some predictions that give some numbers we can play with. At the end of the day, it's still just people's best guesses, and economists, much like the weather people, are often wrong. It's very hard to make predictions, especially when you can't possible know everything.
Additional Thoughts on if Home Prices Will Drop
Other things to keep in mind: millennials are the largest base of buyers right now. We have more people needing homes to live in than any previous generation.
The unaffordability rate of homes is at its largest! If we take the median sale price of a house in Colorado Springs, at $460,000, and we divide that by the median income in Colorado Springs (as of 2016-2020) at $67,719, the price of a home in Colorado Springs is 6.79 times more expensive than a person's yearly income.
In the historical past, the average house cost 5 times the yearly household income. At the height of the 2006 housing boom, that number was at 7 times the yearly household income. We are almost to that same ratio in Colorado Springs. It really does feel like we're all still on a precipice with the economy and the housing market. Still sitting on the fence. Everyone is still waiting. Waiting to see what happens!
The high cost of homes right now definitely makes it difficult to purchase.
The Homes Owned By A Corporation
If you've wondered about the corporations buying up homes in Colorado Springs, I have a name for you: SFR JAVELIN BORROWER LP.
I came across this corporate owner when I was calling people in my neighborhood and found the name registered as the property owner for more than a few properties.
They own 176 homes in El Paso County. SFR JAVELIN BORROWER LP is also known as Invitation Homes, based out of Dallas, Texas. They own and lease 80,000 homes across the country. Invitation Homes is owned by Blackstone Inc.
So if you need to rent a house or know someone who does, Invitation Homes definitely has options right now for people relocating to Colorado Springs.
What are your thoughts? Do you think prices are going to drop for the rest of the year in Colorado Springs? Do you think it will be a good time to buy this year or in 2023 if that happens? Let me know in the comments below!
The cost of living in Colorado Springs in 2022 is at 104.5%. Compare that to Denver, at 128.7%, Pueblo, at 85.2%, and Los Angeles at 173.3%. While Colorado Springs is expensive to live in, it's still relatively inexpensive when compared to larger or more developed cities.
Property showings have continued to be incredibly slow (about 1.5 per listing per week)! Buyer interest has dropped, at least here in Colorado Springs. The market has definitely leveled off.
The Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) stated that 80 percent of consumers believe that now is not a good time to buy a house. According to the survey that is the highest percentage ever of lack of faith in the housing market.
The average sale price in Colorado Springs has started to go down since April. Interestingly, it has bumped up again for July. However, if you look at the "Close Price to Original Price Ratio," you'll notice that on average, homes have not been selling for more than asking recently. This is one metric we can use to look at the market as a whole.
Back in March, Colorado Springs made it onto the top 10 least affordable metro areas in the United States (we placed 10th).
Then, at the end of April, when mortgage rates went up, buyers pulled out of the Colorado Springs market, sharply.
Home builders, after having ignored real estate agents for three years because of the sheer buyer demand, are now soliciting agents again to find buyers for their new construction homes.
6/2022 Interest Rate: 6.1%
12/2021 Interest Rate: 3.1%
Average Days on Market is 13 for Colorado Springs
The Feds are raising the interest rates another 0.75% this week. I expect mortgage interest rates to increase in response, long-term anyway.
Inflation is up 9.1% as of end of June. Anecdotally, I have heard that people's grocery bills/living expenses went up about 20% over the last year. Your cost increases may be similar.
Is any of this sustainable?
This market has slowed down A LOT. But we were going Fast and Furious for a couple years here. Now, it's more normal. However, what that looks like in reality is that showings are much fewer for properties.
There are 1,663 listings in Colorado Springs (2,163 in El Paso County in total). That's only a little bit more than the number of listings we had in July 2019. Remember how low that inventory was?
June 2019 TOTAL Listings: 1,366 in Colorado Springs, 1,680 in total in all El Paso County. Inventory has not changed much since then.
We would need to have about 5,000 listings in Colorado Springs in order to see a truly balanced market between buyers and sellers.
What we are seeing right now is a temporary pullback from buyers, due to shock from:
However, could this pullback turn into a long term thing? Is a recession still possible? I don't see the cost of living decreasing, however...
No one wants to buy right now.
If you as a buyer plan to purchase a property to live in yourself, and you plan to keep it long term, then that's the most important thing for you. If you're going to be paying rent anyway, then I consider it a win to lock in a mortgage payment that won't rise like your rent will.
Only you know where you need to live and what that looks like. Just do what's best for you!
If we do hit some kind of recession, home prices may continue falling in Colorado Springs a bit.
Moody's Analytics estimates that Colorado Springs home values are 41% overvalued. That means that a $500,000 home in Colorado Springs might drop in value down to $295,000. Yeah, I think not.
CoreLogic, which runs the majority of the Multiple Listing Service companies for real estate agents throughout the country, thinks there is a low (10-20% chance) of Colorado Springs home prices falling in the next 12 months. That statistic seems more reasonable, but only time will tell!
If you are considering selling property, be aware that it will take longer to sell, and you are not going to get the multiple offers or extra incentives from buyers anymore. In fact, you will likely be giving seller concessions toward the buyer's loan closing costs. That's something that hasn't really been happening since 2017.
Houses, townhomes, condos, all of those need to be in great shape, with great first impressions, in order to sell. That is what a normal market looks like. Unfortunately, this market is still not normal.
I don't know if home values will suddenly plummet in the next 6 months. Nobody knows. I do know that most buyers are uncertain if they should buy right now. If you want to sell in this market now, be prepared for that. Buyer incentives are making a difference again, because most buyers are hesitant.
In the end, none of this really matters. Investor buyers will buy based on the numbers. People who buy to live in it buy because of a change in their lives. There will always be change.