Each year, springtime ushers in warmer weather, flowers in bloom, the crack of a baseball bat (go Rockies!) and renewed energy for the housing market. After the winter hibernation, anxious homebuyers come out in force trying to find that special place to call home, and sellers finish up last minute touchups and put their homes on the market.

This year is no exception. The Colorado market seems to be gradually heating up along with the temperatures. Most of the local offices are reporting steady to improving sales activity and overall market conditions.

While many parts of the Colorado are seeing progress on the housing front, the picture isn’t uniform across the board. Some cities are experiencing stronger markets than others. In some communities, certain price ranges are hot while others are tepid. And even within a local market, while one property may get eight or 10 offers, another sits idle waiting for a single buyer.

Nonetheless, the recent uptick in activity in general is providing encouragement to Realtors as well as home sellers.

A variety of indicators—including investor and cash purchase levels and adjustable-rate loan use—are pointing toward a more normal market.  And while the housing market has certainly moved well back from its challenges two years ago, there is still a ways to go.

Distressed properties are still an issue in some counties and drag on prices.  Mortgage financing is still problematic for some borrowers as well.

What this tells is, the market appears to be moving in the right direction. Spring rejuvenation in many local markets will continue in the months ahead, especially if the economy and the local job market continues to improve. Only time will tell.

Below is a market-by-market report from local Coldwell Banker offices:

Boulder—Listings continue to grow as expected for the spring season.  The 24% growth from one two-week period to the next does feel larger than normal.  Sales are also continuing to grow in the market & have experienced an 18% growth over the past two weeks.  The number of showings has decreased by 5% on 600 showings in the previous week.  This would indicate slowing of leveling out in the growth of Buyers coming into the marketplace over the past two weeks.

Colorado Springs—Showings are back up to normal the past week with Friday and the weekend being busier than usual.  This has caused a slight decrease in listing inventory because more showings mean more properties going under contract.  Sales have been steady and most agents are staying busy.  They say just getting through the inspection and the appraisal is the hardest part of most of their transactions.

Denver Central—These last two weeks have been similar to the last two weeks in all ways.  It looks as if we are back to a steady market and hope to see an increase in sales activity soon.

Evergreen—Listing inventory remains stable with the number of sales and new listings in balance.  There have been nine new listings so far this month with five listings put under contract.  This included a listing priced at $995,000 on the Hwy 285 corridor.  Showing activity has declined slightly with 115 showings so far this month but continues across all price ranges and property types.  Selling activity has also stabilized with three buyers put under contract including two in the luxury market.

Larimer County—Spring has sprung!  Tress are bursting with blooms & the early spring flowers are making their way out of the thawed ground.  In spite of drought conditions on the front range, the same cannot be said for the housing market.  Vigorous is the term that comes to mind as well priced  homes are coming on the market & going under contract in a matter of days rather  than weeks.  Many have multiple offers commanding full price or more!  Sales volume remains steady through March with inventory levels at their lowest since 2001!  In spite of year-over-year decreases in sales, units & volume. This is partially due to the artificial run-up in the market from last year’s tax credit incentive.  With recent news of the selection of Loveland as the preferred site for the CAMT ACE campus, increased energy exploration in the north, the jobs picture for Northern Colorado continues to get brighter.  For those thinking about selling – now may be a good time to get on the market to take advantage of the low inventory & improving demand.  Perhaps even trade up to a dream home!

Longmont—The price of homes being shown & going under contract is creeping up in price.  Homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 range are the bulk of the activity. First time buyers are still in the market in a big way.  HUD has revamped the way that they are selling their inventory here in Colorado.  This has increased the number of HUD homes that Buyers are making offers on. Short sales continue to be a long and drawn out process.  Cash deals can take two to three months to close.  Cautious optimism about selling this season.

North Metro—Spring is definitely in the air and activity is picking up.  In the month of March, the agents at North Metro put 121 homes under contract and 60 new listings on the market.  It appears that Sellers are more realistic today about at what price their homes should be listed to get it sold, not just for sale.  Showing activity has picked up on the weekends but it is still somewhat slow during the week.  Open house activity has picked up as well.

Parker—The threat of a possible government shutdown did not have as much impact as some anticipated.  The activity in the Douglas County market is picking up every week, and the listing inventory continues to go down.  This trend has caused several areas to hold their value relatively stable.  Despite these very positive trends, it is still unusually difficult to get transactions to the closing table!  Skilled agents that are able to educate and guide buyers and sellers have become more & more important in today’s challenging real estate environment!

Devonshire—Many things are happening at the Devonshire Coldwell Banker office this week.  Our wonderfully located office, in the heart of Cherry Creek is getting a renovation & a new look. There is excitement about the look & increased functionally to help brokers and clients.  Showings on all ranges of property have had a healthy upswing of over 8% from the previous period indicating stronger consumer interest in all price ranges.  Additionally, new contracts and listings have increased which is also a strong indicator.  Looking forward to positive movements & bringing a higher standard of professionalism to our clients and the general public.

SW Metro—Showings have increased each week and there is great activity at open houses.  Several agents this past week picked up buyers and are currently working with them to find a home.  Also, floor has been successful for several agents who are also working with buyers.  There were two agents this past weekend who had multiple offers on three of their properties.  There is still a steady flow of buyers for well priced properties.  There is activity, not only on the $150,000 to $200,000 range but also the $350,000 to $450,000 range.  Agents are busy and the phones are ringing!

Denver West—The Denver West office placed 88 homes under contract during the month of March.  We are on target for an even more active market during April.  One of our multiple offer listings was on the market in the $300,000 price range and had three offers.  This generated a “bidding” event which ultimately sold the home for more than the list price.  Positive energy is felt throughout the office.  The office is very busy listing & selling homes that are “priced right,” with staging in place.

Conifer—No new listings went on the market so far in April for the Conifer office.  Inventory has declined slightly as three listings went under contract.  Showing activity declined sharply with only 22 showings for the month to date.  Selling activity remains steady since four buyers have been put under contract.

Loveland—The big news in Loveland is that Loveland is the front runner for the ACE campus.  This could mean thousands of mid to top range jobs coming to Loveland soon.  The Loveland community was very involved with showcasing the benefits that Loveland has to offer.  Local builders are showing their confidence in the local market.  They are digging foundations on spec homes and are offering some incredible deals.  Short sales and foreclosures continue to be prevalent in this market.  Buyers, both owner occupied and investors are seeing the value of these homes.

That’s it for now!  Make it a great week!

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