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Colorado house-price increases are lagging

Brief by Central Staff

Real Estate – August 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

For the past decade or so, as long as this magazine has been in business, it has seemed to us that the price of Colorado real estate has been climbing at a good clip, well above the national average.

But it hasn’t, at least in recent years, according to figures compiled by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

Those figures show that during the past three years, Colorado house prices rose by about 4.3% a year. That is, a house that sold for $100,000 in 2002 would sell for $113,463 in 2005.

But the rest of the country is seeing much more appreciation – in the neighborhood of 10% a year – and Colorado ranks 47th of the 50 states. California and Nevada lead at 15%.

Why is Colorado lagging? Economists quoted in a Denver Post article said Colorado lost jobs in the recession of 2001 while home construction continued, so the market is overstocked by about 30,000 houses and apartments.

We are, of course, of two minds about this. On one hand, we like the idea of affordable housing in Colorado. On the other, well, we hope our property appreciates into seven digits when it’s time to sell out and retire.